Why Ohio Republicans Are So Determined To Restrict Early Voting, In One Chart

Two federal courts have blocked an Ohio law cutting back opportunities for voters to cast an early ballot during this year’s election, yet Ohio’s Republican officials continue to fight tooth and nail to keep voters from voting early. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted and Attorney General Mike DeWine plan to appeal the most recent decision blocking the anti-voting law to the Supreme Court, and Husted even openly defied a court order permitting early voting until the judge who issued that order demanded that Husted appear in court.

In case anyone has any doubts why Ohio Republicans are so opposed to early voting, this is why:

That chart is taken from a recent poll of Ohio voters. Although it shows Romney with a slight lead among people who have yet to vote, Obama leads by a massive 20 points among those who have already cast their ballot.

There are two likely explanations for this discrepancy. One is the simple fact that Obama has invested significantly more resources into his ground game, and that includes turning more people out to vote early rather than waiting for them to show up election day. Another, equally important reason, however, is the fact that many likely Obama voters are simply less likely to turn out if they cannot cast an early ballot. As the Sixth Circuit explained in its decision blocking the Ohio anti-voting law, “’early voters have disproportionately lower incomes and less education than election day voters,” and thus are less likely to have jobs that give them the flexibility to take time off to vote on election day.