Federal judge keeps more early voting opportunities in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge in Ohio has refused to delay enforcement of a ruling that restored certain early voting opportunities for the November general election.

U.S. District Judge Michael Watson also agreed in a ruling Thursday to stay the earlier decision for the Aug. 2 special election while an appeal is pending, but kept it in place for the Nov. 8 election.

The Ohio Democratic Party and others sued over Republican-backed voting changes, including eliminating a so-called golden week when Ohioans could both register to vote and cast early ballots.

Watson sided with Democrats on their golden-week claim, ruling the cut unconstitutional.

In another ruling, a separate federal judge agreed to stay an earlier decision regarding how absentee and provisional ballots are counted until after the August election.