Updated: September 7, 2012, 3:33 PM
After being summoned to court by a federal judge, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday backed away from his order that would have banned counties from planning for early voting.Husted’s original order had essentially ignored a ruling by U.S. District Judge Peter Economus, who declared that the state couldn’t take away early voting in the three days before the election. Economus sided with the Obama campaign, which sued Ohio to get the early voting re-implemented.
In a court filing on Friday afternoon, Husted said he “apologizes to the federal district court” for creating what he called the “misimpression” that he was ignoring the order. “The Secretary would never intentionally contravene an order issued by the federal district court or any other court — and this case is no exception,” the filing said.
Ohio also requested a stay of the court’s order until their appeal is heard with the Sixth Circuit.
“Absent a stay or a directive by the Secretary, there is a real concern that county boards of elections will begin issuing early in-person absentee voting schedules for the three-day period before the Secretary can issue a uniform schedule,” the filing said. “County-by-county action on this issue would only lead to significant administrative difficulties and further voter confusion.”