Obama Campaign Calls Ohio's Early-Voting Laws Burdensome
By Phil Milford – Sep 18, 2012 8:43 AM ET
President Barack Obama’s campaign organization asked a U.S. appeals court to uphold a lower-court ruling that found Ohio’s early-voting laws unconstitutional.
The campaign said the laws, which give Ohioans in the military and living overseas three more early-voting days than other people, impose a significant burden on the right to vote.
“Making it more difficult for people to vote serves no public purpose,” wrote Donald J. McTigue, a lawyer with Obama for America, in a Sept. 17 brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Challenges to laws Democrats say will widely disenfranchise citizens, such as voter-list purges, early-voting curbs and photo-identification mandates, are pending in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, Florida and Ohio. Many of these laws are being contested in states where both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns see possible victories in November.
U.S. courts in August rejected election-related laws passed by Republican-controlled legislatures in Ohio, Florida and Texas, finding they violated the right to vote.
At the end of August, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus ruled that Ohio early-voting laws violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of law.
State Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted have said military voters face “special burdens”including quick deployment and travel restrictions.
DeWine and Husted, both named defendants in the suit, are Republicans. Economus was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in 1995.
The cases are Obama for America v. Husted, 12-4055 and 12-4076, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Cincinnati).
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