more equal than others
Mitt Romney attacked a lawsuit brought by President Obama’s campaign seeking the restoration of early voting rights for Ohio voters by falsely implying that Obama is trying to take away the early voting privileges for members of the military.
“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,” Romney said in a statement Saturday.
Actually, the Obama campaign’s lawsuit, filed by the campaign in mid-July, explicitly asks a federal court to restore in-person early voting rights to all eligible Ohio voters on the three days preceding Election Day.
The suit does not seek to prevent members of the military from voting in person during that period, rather it seeks to force Ohio to give other voters (including, for instance, cops and firefighters) the same opportunity to vote.
Before last year, voters in Ohio were allowed to cast their ballots early at voting places throughout the state, starting 35 days before the election and running right up to election day. Then, in June of 2011, the Republican state legislature dramatically curtailed access to the ballot, limiting the early voting period to 16 days before the election and ending it the Friday before the vote. In May, facing the prospect of a ballot initiative overturning their overreach, Ohio Republicans partially restored early voting, restoring the start of early voting to 35 days before the election.
The partial repeal, however, maintained the arbitrary cutoff for early voting of the Friday before the election. Military personnel, however, were given a special exemption to the cutoff, giving them three extra days to vote. The Obama campaign's lawsuit supports maintaining their ability to vote early, but asks that all voters be given the same opportunity to vote. This position, according to Romney, "is an outrage."
In Romney's view, only military personnel should be allowed to vote in the final three days before the election, even though everybody had that right in 2008 and 2010. Of course, Romney didn't complain about it back then. That's no shock—after all, he wasn't running for office, for Pete's sake. And the only thing that Romney is genuinely outraged about now is that he might not be able to rig the election to his advantage.