Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The president is not trying to suppress military votes in Ohio

Ever since the issue of requiring American voters to show an ID came back up again I've been looking for an example of Democrats trying to prevent military members from voting, as they are likely conservative voters who face some difficulties in voting when they are stationed overseas.

Despite recent claims from the right, I still haven't found that example.

Earlier this week I perked up when I heard on the radio the charge that President Barack Obama's administration is trying to make it tougher for members of the military to vote in Ohio, a swing state for the upcoming election, by filing a lawsuit to remove a three-day window before elections when members of the military can cast votes.

I wanted to believe it, honestly I did, as it would have provided me with a great talking point about how political parties care about making it easier for their likely supporters to vote and do not care about the voting rights of the general public.

However, upon further investigation I realized this accusation against the president is completely bogus.

President Obama's administration wants to make it so everyone in Ohio can vote three days early, not just members of the military. and Politifact both reached the same conclusion. Even Snopes was been able to get the goods in on this issue already.

This is a shamefully baseless accusation, and it frustrates me to see right wingers sticking with the phony story and trying to shrug off the truth. A post at promised to provide previous examples of military voter suppression from the Democrats, but the evidence was weak.

I did learn about accusations of Democrats trying to throw out military votes in the 2000 presidential election, but there were legitimate legal reasons to consider disregarding them. In the end, Florida Attorney General and Al Gore supporter Bob Butterworth ended up making sure those votes were counted.

I don't have time to voice my position on every issue that comes up, but in the interest of honesty and fairness I try to speak up when I see members of the right as well as the left do something outrageous like this. There are too many one-eyed watchdogs looking to invent mistakes from one political group and make excuses for another and I don't ever want to be one of them.


  1. Having been in the military I can tell you about the military postal system and that giving a few extra days to those navigating such a thing is more than reasonable. What I don't understand is how someone translated that into extra days for those voting in person being reasonable. (usually military voters voting not in person and citizens voting overseas have extra time to submit absentee ballots, which is obviously reasonable in both cases, that isn't the issue here though)

    The only question I have here is whether or not the judge hearing this case has the power to say that everyone can vote throughout this period. Off hand, I would say no. A judge might be able to toss out a law, but I'm not sure the judge would be able to in effect rewrite it to include others. If that interpretation is correct, that could possibly change the Obama campaigns angle on this, because the possible legal outcomes may not include what they claim to seek. That doesn't change the fact that the law makes no sense as written, I'm just giving you that.

    I'm not a lawyer though so that's just a laymans musing.

  2. Michael- Thank you for your honesty and fairness. I don't believe any one political side has all the answers- EXCEPT when they eliminate the most extreme rantings from the reasoned discourse that makes a country truly strong.

  3. Great post! Thanks for the legwork! You will probably be getting some play off my FB page if you don't mind me linking your blog articles. I used to Blog and ran for office. With 2 young children, I have little time to manage my voice. I am tired of the "reality show" politics has become and try to point out truth and steer conversation to fact based discussions whenever possible. You do a great job of that! *bookmarks blog*

  4. Thanks Rani, glad to have you here.