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Ohio Appeals to Supreme Court on Early Voting

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Three weeks before Election Day, Republican Party leaders in Ohio have asked the Supreme Court to step in and allow the state’s early in-person voting restriction to take effect.

Two lower federal courts have ruled in favor of Obama campaign officials who asked for a preliminary injunction against Ohio’s law, which allows only military members and their families to vote in person on the three days prior to the election.

The Obama campaign, joined by state Democratic Party officials, had challenged the law, pointing out that all voters had been allowed to vote in that time frame in recent elections.

A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Democrats on Oct. 5 and said that if local election boards in Ohio allowed early voting from Saturday, Nov. 3 to Monday, Nov. 5, the voting had to be open to all voters.

“The state must show that its decision to reduce the early voting time for non-military voters is justified by a ‘sufficiently weighty’ interest,” the court said. “The state has proposed no interest which would justify reducing the opportunity to vote by a considerable segment of the voting population.”

The legal dispute comes in a state of critical importance for the upcoming presidential election.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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