We’ve all grown accustomed to politicians distorting the truth, especially when it comes to discussing the actions and positions of their opponents, but this lie from Romney is about as blatant and outrageous as I’ve ever seen. From Romney’s Facebook page:
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. The brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I’m entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I’ll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them.
This is an absolute, incontrovertible lie. Ohio has had early voting since 2005; people could show up and cast their vote for three days leading up to election day. But the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature changed that so that only members of the military can vote early. The Obama campaign filed suit against the new law because it treats different groups differently without a rational justification (having special rules for absentee voting by military members overseas makes sense, but this deals with in-person early voting). And that lawsuit does not seek to do away with early voting for the military, it seeks to allow everyone to vote early.
Since 2005, hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents have voted early. That increases participation and reduces the congestion on election day, which was a serious problem in 2004 in that state (that’s what prompted the law to allow early voting). What the lawsuit seeks is clearly stated in the complaint:
Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants from implementing or enforcing the HB 224 and SB 295 changes to Ohio Rev. Code § 3509.03, thereby restoring in-person absentee voting on the three days immediately preceding Election Day for all Ohio voters.
The partisan liars at Breitbart.com are all over it, claiming that the lawsuit is “intended to disenfranchise some unknown number of military voters.” This isn’t just a lie, it’s slanderous. It seeks to falsely portray Obama as trying to keep members of the military from voting. It’s just plain disgusting. And the media should damn well call Romney out for it.