President Barack Obama's re-election campaign on Friday urged the US Supreme Court to uphold lower court decisions allowing in-person early voting in the battleground state of Ohio in the three days before the Nov. 6 general election.

Ohio, critical to both Democrat Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, began early in-person voting last Tuesday but planned to cut it off on Nov. 2, the Friday before the Nov. 6 election, except for members of the military.

The Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party had sued Ohio officials to restore early voting right up to election day eve. Republicans opposed their efforts, saying a cutoff was needed to reduce voter fraud.

Last week, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a US District Court order that reinstated early voting in the final days before the election.

Ohio's top election official, Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, asked the US Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn that decision. In a response filed on Friday evening, Obama's campaign asked the high court to let the 6th Circuit decision stand.

Early voting and extended voting hours are thought to benefit Democrats because lower-income people, who tend to vote Democratic, are more likely to work odd hours.

The US Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling soon, with the election just more than three weeks away.

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