The 2-1 decision
from a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a
May ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael Watson who struck down
the law that limited early voting, saying it violated voters'
Tuesday's ruling is the latest in a flurry of legal battles over
state voting rules ahead of the Nov. 8 election, including
stricter voter identification laws in some states and laws on
the voting rights of felons in others. . Ohio has long been a
battleground swing state in presidential elections where
Democrats and Republicans are tightly matched.
Ohio's Republican-controlled legislature abolished "Golden Week"
and shortened early voting to 29 days from 35 days, which
critics said directly limited opportunities for minority
participation in elections.
Civil rights groups the American Civil Liberties Union and the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had
challenged the law, but their arguments were not accepted by the
majority opinion at the appeals court.
In the ruling on an appeal filed by the state government the
judges said Ohio is a national leader when it comes to early
voting, allowing people to vote early and in person for four
weeks. "This is really quite generous," the ruling said.
The ruling said the challenged law does not result in injury
under the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act and that despite
the changes, "Ohio continues to provide generous, reasonable,
and accessible voting options to all Ohioans."
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Alistair Bell)
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