It seems crazy that I even have to write this post since every major news outlet, including the conservative Dispatch, has thoroughly debunked Romney’s claim that the lawsuit brought by the DNC, ODP and Obama campaign will take away voting days from members of the military and their families.
And yet, some Republicans are still claiming the language in the lawsuit is “vague” and causing “confusion”.
So once and for all, let me help clear up some of that confusion.
Below is the Prayer for Relief from the text of the complaint – this describes the remedies the lawsuit is seeking from the court.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request of this Court the following equitable relief:
A. An order declaring that lines 863 and 864 of Sec. 3509.03(I) in HB 224, which amended Ohio Revised Code § 3509.03 by changing the deadline for in-person early voting from the close of business on the day before Election Day to 6 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day, and the SB 295 enactment of Ohio Revised Code § 3509.03 with the HB 224 amendments, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution;
B. A preliminary and permanent order prohibiting the Defendants, their respective agents, servants, employees, attorneys, successors, and all persons acting in concert with each or any of them, from implementing or enforcing lines 863 and 864 of Sec. 3509.03 (I) in HB 224, and/or the SB 295 enactment of Ohio Revised Code § 3509.03 with the HB 224 amendments, thereby restoring in-person early voting on the three days immediately preceding Election Day for all eligible Ohio voters.
Notice that the language clearly states they want to restore voting “for all eligible Ohio voters”? And it does this by dumping HB224 “which amended Ohio Revised Code § 3509.03 by changing the deadline for in-person early voting.”
It seems pretty clear to me. But some people, even after reading this, are still claiming that if you remove HB224, then you remove the three extra days military personel and their families get to vote.
THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Prior to the HB224, Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3509.03(I) said absentee voters could turn in their ballots “not later than the close of regular business hours on the day before the day of the election.” This means Monday night, before the election.
HB224 changed Sec. 3509.03(I) so that early voters could now turn in their in-person ballots “not later than the close of regular business hours six p.m. on the day last Friday before the day of the election.”
You see the difference right? Before HB224, you could vote up until the Monday before the election. After HB224, voting stops on Friday, meaning most Ohioans can not longer vote early over the weekend.
Removing HB224 restores early voting to everyone including, as Lauren pointed out yesterday, Ohio’s 913,000 veterans, who don’t currently have access to early voting under HB224, as well as police officers, fire fighters and other hardworking Ohioans who may find it difficult to get to the polls on election day.
The Obama/ODP lawsuit is very clear: it seeks to restore early voting for every Ohioan – 93,000 of whom voted during these three extra days during the last presidential election – and it does this by removing HB224, the law that changed the early voting deadline from the Monday before the election to the Friday before the election.
Anyone still confused?