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Federal Court Says Ohio Inmates Can't Get Extended Time For Absentee Voting

In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, a voter casts their ballot on the first day of early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo
/
Associated Press
In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, a voter casts their ballot on the first day of early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati.

Federal appeals judges have ruled that people in Ohio who unexpectedly find themselves in jail ahead of an election should not be granted the same ability to vote late as those who are suddenly hospitalized.

A three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturned a lower court ruling in favor of two men jailed the weekend before the 2018 elections. The men sued claiming unequal treatment and First Amendment violations.

While inmates are required to meet the statewide absentee ballot requesting deadline of noon, three days before an election, hospitalized patents are given until 3 p.m. on Election Day.

The judges ruled Ohio's interest in orderly administering elections the burden of the absentee ballot requirement.