Anyone who cares about the right to vote should be very concerned by yesterday’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Husted v. NAACP . The one-paragraph stay order effectively stops same day registration in Ohio, which was to start today, and reduces the early voting period. The evidence showed that these voting opportunities were heavily used by African American and poor voters, who will be disproportionately burdened by the cuts. Even more disconcerting, however, are the implications of yesterday’s decision for the future of the right to vote. [Read Comment]
On June 5, a hearing was scheduled before the Ohio Secretary of State to consider rules relating to HB 3 regulating voter registration (See the Notice of Hearing here). These regulations mirror emergency rules already in place that became effective May 1, 2006, and are set to expire on July 30, 2006 (see Emergency Regulations and Proposed Regulations below). In effect, the outcome of this hearing will decide whether these regulations will remain as merely emergency rules, expiring as originally set, or become rules that would regulate the registration of voters past the original deadline of July 30, 2006.
Amended Proposed Regulations (Refiled June 14, 2006)