Judge orders expanded Ohio early voting schedule

COLUMBUS (AP) — A federal judge has blocked an Ohio law trimming early voting and ordered the swing state’s elections chief to set an expanded voting schedule.

The ruling Thursday from U.S. District Judge Peter Economus comes in a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups and others challenging two early-voting measures.

One is a directive from Secretary of State Jon Husted setting uniform voting times that restricted weekend and evening hours. Another is a law that eliminates so-called “golden week” — when people could both register to vote and cast ballots.

The judge sided with groups that claimed the changes disproportionately hurt low-income and black voters. The state argued the organizations couldn’t prove the rules illegally placed an undue burden on voters.

Under the judge’s order, early voting would begin Sept. 30.

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