Editorial from the Washington Times
President Obama goes out of his way to appear to support the troops. But when it comes to voting, he would like to keep them out of the fight.
The Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party are suing the critical swing state of Ohio to strike down a law that makes it easier for members of the military to vote. Under the law, people in uniform may cast early ballots in person up to the day before an election, instead of the previous Friday cutoff for other voters.
Democrats have a transparent political motive. A May 2012 Gallup survey showed Mr. Obama trailing Mitt Romney among veterans 58 to 34 percent. “About a fourth of men are veterans,” Gallup reported, “and it is their strong skew toward Romney that essentially creates the GOP candidate’s leading position among men today.”
The Democrats’ suit alleges the Buckeye State’s law is “arbitrary” with “no discernible rational basis,” but it is a response to a very real problem. “It’s truly difficult to vote,” an active-duty service member told The Washington Times. “The military tries hard to help us out with awareness and links to state voting sites but most troops don’t exercise their franchise because it’s too hard.”
A study by the nonpartisan Military Voters Protection Project found that in 2008, less than 20 percent of 2.5 million military voters successfully voted by absentee ballot. In 2010, that participation shrank to a scandalous 5 percent. In response to these dismal numbers, the project has organized the Heroes Vote Initiative, “the first and only nationwide campaign to encourage military voter participation and to provide those voters with the tools to register and request an absentee ballot.” The project has singled Ohio out as one of 15 “all-star states” for its efforts to promote and encourage military voting.
The political attack on our troops reopens a wound from the 2000 presidential race. During the controversial Florida recount process, Democrats issued a detailed eight-page guide to local operatives for challenging military overseas ballots. The instructions included erroneous guidance that resulted in over 1,500 ballots being wrongly rejected, which were later reinstated after legal action. Facing a public-relations disaster, the Gore campaign relented, but the damage was done. This year, Democrats are up to similar dirty tricks.
On Wednesday, AMVETS, the National Guard Association of the United States and the Association of the U.S. Army — among other military-affiliated organizations — petitioned a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. “It’s disheartening given the full-court press of the Obama administration to court if not pander to the military community,” said our source, an overseas combat veteran. “There is an awful lot of effort going into talking about wounded warriors, for example, and employment for veterans. What’s going on in Ohio is discouraging but not surprising since the administration’s outreach efforts have never seemed sincere.”
“Those few who are making the effort to be citizens in every sense of the word should be supported,” our source said. “It makes you wonder why they are investing that much time and effort to keep the troops from voting. They must be desperate.”
Read more here.