A recent New York Times editorial offers a look at the fight to protect early voting in Ohio—and Mitt Romney's "extraordinary lie" about this campaign's efforts to support voting rights for all Ohioans:
The state legislature cut back on the early voting period, and banned it in the three days prior to Election Day. (Even though 93,000 Ohioans voted in those three days in 2008.) An exception, however, was made for military personnel, who tend to lean Republican.
The Obama campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party filed a lawsuit last month in federal court, saying the practice violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit asked the court to restore to everyone the right to vote in the last three days.
Then, in an extraordinary lie, Mr. Romney issued a statement Saturday turning the lawsuit around to accuse Democrats of trying to end early voting for 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,” he said. He went on to say that the “brave men and women of our military” make tremendous sacrifices for the country, and that everything should be done “to protect their fundamental right to vote.”
The lawsuit does nothing of the kind. It simply seeks to give civilians the same voting rights as servicemen and women. But just as Republicans have twisted the Voter ID issue into a fight against a phony trend of fraud, they are now trying to turn the early-voting battle into a defense of the military against an administration falsely portrayed as anti-soldier.
If Mr. Romney truly cared about the “fundamental right to vote,” he would support it for everyone, even those who might not support him.
Read the full editorial here.