by Joe Vardon, The Columbus Dispatch
The Romney campaign and veterans groups opposed to a lawsuit in Ohio filed by President Barack Obama’s campaign continue to portray the suit as an objection to certain voting privileges for military voters.
But two constitutional-law professors from different battleground states - Ohio and Florida - strongly disagree with the Romney campaign, and some other veterans groups say that Romney is supporting denial of voting access to hundreds of thousands of Ohio military veterans by opposing Obama’s lawsuit.
In July, the Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit against Secretary of State Jon Husted in federal court, seeking to restore in-person voting access for nonmilitary voters on the last three days before Election Day. The Romney campaign circulated an exchange Romney had on Friday with a reporter in Las Vegas, in which he answered a question about an Obama lawsuit in Ohio seeking to reduce some in-person voting days for military voters — which was not accurate.
Romney campaign spokesmen and attorneys insist it was never the campaign’s belief that Obama’s lawsuit sought to reduce in-person voting days for military personnel and their families, despite the campaign’s circulation of that original exchange and some aides’ messaging to that effect on Twitter.
But the Romney campaign is holding steadfast to its position that the Obama lawsuit opposes giving military voters three extra days to cast early ballots in person, seizing on the lawsuit’s use of the word arbitrary to describe Ohio lawmakers’ decisions to restore those days for military voters but not for other Ohio voters.
All eligible Ohio voters had in-person, early-voting access through the day before Election Day until Statehouse Republicans’ passage of House Bill 194 last year. The Obama lawsuit, in asking the court to restore those days for nonmilitary voters, says Husted ruled “appropriately” by ordering boards of elections to extend early-voting deadlines for military and overseas voters. [MORE]