(Newsroom America) -- A federal judge in Ohio ruled Friday the state must extend early-voting rules to all residents, not just members of the military, granting a victory to the campaign of President Obama.
U.S. District Judge Peter Economus in Columbus issued a preliminary injunction in the case regarding a state law that ends early voting for most state residents on the Friday evening before the Tuesday election.
The law makes an exception for military personnel and Ohio residents living overseas.
In his ruling Economus said the state was unconstitutionally limiting voting rights by valuing some state residents over others. He further said he expects Republican Ohio elections chief, Secretary of State Jon Husted, to direct all county election boards to maintain a consistent schedule over the three days before the general election, "in keeping with his earlier directive that only by doing so can he ensure that Ohio's election process is `uniform, accessible for all, fair, and secure.'"
Reports said Husted's office was examining the ruling. Attorney General Mike DeWine's office quickly said it would appeal the ruling.
The Obama campaign had sued DeWine and Husted over the law's legality, arguing that all state residents should have the same opportunity to vote.
State attorneys have argued that other states have similar early-voting laws for military personnel, such as allowing them to send in absentee ballots 45 days before the election. Also, they argued that county election boards need the three days before the general election to prepare.
Economus disagreed, saying he found merit in the Obama campaign's case that the law improperly granted special favoritism to uniformed personnel.
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