Extended Voting

VOTING IS a precious privilege. Anything that enhances that process is a good thing.

That is why a recent federal order is a positive development for Ohio voters, as new hours are being established to cast an early ballot in person before Election Day.

Secretary of State Jon Husted directed Ohio’s 88 county elections boards to be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday for upcoming major contests, including the Nov. 4 election.

As a result, Ohio voters will now have a total of 18 hours to vote in person over the final three days before presidential primaries and presidential and gubernatorial general elections.

We view that as an accommodating move for for Ohio voters. Under the previous schedule for this November, residents could not have voted on the Sunday and Monday before Election Day.

The change did not come without some controversy.

The newly implemented schedule was fueled by a federal ruling in a 2012 lawsuit filed against Husted by Democrats and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. A U.S. District judge this month ordered Husted “to set uniform and suitable in-person early voting hours for all eligible voters for the three days preceding all future elections.”

The judge’s order make sense. Why shouldn’t voters have more poll accessibility on the threshold of the election.

The new hours are equitable across the board. Now we hope voters make use of their opportunity.