Groups protest early closing of early voting center - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Groups protest early closing of early voting center

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Across Ohio, including Lucas County, early voting centers closed at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night.

But there are still some who say they should have stayed open because the shutdown is not democratic.

That's why pastors, union members and student groups protested Saturday morning outside the Lucas County Board of Elections center in downtown Toledo.

They say Ohioans deserve the right to vote in advance of election day.

"And we think it diminishes our right to democracy. And the most important part of democracy is for citizens to be able to vote. And when you diminish our ability to vote, you diminish the democracy we live under," claimed Robert Hull of CWA Local 4319.

It was obvious early voting is popular with Lucas County residents.

The center was packed on Friday night in the minutes leading up to it's closure.

"It should stay open. People are coming from out of town to vote here. Might have been on vacation. Just get home to vote before they go back. Different reasons why they come to vote," said Charlie Washington of the First Church of God.

Early voting was halted because of amended Ohio House Bill 224.

It received bi-partisan support in both the Ohio House and Senate then was signed into law by Governor Kasich.

It's intent is to cut down on voter fraud.

"There's no fraud in early voting. It's no different than regular voting. That's just the way to hide behind the guise of diminishing our ability to participate in democracy," said Mr. Hull.

But those who passed on early voting can participate in democracy when polls open this Tuesday at 6:30 A.M.

Copyright 2011 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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