No more extended balloting hours leaves some Ohio voters upset - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

No more extended balloting hours leaves some voters upset

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is setting uniform hours for early voting statewide for the first time.

Elections boards will stay open until seven on weekdays for most of the two weeks leading up to the election, but he ruled against Saturday hours.

The move comes as democrats pressure Husted to broaden access to the polls.

Union workers and members of the faith community staged a rally Thursday to fight for extended voting hours in Hamilton county, but for now they may be fighting a losing battle.

During the Hamilton County Board of Elections meeting board member Charles Gerhart III told a crowd that the Secretary of State has laid down the law. "The law in Ohio is 35 days and that's more than any other state that neighbors Ohio right now."

The new rule eliminates evening and weekend voting hours.

Board member Alex Triantafilou says the state is allowing plenty of time to vote. "Before 2006 and for generations before people voted on election day. We now have election month plus. You can vote for 35 days."

The 35 days begin Oct. 2 through election day, but supporters of extended voting hours, like Marianne Davis, are not happy. "The right to vote came at a great cost to many people. I believe that public officials are elected to serve the citizenry and I believe that Secretary Husted is not serving the citizenry."

Bill Dudley with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 75 say he sees something sinister in the Secretary of State's action. "It's a pattern we're seeing across the country of trying to have voter suppression in states and its just not right, its not what our country stands for."

Britain Pilkington says she's not satisfied with Board of Elections claim that its hands are tied. "One of the board members said in the opening statement that we are powerless and that really made me angry because as long as we're willing and able to fight for what we believe in...we're never going to be powerless."

Secretary of State Jon Husted says he's trying to level the playing field for voters in all 88 Ohio counties.

In Hamilton county voters can drop off their completed ballots at the Board of Elections 24 hours a day through election day.

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