Ohio elections chief appeals judge’s order on poll closings

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state’s elections chief is appealing a federal judge’s order that required polls in four southwest Ohio counties to stay open for an extra hour during last month’s presidential primary.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott (duh-LAHT’) ordered polls in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties to remain open until 8:30 p.m. on March 15 because of a traffic accident affecting the region. Polls were scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) says he learned of the order after 7:30 p.m. and then directed the boards to stay open.

A Husted spokesman says the decision came without a hearing or a formal complaint, setting a “dangerous precedent” for future elections if unchallenged.

Husted filed his notice of appeal Monday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.