Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's challenge to broad early in-person voting in the days leading up to Election Day has been turned back.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Husted's appeal to stay a lower court decision opening up the early voting to everyone.
Husted tells AkronNewsNow that though he still believes election rules should be set by the state, not the federal courts, it's time to move on for this election.
"But given that the court did not give us a stay, and that they are not going to review the case before the election," Husted says, "it's time to move beyond this."
Husted ordered uniform early voting hours for all 88 Ohio counties in the days before election day.
Those hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4; and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.
Husted says that despite Ohio filing opposition to the expanded early voting, the state is ready to handle the voting hours.
"So far, more than 1.4 million Ohioans have either cast a ballot or requested an early ballot," Husted tells AkronNewsNow.com. "Things are running very smoothly right now, and I don't expect that this decision will have any impact on the election whatsoever."
Husted says the state can still pursue an appeal of the case after the election.
(Earlier ANN coverage) The Supreme Court is siding with Democrats in refusing to block the final early voting days here in the battleground state of Ohio.
The court refused a Republican request to get involved in a dispute over early voting in the state on the three days before Election Day.
The campaign of President Obama and Ohio Democrats sued the state over changes in Ohio law that took away the three days of voting for most people, but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas.
Democrats say nearly 100,000 people voted in the three days before the election in 2008.A federal appeals court ruling reinstated voting on the weekend before the election and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.
Husted released a statement saying, "Despite the Court’s decision today [Tuesday] to deny our request for a stay, I firmly believe Ohio and its elected legislature should set the rules with respect to elections in Ohio, and not the federal court system.
However, the time has come to set aside the issue for this election."
In response, Husted issued a directive to all 88 Ohio county Boards of Elections, setting the hours for that final weekend of early voting. He ordered them open Saturday November 3rd from 8AM to 2PM, Sunday November 4th from 1PM to 5PM, and Monday November 5th from 8AM to 2PM.
The Ohio Democratic Party released a statement, saying they will now challenge to have early voting extended to every weekend leading up to Election Day.