uring the 2004 election, Ohio had the longest lines to vote in the country, with five-hour waits in heavily Democratic cities like Cleveland and Columbus. A post-election report for the DNC estimated that 3 percent of Ohioans—174,000 people—left their polling places without voting, a larger number than George W. Bush’s 118,000 vote margin of victory in the Buckeye State. D
“The Election Day experience for most African American voters was starkly different from that of most white voters in Ohio,” the pollsters Cornell Belcher and Diane Feldman found. African Americans waited an average of 52 minutes to vote, while the wait for white voters was only 18 minutes. Twice as many black voters reported experiencing problems at the polls …
Federal courts eventually restored much of the early voting days, but the Ohio GOP still successfully eliminated the first week of early voting, when voters could also register and vote at the same time, known as “Golden Week.” Today, in a major victory for voting rights, a federal court restored the Golden Week period of early voting and same-day registration, which will make it easier for tens of thousands of Ohioans to cast a ballot in 2016.
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