With a one-sentence decision reading "The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied," the U.S. Supreme Court has extricated itself from a case that increased the chances that President Obama would win Ohio and the election. Briefly recapping the situation, early voting has already started in Ohio. However, the Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted, decided to close the polls on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before election day except for military families. They would be allowed to vote then, but nobody else would.
The Obama campaign took the state to court on the grounds that there was no valid reason to allow one class of voters to get three extra days and not others. Husted knew very well, of course, that the majority of people who vote the weekend before the election are Democrats, many of them lower-income voters who can't take off from work on election day. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state could not keep the polls open for some voters but not all. Then Husted appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the Appeals Court's ruling from taking effect. The Supreme Court refused to grant the stay, so all Ohio Voters will be allowed to vote the weekend before the election.
This is probably the most important news of the day, even more than the presidential debate. An estimated 100,000 people will vote in the weekend before the election, the majority of them Democrats. If their votes help Obama carry Ohio, it would take a near miracle for Romney to get to 270 electoral votes. He would have to win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado and a few more swing states.
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