Daran Carlin Weber of Mahoning County, Ohio, got the flyer above from the county Board of Elections in the mail yesterday. It tells Ohio voters that in-person, early voting goes through November 2, and that "Hours vary by county." November 2 is the Friday before Election Day, or three days sooner than allowed by a federal court in a ruling last week.
You can find the same information on the state elections site. Ohio's top elections official, Secretary of State Jon Husted, is appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Lately a champion of uniformity, Husted previously allowed fewer days for voting in Democratic counties than in Republican ones. He then decided to impose a shortened window for early voting on all counties.
With the court ruling that counties can offer voting on the last weekend -- days that proved popular last time with African-American voters -- some counties are again trying to offer them. The hitch is that the boards of elections include two Democrats and two Republicans. Especially in Democratic counties, Republicans have tended to vote against expanding voting, leaving the board deadlocked. Secretary of State Husted gets to break the tie.
This time around, the challenge to Husted is playing out differently. Lucas County, which went for Barack Obama last time, deadlocked on early voting this week. Lefty Ohio blog Plunderbund reports that Licking County, which went for Obama, decided to allow more voting. One place that went for John McCain, Delaware County, is now deadlocked. Another McCain county, Butler, voted for more days in a meeting that sounds like kind of a mess, with Republicans walking out and Democrats insisting there was a quorum.
Ohio, if you're confused about when you get to vote, it's understandable.