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Obama campaign sues Ohio over early-voting restrictions
Miami Herald ^ | Tuesday, 07.17.12 | STEPHANIE WARSMITH

Posted on 07/17/2012 6:27:33 PM PDT by Red Steel

AKRON, Ohio -- More than 1.7 million Ohioans voted before Election Day in the 2008 presidential election - about 30 percent of all ballots cast.

And nearly 100,000 of them voted in-person in the final three days before the November election.

Noting the significance of those numbers, President Barack Obama's campaign filed a federal lawsuit in Columbus on Wednesday, seeking to restore the three days of early voting prior to Election Day that the GOP-controlled Ohio Legislature eliminated earlier this year.

The suit was the first legal action Obama's campaign has filed in this election.

"This lawsuit seeks to treat all Ohio citizens equally under the law," Bob Bauer, the attorney for Obama for America, the president's campaign committee, said during a conference call with reporters. "We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day."

The campaign says changes the Ohio Legislature made created inequality among military and overseas voters, who can cast early ballots through the day before the election, and all other voters, who have until 6 p.m. on the Friday before the election to vote in-person absentee. This, the campaign contends, is a violation of the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution.

"Without early voting in these last three days before Election Day, tens of thousands of citizens who would have otherwise exercised their right to vote during this time period, including the plaintiffs' members and supporters, may not be able to participate in future elections at all," the campaign's complaint states.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is named in the lawsuit, said in a phone interview Tuesday his office has tried to bring about uniformity among the counties, including sending out absentee ballot applications to all voters before the general election this year and by ruling that boards may allow in-person early voting only during normal hours, rather than for the extended hours that were offered in previous elections in certain counties.

Husted said if the campaign's suit were successful, it would open the way for disparity among the counties, with some potentially pushing to be open for extended hours on the weekend and the day before the election and others choosing not to.

"If this lawsuit were to prevail, we would be back to a system that allows voters in one county to be treated different from another county," he said. "I embrace the idea of equal protection and treating the voters the same."

In an unusual turn of events, the Ohio Legislature passed an election reform law that included a provision cutting off in-person early voting after 6 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day. A committee, supported by Democrats and voters rights advocates circulated petitions, then gathered more than 300,000 signatures to get a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot to repeal the law.

Ohio legislators, at Husted's urging, voted to repeal the election law that was the subject of the referendum. The early-voting restriction remained in play, however, because it had been inserted into another piece of legislation Gov. John Kasich signed into law in May.

The jumble of events was expected to draw legal challenges.

Joining the Obama campaign in the lawsuit were the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party. The suit was filed against Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The case has been assigned to Judge Peter Economus.

Dan Tierney, a spokesman for DeWine, said Tuesday afternoon his office is reviewing the filing. He declined further comment.

Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, said in an email Tuesday that "no one is being disenfranchised" as they still have ample time to vote early by mail or in-person at elections boards. Early voting in Ohio begins Oct. 2.

The Legislature expanded absentee voting in Ohio after the 2004 presidential election that saw long lines, with some voters waiting up to seven hours and others giving up and going home. The first presidential election that allowed early voting without a special reason was four years ago, when nearly 21 percent of all registered voters in Ohio cast absentee ballots.

"Some today are threatening to take us back to the relics of a different era," Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said in a conference call.

Asked whether the party's suit is politically motivated, Redfern said both parties will have get-out-the-vote efforts.

"It's a chilling notion that someone would be opposed to allowing early voting because of how a person may or may not vote," he said.

Husted said the reasons for the Legislature's decision to eliminate in-person early voting for the days immediately preceding the election were to give elections boards time to prepare for Election Day and to help with uniformity among the boards.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: clintonappointee; dnc; earlyvoting; mikedewine; obama; petereconomus; voting; votingrights

1 posted on 07/17/2012 6:27:39 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel

Do we have a count on how many states this administration has sued? Has any other administration ever sued a state before?


2 posted on 07/17/2012 6:35:38 PM PDT by jcsjcm (This country was built on exceptionalism and individualism. In God we Trust - Laus Deo)
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To: Red Steel
This coming from the same party that will do its damnest to thwart the military from getting their ballots counted. I think this is why this POS is presently ruining the military with homosexuals, unisex potties on ships, homosexual military parades through streets, etc.

Once the "straight" young men refuse to enlist because of their homosexual barrack mates, etc., then Obastard will be able to count the votes.

3 posted on 07/17/2012 6:35:53 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: Red Steel
Abolish all absentee ballots and early voting. You vote on election day, period. That's why it's called election day.

Yes, this will disenfranchise overseas military, but their ballots never seem to get counted anyway, don't they?

4 posted on 07/17/2012 6:35:55 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (If I can't be persuasive, I at least hope to be fun.)
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To: Red Steel
This coming from the same party that will do its damnest to thwart the military from getting their ballots counted. I think this is why this POS is presently ruining the military with homosexuals, unisex potties on ships, homosexual military parades through streets, etc.

Once the "straight" young men refuse to enlist because of their homosexual barrack mates, etc., then Obastard will be able to count the votes.

5 posted on 07/17/2012 6:36:10 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: Las Vegas Dave; Farmer Dean; LS

Ohio ping


6 posted on 07/17/2012 6:37:30 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Obama and Company lied, the American economy died)
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To: Red Steel

They better sue Texas on this as well since they do it here. Early voting is over the Friday before the election. At least here in Bexar county.


7 posted on 07/17/2012 6:39:05 PM PDT by Afisra (It's easier to gun proof a child than child proof a gun!)
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To: Red Steel
"We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day."

I want to vote in the 2016 election. Tomorrow. It's my right. Where do I sue?

8 posted on 07/17/2012 6:40:06 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: jcsjcm

Do you expect the NSDWP to win elections without voter fraud?


9 posted on 07/17/2012 6:42:23 PM PDT by Vietnam Vet From New Mexico (If you don't want to stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.)
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To: Red Steel

Obama wants to make sure that all the dead people, illegals, and all the Acorn multiple voters have a chance.

I hope Ohio, as a sovereign state sticks to their guns.


10 posted on 07/17/2012 6:43:30 PM PDT by mardi59 (THE REBELLION IS ON!!!)
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To: Red Steel

This administration deserves to lose Ohio. But then again, it’s just another state they want to sue and take over. This is the face of communism.


11 posted on 07/17/2012 6:43:52 PM PDT by RC2 (Buy American and support the Wounded Warrior Project whenever possible.)
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To: laweeks

never mind the same hypocrites who don’t want to protect legal voters by siding against voter ID’s...


12 posted on 07/17/2012 6:49:01 PM PDT by God luvs America (63.5million pay no federal income tax then vote demoKrat)
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To: Red Steel

This is the time that the democrats round up all the illegal votes and MULTIPLE votes for themselves. If the votes on those day were even close to equal for both sides then they would not care would they?


13 posted on 07/17/2012 6:53:03 PM PDT by Revel
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To: All


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14 posted on 07/17/2012 6:53:27 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Red Steel

The drive to allow illegals to vote while making sure active enlisted can’t- is starting.


15 posted on 07/17/2012 7:18:30 PM PDT by ElPaseo
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To: jcsjcm; All
This isn't the administration suing, it's the campaign. They might as well be the same but, legally, they're not.

I'm just shocked (/s) the judged who randomly got this case was appointed by Bill Clinton.

We already know he'll rule in Obama's favor.

16 posted on 07/17/2012 7:19:15 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Pontius Pilate 'voters' are arrogant, delusional, lilly-livered collaborators.)
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To: Red Steel
This BS (early voting) must be stopped, just like motor-voter and EBT "register to vote when you apply for TANF and food stamps". Voting has to be limited to ONE DAY ONLY AND PHOTO ID.


17 posted on 07/17/2012 7:22:00 PM PDT by ex91B10 (We've tried the Soap Box,the Ballot Box and the Jury Box; ONE BOX LEFT!)
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To: Red Steel
"We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day."

How can you just file a lawsuit to change a state law? And when did voting before Election Day become a 'right'?

18 posted on 07/17/2012 7:34:53 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: RC2
This is the face of communism.

It about making everybody equal that is equally miserable. The only escape is to join and work for The National Party, making people miserable.

19 posted on 07/17/2012 7:51:22 PM PDT by oyez ( .Apparently The U.S. CONSTITUTION has been reduced to the consistency of quicksand.)
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To: Red Steel

Next thing you know, it’ll be “ballots in bed!”

Sort of like “breakfast in bed” but they’ll bring the polling place to YOU.

Along with a nice cup of hot coffee and a doughnut.


20 posted on 07/17/2012 7:57:18 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Red Steel

Barry and the ‘RATS have turned our “elections” into a huge joke. We’re a banana republic now! Millions of ballots cast by who the hell knows who. Americans really need to try to wake up now. It’s time to save the country.


21 posted on 07/17/2012 8:45:07 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Who is Barack Hussein Obama?)
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To: Clintonfatigued; ADemocratNoMore; Akron Al; arbee4bush; agrace; ATOMIC_PUNK; Badeye; Bikers4Bush; ..
Special thanks to Clintonfatigued for the ping!


Ohio Ping!

To be added to the Ohio Ping List, please freepmail,
(the three of us), Flutters, Whenifhow, and LasVegasDave.

22 posted on 07/18/2012 1:53:15 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave ("All 57 states must stand together and defeat O-bozo!")
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To: PapaBear3625

It will disenfranchise people who work for a living too, like me. so no thank you to that idea PB.


23 posted on 07/18/2012 3:30:02 AM PDT by RC one (this space intentionally left blank)
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To: Red Steel

I want tyo Vote TODAY! Why Cant I? I Have My rights and I have my Mind Made up, why should I wait for November? I demand to Vote today!


24 posted on 07/18/2012 3:53:38 AM PDT by ballplayer
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