Ohio elections chief who blocked early voting ordered to court

NEWARK, OH - NOVEMBER 3: Four Licking County voters fill out their ballots at the end of a two-and-a-half hour wait to vote November 3, 2008 in downtown Newark, Ohio. Early voting sites across Ohio, a crucial swing state, have been swamped with voters. Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio has ordered the state's elections chief to appear at a court hearing over the swing state's early voting rules.

Secretary of State Jon Husted had issued a memo Tuesday stating he would not allow in-person absentee voting on the weekend before Election Day, despite a judge's order.

In court filing Wednesday attorneys for President Barack Obama's campaign urged U.S. District Judge Peter Economus to enforce his ruling that restored early voting for all voters during the three days before Election Day.

Economus scheduled a hearing for Thursday, Sept. 13, on the Democrats' motion, and ordered Husted to attend.

In his memo Husted stated he was refusing to set hours for in-person absentee voting on the weekend before Election Day because doing so "will only serve to confuse voters" in the event Economus' order is rejected by an appeals court.

His directive also "strictly prohibits" county boards of elections from allowing early voting in the days before the election.

Husted directive on early voting order (pdf)

Husted said early voting will be halted on 6:00 p.m. Friday, as planned.

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