State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) on Thursday released the statement below in response to the filing by the ACLU of a new lawsuit to restore early voting access in Ohio. The lawsuit challenges Senate Bill 238's elimination of Golden Week and Directive 2014-06's elimination of evening voting and the final 2 and 1/2 days of early voting.  

"I fully support this challenge to the GOP cuts to early voting which hurt all Ohio voters, especially minority voters. 59,000 people used early voting during Golden Week in 2012. Many of them used the opportunity to register and vote at the same time. Boards of Elections are already open for business during this week and there is only a minimal extra burden for them to serve voters during that week.  

“Early voting was one of the only areas where Ohio led the country in voting access. Ohio badly lags the rest of the country in all other important metrics, such as: registering voters under the Motor Voter law, giving out regular ballots instead of provisional ballots and counting provisional and absentee ballots with harmless paperwork errors.  

“Early voting has also become an essential part of running smooth elections. In the time Ohio has adopted and expanded early voting, Election Day precincts have dropped from 11,571 in 2004 to 9,316 in 2012. With such big cuts to voting access, Ohio's readiness for future major elections is in jeopardy."

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State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released the following statement after the Ohio House today passed House Bill (HB) 49, the two-year state budget largely along partisan lines.