The US Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a Republican request to get involved in a dispute over early voting in Ohio on the three days before Election Day.
The campaign of President Barack Obama and Ohio Democrats sued the state over changes in Ohio law that took away the three days of voting for most people, but made exceptions for military personnel and Ohioans living overseas. Democrats say nearly 100,000 people voted in the three days before the election in 2008.
A federal appeals court ruling reinstated voting on the weekend before the election and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, to no avail.
Personally, I cannot see a good reason to end early voting, as has been done for years in Ohio.
This isn’t about “Voter ID” laws. This was about the tradition of many, many Ohioans going to vote after church on the Sunday before elections.
America should be looking to ENCOURAGE as many legally registered voters to take part in the electoral process – not discourage.
Shame on the Ohio Secretary of State. Bad politics.
Over the weekend, results of polls from important swings states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia) were released.
Of particular interest here is all three polls are of “Likely voters” and all three were done after both conventions.
According to a PPP poll
of likely Ohio voters, 15 percent of Republicans in Ohio think Romney
is “more responsible” for bin Laden’s death than Obama, while 47 percent
of Republicans are “not sure” whether Obama or Romney deserves more of
Six percent of the overall respondents gave Romney
credit where credit is not at all due regarding the killing of bin Laden.
Thirty-one percent of them
weren’t sure whether the president or the candidate deserves more
And these people get to vote.
Via ThinkProgress: Jon Husted, Republican Secretary of State in Ohio, is refusing to change his restrictive early voting schedule even after a federal court restored in-person early voting to all Ohioans during the three day period before the general election.
Husted claims expanding hours before an appeals court hears his case will “only serve to confuse voters.”
Husted first restricted the voting hours in Democratic-leaning urban counties to weekdays only, then restricted all counties’ voting schedules after complaints of unfairness.
In spite of several counties’ requests to stay open on weekends, when most employed people have time to vote, Husted has flatly refused to accommodate them.
The Obama campaign has sued the state of Ohio in federal court – to restore the three day early voting period that Republicans in the state legislature eliminated – and won.
A federal judge in Ohio on Friday restored early voting rights in the three days before the election, ruling in favor of the Obama campaign.
U.S. District judge Peter C. Economus ruled that “restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) voters from early voting.”
“Instead, and more importantly, it places all Ohio voters on equal standing,” Economus ruled. He said the state “fails to articulate a precise, compelling interest in establishing the 6 p.m. Friday deadline as applied to non-UOCAVA voters and has failed to evidence any commitment to the ‘exception’ it rhetorically extended to UOCAVA voters.”
Mitt Romney earlier had falsely tried to rewrite the issue: “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.
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.
“This lawsuit seeks to treat all Ohio citizens equally under the law,” Obama for America attorney Bob Bauer said in a statement. “We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day.”
Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department has filed 10 lawsuits and reached nine settlements with various states to protect military voters under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).
A new NBC/Marist poll of Ohio registered voters shows President Obama at the fifty percent mark in the swing state against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who sees 38 percent versus the President. Obama leads all possible GOP challengers in the state by double digits, which sampled over 3,000 Ohio voters. From Marist’s analysis:
Ohio voters are more likely to identify as independents than they were in a similar poll conducted in October 2008. 35% of registered voters now consider themselves to be independent compared with 31% at that time. Republican identification has decreased from 31% to 26%, and Democrats are little changed. They went from 37% in 2008 to 38% now.
“President Obama’s advantage over his potential challengers in Ohio is underscored by the fact that more voters support him over the GOP field than approve of his job performance,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
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Mitt Romney leads by 6.7% in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls regarding the GOP Presidential nomination.
We’ll see where that lies after this coming Super Tuesday.
By the way – everyone is talking about Ohio being the big prize both Santorum AND Romney really need to win.
However, not much attention has been paid to the fact that Santorum has already lost nine delegates by not being on ballots in three Ohio congressional districts. Each district merits three delegates.
Santorum failed to file a full complement of delegates in six additional districts, said central committee member Bob Bennett. That adds up to another nine delegates, for a total of 18 out of the 63 up for grabs.
Santorum also did not file all 18 of his at-large delegates.
“He may very well leave delegates on the sidelines,” Bennett said. “Say he would win 70 percent of the state. He doesn’t have that many delegates.”
Finally some passion.
I have nothing against people getting wealthy. Heck, I’d like to be wealthy.
But as Congressman Ryan points out – high level execs are getting tens of thousands in raises and the wealthy are getting tax cuts while teachers, fire fighters and police are being asked for pay cuts. Not gonna work for me.
Congressman Ryan brings some honest respect and passion to the discussion.