Gregg Levine of Al Jazeera America reported on the abrupt end of Ohio’s same-day registration/early voting combo week and rollback of Sunday voting, after an emergency stay (of a lower ruling invalidating the reductions) by the Supreme Court:
[Tuesday] was to be the first day of Ohio’s “Golden Week,” a six-day overlap between the end of voter registration and the beginning of early voting for the November 4 General Election. But on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State and allowed to go forward a plan that significantly reduced the number of days voters could cast early ballots.
So what was being reduced and who was being affected most by the changes?
The  provisions that allowed voters to register and vote the same day (the ballot counted only if the registration checked out) proved popular in African-American communities, as did weekend voting […] Ohio’s GOP-dominated government moved to cut the number of early voting days to 28, eliminating the Golden Week, some Sunday voting, and limiting operating times of polling stations to reduce availability outside traditional working hours.
This goes right back to the points Nate and I discussed on Episode 101 of Arsenal For Democracy, earlier this week, about the Republican efforts to suppress early voting options that benefited minorities.
And what happened when a lower court tried to block the reduction of early voting options on the grounds that it was a violation of the Voting Rights Act because of the disparate impact on minority and low-income voters?
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted rushed an appeal to the Supreme Court…
While his appeal is pending, he received an emergency stay, which allows the new, restrictive rules to go into effect, thereby reducing early voting options significantly in this year’s statewide elections in Ohio. Which is interesting because:
Husted is, himself, locked in a tight election battle with Democrat Nina Turner, an Ohio state senator.
Funny how that works. Looks like the Supreme Court just interfered in a close partisan election. Woops.
Levine also warns that this emergency stay may signal an impending second round of gutting the Voting Rights Act, possibly with the effective elimination of Section 2, which relates to changes in voting practice that have discriminatory effects, whether intended or not. The Supreme Court has never issued a written opinion on Section 2 since its amendment in 1982. Last year, of course, the court canceled the geographic formula in Section 4 that required special scrutiny and explicit Federal approval for changes in certain jurisdictions with a history of egregious discrimination.