Obama Sues Ohio Over Early Voting

A significant percentage of Ohio voters cast early ballots.

Posted: 07/18/2012 12:16 PM EDT
A significant percentage of Ohio voters cast early ballots.

President Obama's re-election campaign has entered the voting rights fray. On Tuesday, the campaign joined the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party in a federal lawsuit against Ohio's election officials over a new restriction on in-person early voting during the three-day period before Election Day. It ends the process for most of the state's counties the Friday before voting day but extends the deadline until Monday for military personnel and their immediate families.

In 2008, nearly 30 percent of votes were cast during that three-day period.

"The last three days of early vote are especially important to ensuring a free and fair election. That is why today, we are moving forward in the fight to reinstate the last three days of early voting and ensure that all Ohio voters can make their voices heard this November," said Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz in a joint statement.

Ohio is a key battleground state that both Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are heavily vying for. The president won the state in 2008 and needs to keep it in his column. In addition, no Republican candidate has ever won the presidency without also carrying Ohio.

"If Obama wins Ohio, he'll win the election," David Bositis, senior political analyst for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, told BET.com. "It's also a big auto state, so he has an edge there because Romney said to let Detroit go bankrupt and Obama bailed out the auto industry."

Bositis also said that the president's campaign attacks on Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and the suggestion that he approved the offshoring of jobs is a perfect message for the state because its depends so heavily on manufacturing jobs.


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