Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is with the rumors that military people are not being allowed to vote?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38322points) August 12th, 2012


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31 Answers

DrBill's avatar

Military personnel have always had the right to vote, and are encouraged to exercise that right .

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s just another crazy ‘publican rumor, but I’m wondering where it came from.

bkcunningham's avatar

Are you referring to the Ohio lawsuit, @Dutchess_III, filed by Obama’s reelection campaign?

Or military ballots not being counted?

Dutchess_III's avatar

So the problem isn’t a new one. It’s difficult to vote within strict guidelines when you being sent hither and yon.

As for the lawsuit…I don’t get it. I just glanced through it and the state of Ohio was granting military personnel and extra three days to vote. That makes sense if the personnel is deployed…but doe that extra three days apply to ALL military people whether they’re stateside or not?

King_Pariah's avatar

@DrBill General Linnington would strongly disagree

Pandora's avatar

I would think it would be about absentee votes not being counted or military people sometimes not being able to vote on time because of their current locations. But honestly, military people are not the only ones not being able to vote. I know from personal experience that Virginia Beach doesn’t register people when they do register. When I lived there, I swore I had register to vote. Some states do not give you voting cards. So I thought nothing of it when I didn’t get one. When I moved further north and went to vote, I found out I wasn’t registered. I thought maybe I didn’t file at the DMV. So I registered in my new location. Lo and behold I got a voters card. About 2 years later, I found the one for VA beach. The stamped paper work saying they had my registration paper work. I remember asking him, how would I know that it went through ok. He said I could check on line. Not, that I would get a voters card. My husband didn’t get one either. It could be the guy was lazy or that he liked to make it impossible for anyone who signed as a democrat.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Oh, god, this. The lawsuit is about the restriction of voting rights from non-military personnel. Early voting was allowed for all Ohio residents three days ahead. A new law would restrict that voting to only military personnel, and Obama’s lawsuit is to reverse that decision and allow all residents the right to early voting. It is not, and never was, an attempt to restrict military voting rights.

Romney’s campaign, as usual, has lied through it’s teeth to turn this into a contentious issue. When asked about it, his own campaign could not actually defend the accusation: “Romney’s spokesman, Ryan Williams, in an interview Saturday could point to no place in Obama’s lawsuit that seeks to restrict the rights of military voters.”

bkcunningham's avatar

@BhacSsylan this article explains why “15, non-partisan, veterans groups (are) opposing President Obama’s lawsuit against an Ohio law that allows military personnel three extra days to vote before Election Day? The President’s campaign claims he is merely trying to extend voting rights. The reason these military groups – representing hundreds of thousands of veterans – oppose the President is because his claim is just plain false.”

Very good read if you are interested.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you @BhacSsylan However, the way the motion reads it doesn’t seem to indicate that the voting window for civilians is being decreased, only being increased for military personell overseas—which actually makes sense to me. Why would they oppose it?
INTRODUCTION The principal campaign committee of President Barack Obama, the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, is arguing before this Court that the State of Ohio has violated the U.S. Constitution by giving members of the Armed Forces…who serve under his command, and risk their lives pursuant to his orders…three extra days to participate in early voting.”

Interesting. There is mention in the motion that Obama wants the window increased for EVERYONE, not just the military. (Obama is the Plaintiff)
Although the relief Plaintiffs seek is an overall extension of Ohio’s early voting period, the means through which Plaintiffs (<<<urm…shouldn’t that read “Defendants”?) are attempting to attain it—a ruling that it is arbitrary and unconstitutional to grant extra time for early voting solely to military voters…” is unconstitutional and unfair to civilians. I agree with that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bkcunningham Re your link. I hardly think it would be “disastrous.” Even if Obama won, and they were not given extra days, it wouldn’t have “disastrous results for military voters.” They’d just be where they have been in the past. Voting for military people deployed overseas has always been a headache. It’s nothing new, and certainly nothing Obama caused. Also, they can access absentee ballots on line.
All Obama is saying is, “If you grant 3 extra days to military people, you need to give it to civilians as well.” That’s all.

Making a big todo about nothing, AH gain.

Dutchess_III's avatar

From @BhacSsylan on another, redundant question of mine that I’m going to ask Auggie to delete.

“The same question? He is not filing a lawsuit to restrict anyone’s voting rights. It is restoring extra time given to all ohioans that was removed by a new law.

Here is the actual lawsuit, and here is the actual text:

“Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to restore in-person early voting for all Ohioans during the three days prior to Election Day – a right exercised by an estimated 93,000 Ohioans in the last presidential election. Ohio election law, as currently enacted by the State of Ohio and administered by Defendant Ohio Secretary of State, arbitrarily eliminates early voting during the three days prior to Election Day for most Ohio voters, a right previously available to all Ohio voters.”


“For these reasons and those specifically alleged herein, Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants from implementing or enforcing the HB 224 and SB 295 changes to Ohio Rev. Code § 3509.03, thereby restoring in-person absentee voting on the three days immediately preceding Election Day for all Ohio voters.”

bkcunningham's avatar

@Dutchess_III, “making a big todo about nothing, AH gain.”


Dutchess_III's avatar

Tempest in a teapot. Mountains out of mole hills.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@bkcunningham. Why the need for that site to lie? In another article linked by that one, they state “President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief, has filed a lawsuit to prevent the men and women of our military from having every opportunity to vote this election,” which is flatly false. The lawsuit clearly states that it seeks the reinstatement of the early voting period for all voters and no restriction on military voters. Obama’s team even backed the intervention, stating:

“Plaintiffs’ memorandum in support of motion to intervene, Aug. 3: Plaintiffs seek to restore for all voters access to early voting through the Monday before Election Day. Neither the substance of its Equal Protection claim, nor the relief requested, challenges the legislature’s authority to make appropriate accommodation, including early voting during the period in question, for military voters, their spouse or dependents. The question before the Court is whether, in the circumstances of this case, the State of Ohio may arbitrarily and without justification withdraw from all other Ohio eligible voters the same right they previously had to vote the weekend and Monday before Election Day.”

And your article states that “President Obama’s re-election campaign argues in federal court that giving military personnel these three extra days to cast their in-person absentee ballotis “entirely arbitrary” and has “no legitimate justification’ in the law” but this is also flatly false. It explicitly argues that the extra days are necessary:

“Without early voting in these last three days before Election Day, tens of thousands of citizens who would have otherwise exercised their right to vote during this time period, including Plaintiffs’ members and supporters, may not be able to participate in future elections at all.”

So your article is highly misleading. It acts as if the intent and thrust of the lawsuit is to strip the extra voting, but it is plainly incorrect. They are clearly filing this lawsuit to attack the unnecessary changes (which they even, charitably, chalk up to legislative confusion) which strip rights, while leaving the current extended military period unchanged.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My next question: What was the reasoning behind Ohio taking away those three days for their civilians?

BhacSsylan's avatar

Oh, and a further clarification, this lawsuit does not say that the state cannot give military voters extra time or allowances. It simply does not. What it does state is that they cannot strip rights from civilians and not military without some compelling reason for stripping them. That is where the equal protection clause comes in. If this was a new law granting extra rights to military voters that Obama was attacking, you would have a case. Then it could strip extra allowances granted to military voters. But that is not what happened, and that is not what is being debated. It is the removal of rights that is being challenged, and unless the legislature can show a compelling reason for the removal, it is unconstitutional.

This is also backed by Bush v Gore:

“The fundamental right to vote is not limited to “the initial allocation of the franchise,” but includes “the manner of its exercise.” Hunter, 635 F.3d at 234 (quoting Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 104 (2000)). . . . Of course, states have substantial latitude to design and administer their elections; for example, they may choose to allow or not to allow early voting. But “[h]aving once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.” Hunter, 635 F.3d at 234 (quoting Bush, 531 U.S. at 104— 05).”

Dutchess_III's avatar

So what was the logic behind taking 3 voting days away from the civilians?

BhacSsylan's avatar

According to the brief, nothing. The bills state no reason, and the brief says it was possibly the result of legislative confusion. We will have to wait for proceedings to hear the defense’s argument, they’ve offered none as of yet.

jerv's avatar

Well, military voting seems to be a perpetual issue. Back in ‘96, when I was still in the Navy, I asked for an absentee ballot and was told, “You cannot choose your boss.”. In retrospect, I wonder if that was because I was only an E-3, or whether it was that because it was well-known that I didn’t deify Reagan.

Then again, despite the low number of cases of voter fraud, Republicans are using it as an excuse to pass laws to keep many from voting booths, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the demographic most affected is one that traditionally votes Democrat.

That tells me that voting is almost farcical. So many rules, so many ways to manipulate the data…

Dutchess_III's avatar

So, the Republicans are trying to stop the Dems from voting? But…wouldn’t it stop the Republicans from voting too…..? How would it affect the Democrats more, @jerv?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Dutchess_III Traditionally, and I am repeating what I have heard, as I have never been to a church at voting time, it has been said that when states allow early voting pastors encourage people to go right after the sermon, especially in lower income neighborhoods. The pastors remind everybody to go, and suggest they take all of their friends who don’t have reliable transportation over to the polls.

So you don’t allow Sunday voting, you kill that lower income vote. But a lot of military folk vote republican, so they are ok.

If you look at these efforts, they absolutely do not want people voting on that Sunday prior to the election.

bkcunningham's avatar

Anybody care to explain the history of HB 194 and HB 224?

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III How many poor, black people vote Republican? Just a 2 second search pulled this up, and this. I think a quick read of that will give you the gist of it. If you want more details, they are out there; I am just showing that for illustration.

bkcunningham's avatar

In all fairness, @jerv, I think you should explain that your links are opinion pieces, not news articles.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Jerv’s links are opinion pieces and not news articles.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham @Dutchess_III As is most media these days.
However, there is enough stuff there that anybody who cares about truth and facts will do a little research on their own instead of merely taking the word of their talking head of choice.
Those links were meant merely to show what I was taking about; an issue that is unfolding at this moment. Now, are you going to deny that those links talk about the issue of restricting voting? Or that there is contention over it unfairly targeting certain demographics (regardless of whether it actually does or not)? Or that it’s at least worth looking into to figure out what the real truth is?
But if you seek confirmation rather than truth, or just are not curious, you are free to disregard anything anybody else has to say and carry on as you were. Personally, I am curious, and I see patterns that defy statistical probability enough to investigate. I don’t yet know what the actual truth is, but merely going where evidence leads me, taking into account that no sources are truly neutral, and coincidence has it’s limits.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m with you on that @jerv. :)

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m with you too, @jerv. Confirmation bias is seen a lot here. I like to look at all possible points of views…not just the ones I agree with. I’m sorry, @jerv, that I even made the comment. One of my links was a commentary and not news. I appreciate your links and input. Geez, I need to chill. Sorry guys.

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