Example: [Collected via e-mail, August 2012]
President Barack Obama, along with many Democrats, likes to say that, while they may disagree with the GOP on many issues related to national security, they absolutely share their admiration and dedication to members of our armed forces. Obama, in particular, enjoys being seen visiting troops and having photos taken with members of our military. So, why is his campaign and the Democrat party suing to restrict their ability to vote in the upcoming election?
On July 17th, the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in OH to strike down part of that state's law governing voting by members of the military. Their suit said that part of the law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis."
Origins: On 17 July 2012, Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party jointly filed a lawsuit (Obama for America v. Husted) in Ohio challenging changes to that state's voting laws. Prior to the changes in those laws, many Ohio residents were allowed to vote early in person up until the Monday before Election Day; after the changes, voters using the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act ("UOCAVA") were still allowed to engage in early voting up until the Monday before Election Day, but the early voting deadline for most
As described by the Associated Press (AP):
Obama for America's lawsuit comes after a series of election law changes cleared the state's Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. John Kasich signed them.
Before the changes, local boards of election had the discretion to set their own early, in-person voting hours on the days before the election. People were allowed up until Monday before the Tuesday election to vote in person. Weekend voting varied among the state's
With the changes, most Ohioans now have until the Friday evening before the Tuesday election to cast a ballot in person. But military voters can continue to vote in person until Monday.
Whether caused by legislative error or partisan motivation, the result of this legislative process is arbitrary and inequitable treatment of similarly situated Ohio voters with respect to in-person early voting. The Ohio General Assembly has failed to articulate any justification for this differential treatment of UOCAVA and non-UOCAVA voters, and no justification can be discerned.
If this Court concludes that Ohio's early voting law violates the Equal Protection Clause, U.S. Const.,
Attorneys for the Democrats argue such "disparate" treatment is unconstitutional, and all voters should be able to vote on those days.
AMVETS, the National Guard Association of the United States, the Association of the U.S. Army and other organizations asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
The military groups say federal and state law recognizes that service members need extra time to cast their ballots. They say they fear the precedent that could be set if a court finds that military voters shouldn't be treated differently than other voters.
"Efforts to facilitate and maximize military voting should be welcomed, not viewed with constitutional suspicion," the groups said in a court filing that seeks to intervene in the case.
In August 2012, a federal judge sided with the plaintiffs and granted an injunction against the law which limited the amount of early voting time available for non-military voters:
"On balance, the right of Ohio voters to vote in person during the last three days prior to Election Day — a right previously conferred to all voters by the state — outweighs the state's interest in setting a 6 p.m. deadline," Economus wrote.
Dwyer, Devin. "Obama Campaign Sues to Extend Ohio Early Voting." ABCNews.com. 17 July 2012. Harris, Andrew. "Military Groups Oppose Obama Campaign Ohio Early Voter Suit." Bloomberg News. 1 August 2012. Associated Press. "Military Groups Oppose Obama Campaign Ohio Lawsuit." The Marietta Times. 3 August 2012. Reuters. "Court Overturns Ohio Early Voting Restrictions in Win for Democrats." 1 September 2012.