Judge Says Prisoners Awaiting Trial Have Same Voting Rights As Citizens

Nov 8, 2019


A federal judge has ruled Ohio prison inmates awaiting trial must be given the same voting rights as other citizens. 

The judge ruled in a 2018 lawsuit filed against Ohio secretary of state Frank LaRose by two Montgomery County inmates, arguing state law violates the Constitution by treating pre-trial inmates differently than other voters. Ohio law grants voters confined in hospitals by unforeseen medical emergencies until 3 p.m. Election Day to apply for an absentee ballot, while inmates have a deadline of noon the Saturday before an election. The judge ordered LaRose not to impose different absentee ballot deadlines on inmates. A LaRose spokesperson says officials are reviewing the ruling.