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Romney camp favors taking away early-voting rights for 900,000-plus military vets in Ohio

The falsehood peddled by the Republicans regarding early-voting rights in Ohio is fundamentally the opposite of what’s actually happening.

It’s the Romney campaign, not the Obama campaign, that’s trying to restrict the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of military veterans in Ohio.

HERE‘s what Jon Soltz, a two-tour veteran of the war in Iraq and chairman of VoteVets.org says:

Mitt Romney, by supporting the Ohio law that would do away with three days of early voting for all but those covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act (‘UOCAVA’), is supporting the restriction of voting rights for as many as 913,000 Ohio veterans. This includes military retirees with over 20 years of service and multiple deployments. In short, Mitt Romney supports efforts to make voting more difficult for the very people who have put their lives on the line after swearing an oath to uphold our Constitution and democracy.

Once you leave the military, you are no longer covered by UOCAVA. Your voting rights are the same as any civilian. That means the early voting law which Mitt Romney wants to undo, provided hundreds of thousands of Ohio veterans with more of an opportunity to vote. By all accounts, Ohio voters liked and used the early voting law. In 2008, nearly one-third of all ballots was cast under the early voting measures, surely many of them veterans.

Interestingly, the press reported that 15 military and veterans’ groups supported Romney’s position. That isn’t the case. Those groups actually petitioned the court to be involved in the case, because of their concerns that the end result, whatever it was, might hurt troops’ ability to vote. On Friday, the Obama Campaign actually signed a brief to the court that backed the petition of those groups – welcoming them into the case, because the Obama campaign says it wants to ensure that military voters aren’t kept from early voting.

UPDATE: Steve Benen frames the issue THUSLY:

Obama wants all eligible Ohio voters, including servicemen and women, to have the same ability to vote, which Romney says, in writing, means Obama is trying to “undermine” the troops’ ability to vote.

This is as loathsome a lie as Romney has told all year — and given his record, that’s not an easy threshold to meet.

It’s important to realize that this isn’t a matter of opinion. CNN’s headline over the weekend said, “Romney campaign jabs at Obama over voting rights suit.” The headline on the Politico homepage yesterday said, “Obama, Mitt camps spar on military voting.”

No. Wrong. No one is “jabbing” or “sparring.” One candidate lied and got caught. Full stop.

Indeed, when pressed, Romney’s spokesperson could point to “no place in Obama’s lawsuit that seeks to restrict the rights of military voters,” and Romney’s legal counsel failed to “offer evidence that Obama’s lawsuit would make it tougher for members of the military to vote.”

After the campaign’s dishonesty was exposed, Romney put a twist on his lie, saying Obama now opposes giving the troops special treatment. But even by Republican standards, this is insane — by this reasoning, Romney supports a policy that discriminates against military veterans in Ohio who would be legally prohibited from the same early-voting rights as active-duty servicemen and women.

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14 Comments

  1. IdsofMarch

    Yeah, sure….Most Military personnel vote Republican….that’s why Rom wants the Military not to vote….nothing like a Liberal to try anything when they are desperate!

  2. IdsofMarch: The simple FACT of the matter is that Romney supports a law that takes away early-voting rights of thousands of military veterans in Ohio.

    You may not recognize that fact, but it’s nonetheless true.

    If you can prove otherwise, let’s hear it.

  3. IdsofMarch

    OK, I’ll bite, where is it documented that he supports this….I would like to verify it.

  4. IdsofMarch: How dumb can you get?

    Here’s the deal:

    After Republicans took over the Ohio legislature in 2010, lawmakers eliminated early voting in the three days preceding the election for all Ohio voters except members of the military. With the passage of two new laws, early voting privileges were kept intact for military members under the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act while other voters, including thousands of vets, were precluded from voting the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before election day.

    The Obama campaign has filed suit, seeking to restore early-voting rights for all Ohioans, including all the vets. The Romney campaign has criticized that lawsuit, thereby indicating its support for the restrictive laws in question.

  5. Romney and his ilk do not want a level playing field for voters. It’s shameful that they make every effort to disenfranchise those who do not support their platform by claiming that voter fraud is rampant. Just more from the dirty tricks bag.

  6. IdsofMarch

    OK, I don’t see how this will impact Military (Active Duty)….they need the extra time. I would be interested in why the Legislature deemed it necessary to eliminate early voting…did they give reasons?

  7. IdsofMarch

    Calm down Pat, trying to turn in this issue into a “Rom hates the Military and Vets” is stretching things even for a Liberal.

    Can someone explain how everyone other than Active Duty Military personnel are not playing on a “Level Playing Field”…..you see I’m Dumb and can’t see it.

  8. IdsofMarch: It’s simple — if you are active duty military personnel, you have until the day before the election to turn in your absentee ballot. If you are not active duty military personnel (including, as the above quoted statement notes, veterans), then you must turn in your absentee ballot sooner. In short, active duty military personnel have more time to turn in their ballots than anyone else. Whenever you have a system that gives more opportunity to one group than another it is not a level playing field.

    Just to cut it off at the pass though: NO ONE is saying that active duty military personnel shouldn’t have that extra time. The argument is that everyone should have that extra time. What’s so terrible about allowing everyone the same opportunity to have their vote counted?

  9. IdsofMarch

    I think that everyone should have the extra time, too….I just have not heard Mitt say anything about this….has he made any statements? Why is this being passed in the first place…?

  10. Nav Gator

    This is just another lie by the Obama campaign. They can not run on his terrible record, so he will say or do anything to throw mud on his opponent. What happened to hope and change. His Nixonesque puppet Harry Reid has sunk to knew lows – my secret source told me something “bad” about Romney – now Romney has to prove its wrong. What a low life!!

  11. IdsofMarch: “President Obama’s lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state’s early voting period is an outrage.”

    That quote was from Mitt Romney, as quoted in the following article:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/05/axelrod-defends-suit-on-ohio-military-voting-law-calls-romney-stance-hameful/

    The following is taken from the same article: “By Sunday afternoon, Romney campaign general counsel Katie Biber issued a statement saying the campaign disagrees with the premise of the Obama campaign and DNC’s argument that providing military voters and their families extra days to vote is “arbitrary” and unconstitutional.”

  12. IdsofMarch

    OK, I get it now…Obama is saying that it is unconstitutional for Military to have something that the general pubic will not have and Rom is saying that it is not unconstitutional. What all the flack is about is that Ohio is passing a law that changes how the general public can vote. Nothing in the Bill changes the Military status.

    My question is what are the reasons that Ohio is giving for changing the Law in the first place…?

  13. The Attorney General of Ohio recently defended the law in an NPR piece by arguing that members of the military should have more opportunities to get their votes in.

    So, while that doesn’t really defend the actual law (since the new law simply reduced the opportunities for non-military), that’s the line that the proponents of the law are going to tout.

  14. IdsofMarch

    Well, it appears my original Post was correct. Mitt is just saying that the State has the right to establish voting procedures and he is not anti Military…. this is tough trying to explain to Liberals….

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