YOUNGSTOWN - Mahoning County commissioners on Thursday directed the prosecutor's office to file a brief in federal appeals court supporting the court's decision to allow some weekend voting.
The appeal in the U.S. Sixth Circuit of Appeals comes in a lawsuit filed by the Obama For America campaign, which sought to overturn a decision by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted that banned voting on the three weekends before the November general election.
A federal judge recently ruled that the state may hold early voting the weekend before the election.
Mahoning County Board of Elections Director Joyce Kale-Pesta said they are waiting to see how the appeals court rules before hours are set.
Despite Husted's decision against weekend voting, commissioners passed a resolution last month authorizing the Board of Elections to hold voting on those weekends should they choose to do so before the federal judge issued his ruling.
Husted is a Republican. All three Mahoning commissioners are Democrats.
Commissioner Chairman John McNally said they hope Husted will allow early voting on the weekends because it will make it easier for more people to vote.
''We hope the secretary of state will change his mind on that before October,'' McNally said.
Kale-Pesta said voters are allowed to vote early beginning Oct. 3 until two weeks before the election and the board offices will stay open until 7 p.m. to accommodate them.
McNally said the board has the money available to be open early if they are allowed to be.
Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said the decision should be easy.
''Let people vote,'' he said. ''It's American.''