In a move that puts new meaning to the term battleground, President Obama’s re-election campaign and members of some military groups are on a collision course over voting rights in the critical state of Ohio.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have filed a lawsuit to block a new state law allowing men and women in uniform to vote up until the Monday right before an election, while the cutoff on early voting for the rest of the public is three days earlier.
Top Obama campaign officials told Fox News in interviews that the lawsuit in no way tries to restrict the voting rights of military members. All they are trying to do is even the playing field for all voters in Ohio by allowing early voting up until Monday for everyone, including members of the military, because they believe a two-tiered, early-voting process is unfair.
“Along with the DNC and Ohio Democratic Party, this campaign filed a lawsuit to reinstate equal, early-voting rights for all Ohioans — rights the Republican-controlled legislature arbitrarily stripped away this past year,” Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, told supporters in an email.
However, the National Guard Association and other military groups have fired back, saying it’s “offensive” for Democrats to suggest in the lawsuit it’s arbitrary for service members to get special consideration.
Men and women in uniform typically get more time than other voters to send in absentee ballots since they may be serving in an overseas or domestic location that is not close to their home polling station.
“I’m just outraged by this,” Mike DeWine, the Republican state attorney general in Ohio, told Fox News. “I can’t believe the Obama campaign and the state Democratic Party are actually saying there’s no rational basis for a distinction between someone who is in the military voting and someone who is not in the military.”
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