Obama camp, DNC sue Ohio to restore early voting

MANCHESTER, NH - JANUARY 08: Harriet Boylan heads into a voting booth to cast her vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary at the Ward 3 Carol M. Rines Center January 8, 2008 in Manchester, New Hampshire. New Hampshire residents vote today in the nation's first presidential primary. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
(CBS News) President Obama's re-election campaign, along with the DNC and the Ohio Democratic Party, are suing Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine in an effort to get early voting restored in the state ahead of November's presidential election.

The complaint, filed Tuesday, requests a preliminary injunction "to prevent the State Defendants from arbitrarily denying tens of thousands of Ohio voters the right to cast their votes in the three days prior to Election Day."

"Early Vote has proven to be an effective way for Ohioans to make their voices heard," said Obama for America Ohio adviser Aaron Pickrell, Ohio Democratic party chair Chris Redfern, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman, in a joint statement. "Now, Ohio Republicans are threatening that right."

Last year, the Ohio state legislature passed two bills that, together, curtail in-person early voting in the state for the three days prior to November's elections, among other things. Amid ongoing protests among Democrats, one of those laws was repealed, but the provision blocking early voting stayed on the books.

Democrats argue that early voting allows for increased voter participation, in part due to the fact that voters can go to the polls on weekends. In Ohio in 2008, they say, 93,000 voters - or nearly 30 percent of all votes in the state - were cast in the last three days of early voting.

"The last three days of Early Vote are especially important to ensuring a free and fair election. That is why today, we are moving forward in the fight to reinstate the last 3 days of Early Voting and ensure that all Ohio voters can make their voices heard this November," the Democrats' joint statement read.

Husted's office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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