Doug Mataconis put up a post yesterday clarifying the situation in Ohio. It adds a bit to the puzzle.
The truly odd thing about this is that this is a change in Ohio law. After the 2004 election and the confusion and chaos that resulted throughout the Buckeye State due to very high turnout, the state passed an early voting law that permitted all Ohio voters to vote early right up until the day before Election Day. According to the Obama campaign, as many as 30% of the nearly 6 million people who voted in the 2008 Presidential election voted early under this law. It’s not clear why the law needed to be changed at all, but the reason for the discrepancy seems to be very odd:
The Republican-controlled legislature enacted two laws last year with provisions to move the deadline to the Friday before the election for all voters, then repealed one measure in May to halt a statewide referendum sought by Democrats, the Obama campaign alleged.
“Whether caused by legislative error or partisan motivation, the result of this legislative process is arbitrary and inequitable treatment of similarly situated Ohio voters with respect to in-person early voting,” according to the complaint.
All Ohio voters could vote early up until the day before Election Day. That was changed by the Republican legislature. It is not clear why the law needed to be changed at all. It would be interesting to see if polls indicate that last minute voters tend to vote Democratic.