Early voting begins in less than a month in the pivotal swing state of Ohio.
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday refused to intervene in a request by Ohio Democrats to restore an extra week of early voting. That week in Ohio, known as “golden week,” would allow voters to register and cast early ballots at the same time.
The reduction in early voting orchestrated by Republican lawmakers mainly affects African-Americans and other minorities who tend to use that option more than White voters to cast their ballots.
Ohio State Representative Alicia Reece, who has been pushing back against GOP voter suppression tactics in her state, said, “This is why who is on the Supreme Court is so important.
“When we take these things to the courts, we have to make sure that we’re going to have listening ears.”
Amazingly, Ohio’s “golden week” was instituted via bipartisanship. Reece explained on NewsOne Now that prior to the 2008 election and after the “Bush debacle,” the Republican-led General Assembly worked with Democrats to make the polls more accessible to voters.
As a result, voters were allowed to register and vote within the same week and the board of elections created “Souls to the Polls” by way of their faith-based initiative.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last. According to State Representative Reece, after the election of President Barack Obama, they said, “Wait a minute, these things are terrible.”
Reece told viewers, “These same Republicans that said ‘Let’s create these things together,’ are the same people that are saying ‘Let’s take them away.'”
According to court records, in 2008, more than 60,000 people voted during “golden week” and that number ballooned to 80,000 in 2012.
Watch Roland Martin and State Representative Alicia Reece discuss the targeted limiting of early voting in Ohio in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty