Early voting is law in over 30 American states
and was formerly available in Ohio, but now only the military may vote early in that state. The Democrats want to restore early voting to others, saying they believe there are fire fighters and police officers, and others, who may need to vote early due to work commitments.
"Along with the DNC and Ohio Democratic Party, this campaign filed a lawsuit to reinstate equal, early-voting rights for all Ohioans - rights the Republican-controlled legislature arbitrarily stripped away this past year," Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina said in a recent email.
Obama push for early voting rights in Ohio
The Democrat lawsuit has nothing to do with taking any early voting rights, or any voting rights whatever, from the military. But Romney, somewhat bizarrely, said said they were attempting to restrict the voting privileges of the military. The former governor of Massachusetts falsely represented Obama's effort and then feigned outrage about it all.
Whether Romney knew how badly he was misrepresenting the lawsuit can't be fully known, but if he had seen the details of it then it seems likely he did. “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," he said.
He also said that a Romney administration would “work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them" and went on to say that the military makes “tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote.”
Veteran says Romney "completely fabricated" claim
Media outlets asked Romney to comment
on his remarks but he and his party declined to do so. Rob Diamond is a member of a group of military veterans who support Obama and in a written statement to media, he talked about how Romney had characterized the lawsuit. “Mitt Romney and his campaign have completely fabricated a claim that the Obama campaign is trying to restrict military voting in Ohio," Diamond wrote.
"In fact, the opposite is true: the Obama campaign filed a lawsuit to make sure every Ohioan, including military members and their families, has early voting rights over the last weekend prior to the election. The case filed with the court could not be clearer on this point."
feel that because Ohio is such a key electoral state - it's been with the winner
in every election but one since 1944 - Republican legislators in the state revoked early voting rights for non-military members to lower the turnout. That would hurt Obama, who took the state in 2008, and Diamond is one who feels that is indeed what the decision was about.
"The real story of what is happening in the Buckeye state is that Mitt Romney supports the Republican effort to stop people from voting by restricting their access to the polls," Diamond wrote. "This latest Republican attack on rights of voters is shameful - and so is Mitt Romney’s endorsement of it.”