Friday, October 12, 2012

Court Smacks Down Ohio Republican Efforts to Deny Voters an Opportunity to Vote

Another Blow Against Republican Efforts to Restrict Democrats from Casting Ballots

The Republican strategy in this election has been one of voter suppression.  Under the guise of preventing voter fraud Republicans in many states have tried, with some success to set up barriers to voting by groups that would tend to vote Democratic.  The philosophy of Republicans is clear, win by any means.

In Ohio this meant stopping early voting which had been scheduled to last up until almost the election.  But Ohio Republicans got too cute.  Thinking that military personnel might tend to vote more Republican, they extended early voting for active duty personnel only.  A Federal Court rightly found that this was illegal.

A federal appeals court on Friday sided with President Obama’s reelection campaign and said that if Ohio allows military voters to cast ballots in the three days leading to Election Day, it must extend the same opportunity to all voters.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit said the state had not shown why voting during the Saturday-Sunday-Monday period should be offered to only one group of voters.

And in a stunning rebuke to Republican attitudes on democracy the court made this statement.

“While there is a compelling reason to provide more opportunities for military voters to cast their ballots, there is no corresponding satisfactory reason to prevent non-military voters from casting their ballots as well,” wrote Circuit Judge Eric L. Clay.

“The public interest . . . favors permitting as many qualified voters to vote as possible,” he added.

Republicans feel that way also, except their definition of qualified voters is voters who vote Republican. 

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