It’s a stumbling block for voters, sure, but we have bigger problems

Sorry to have to address this again, but the fact checkers are apparently busy yelling at Harry Reid, and Romney continues to lie, so here’s the Ohio blog, Plunderbund, with a run-down:

What happened to early voting in Ohio?
· In the 2008 presidential election, more than 93,000 Ohioans utilized early voting in the three days before the election.
· Earlier this year, Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature passed an election reform law that cut off early voting three days before the election.
· More than 300,000 Ohioans signed a petition to secure a referendum on the November 6th ballot in order to repeal this law. Rather than face the referendum, the legislature, at the urging of Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, decided to repeal the law.
· However, “in an unusual turn of events,” Ohio Republicans managed to keep a technical provision of the bill that shortens the early voting process and eliminates the last three days of early voting for all citizens except military personnel and their families.
What does that mean for voters?
In addition to reducing Ohioans’ access to the polls, the legislature created inequality between military voters who can cast early ballots in person through the day before the election and all other voters who only have until 6 p.m. on the Friday before the election to vote in-person absentee.
Why is there a lawsuit?
These restrictions are a violation of the equal protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit seeks to make sure that all Ohioans, including military members and their families, can exercise their right to vote early. “This lawsuit seeks to treat all Ohio citizens equally under the law,” said Obama for America attorney Bob Bauer. “We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day.”
The facts show that Romney’s claim about restricting military voting is a blatant distortion. The purpose of the lawsuit is to ensure that every Ohioan—including military voters—has the right to make their voices heard at the polls.

There’s one more twist on this lie, and that’s absentee ballots. Ohio has what is called “no fault” absentee. Active duty military (or any other Ohio resident) may vote absentee as they would in any other year. Obama’s lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with active duty military voting absentee, despite what you may hear about Obama suing to refuse absentee ballots coming in from out of country. We are talking about is IN-PERSON voting in this three day period.

I don’t think you should overreact to this. The last three days of the early voting period are important, but if the new Republican ban on early voting in those last three days stands, we will work within this like we’ve worked within each and every barrier to voting conservatives have set up since 2002, and I’m sure they’ll come up with still more new rules prior to November.

In my opinion, Pennsylvania voters are in a much more precarious position, because they have one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country AND some of the most restrictive provisional ballot acceptance rules in the country AND they have restrictive absentee balloting AND there is mass confusion on the law, which is being administered by two different state agencies.

Pennsylvania is the perfect storm of voter suppression. New, wildly restrictive law with a completely useless provisional ballot process, political hacks and lobbyists hired to promote the law, mass confusion or complete ignorance on the law, confusion or ignorance that goes all the way up to the governor and the state official in charge of elections, and no mechanism to take pressure off the system with early voting.

For all I know the Breitbart/Romney lie on Ohio is an effort to draw attention away from what’s happening in Pennsylvania. Don’t let that happen. Pennsylvania is where our efforts and attention should be focused.

20 replies
  1. 1
    Nemesis says:

    team romney can win if they steal OH, PA and FL.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    GOP POV:
    Viting is NOT a right.
    It is a privilege.

    And, the older, more rural, and lighter you are, the more privileged you are.

    We’re Constitutional “Originalists,” dammit!

    Honor thy Founding Fathers!
    If you’re renting – no vote for you.
    If you’re a woman – no vote for you.
    If you’re black or brown – ok, 3/5’s of a vote for you – IF a white man casts it for you.

    Now, THAT’S honoring the Constitution, and our blessed Founding Fathers!

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Why don’t I have the ability to edit my moronic mistakes?

    Like writing “Viting” in the first sentence, when I clearly meant “VOTING!”

    ARRRRGH!!!

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    So we’re stuck with viting? Okay. I’m okay with that. Should I bring a wetsuit?

  5. 5
    mai naem says:

    @c u n d gulag: It auto corrected for you in Nazi German – whiting became viting voting when white only! Achtung!

  6. 6
    JoyfulA says:

    Plus Pennsylvania keeps changing the rules every other week. Here’s hoping the (first) lawsuit against the state prevails.

  7. 7
    mai naem says:

    I am watching Morning Ho. Why oh why do I do this? They are talking about how this is all a horse race. I then go to 538 for comfort and sure enough Nate’s got it at 300 evs for the O-Man. The popular vote – not as much. I am far from being overconfident esp. since I’m worried about the Senate but jeez this is not a horse race.

  8. 8
    Jell-OH Schott says:

    Supposely in Ohio, they are going to mail an absentee bellot to every registered voter. I’ll believe this when I see it. I vote absentee every election and I always have to go to the Board of Elections web site and request and absentee ballot.

  9. 9
    cat48 says:

    I’m really depressed about the Voter ID & new laws b/c they’re all being done at the very last minute. I assume it’s deliberate b/c it looks like the election will be close; plus the idiot John Fund has a book about Voter Fraud for the FoxNews crowd to get them all ginned up. It will be brutal.

    Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk [Paperback]
    John Fund (Author), Hans von Spakovsky (Author)

  10. 10
    JoyfulA says:

    @cat48: Yes, Hans von Spakovsky should know, from his antics in the Bush Justice Department.

  11. 11
    Ash Can says:

    Let’s hope the DoJ shuts the PA racket down, and in time.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Bottom line: OvenMitt is a lying sack of shit.

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    thanks for this kay. always need to be kept abreast of the situation

  14. 14
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Jell-OH Schott: That’s interesting because here in Hamilton County, Ohio, we have received unrequested absentee ballots in the mail several times.

    By “we” I mean, me, my husband, and the couple we bought the house from ten years ago — at which time, they moved to Florida; a few years later they died in a car accident on their way back to Cincinnati to visit. It was icy.

  15. 15
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Ohio Mom: Just in case that wasn’t clear, we were getting absentee ballots in the mail for the couple we bought the house from for *years* after they died.

    When I called the Board of Elections they told me they couldn’t remove the names unless someone gave them the death certificates or, and now my memory is a little fuzzy, something like several Presidental elections had passed and they hadn’t voted, at which point their names would automatically be removed from the rolls. I’m sure this system allows absolutely no fraud, unlike say, letting people vote without a picture ID that has an expiration date.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So are all these voter ID laws enough to make people realize that you don’t vote Repub to piss off the Dems? Have any of these laws been passed by Dem governors?

  17. 17
    TRNC says:

    If the repubs were actually interested only in making sure that military voters are less inconvenienced, but still wanted to keep early voting accessible to all, they could have passed a law that allows military voters to go to the front of the line at polling sites.

    If the current law stands, I’d bet money that tumbleweeds roll through the poll sites on the military-only days.

  18. 18

    I agree that PA is where the focus really needs to be. It will be interesting to see whether my change of address is reflected in my absentee ballot mailing; like OH Mom, we’ve always gotten that mail from (the same) county BOE. I changed my address online at BMV, which advises that Husted’s office will be notified. I still plan to check on Broadway, however, to avoid a battle over whether the BMV address change card will suffice to render me not fraudulent.

  19. 19
    James E. Powell says:

    @Nemesis:

    team romney can win if they steal OH, PA and FL.

    Truly. I think that’s their whole campaign right there. Suppress the vote, push racial resentment, foment fears about Social Security & Medicare.

    Absent some economic disaster, I don’t see how else Romney can win.

  20. 20

    […] Oh, I forgot that just a day or two ago we were dealing with this massive, massive lie from the Romney campaign. So maybe when we’re done flopping out of our chairs over Harry Reid […]

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