Toledoans protest 'undemocratic' closure of early vote center

The early voting center on Washington Street was closed on Friday. / Tim Wening

Cancelling early weekend voting and voting a day before the election is "undemocratic and un-American"--at least that's what a coalition of local students, churches and labor leaders had to say at an early voting rally on Monday.

The group gathered on Saturday and Monday at the Early Voting Center on Washington Street to protest Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's decision to shut down early voting three days before the election.

Husted said the shut down was part of amendments made to House Bill 224, which was originally written to deal with military ballots. Democrats believe the decision was made to block their voters from getting to the polls.

"This deliberate attempt to disenfranchise people runs against the basic principles of democracy," the Toledo protesters wrote in a statement. "'Let the people vote!' is the message we are sending out."

The Toledo area saw 5,551 early votes last year--more than 4 times the number in 2009.