Green Room

Could Obama’s efforts to strike down military voting extension cost him election?

posted at 3:06 pm on August 4, 2012 by

It is no secret that Barack Obama never served in the military. In fact, he doesn’t seem to be that big a fan of our men and women in uniform (at least the ones who aren’t gay). And unless pictures lie, the feeling is mutual.

One retired Army officer so dislikes Obama’s policies toward the military that he has publicly stated his view that the president is “undeserving of the title Commander-in-Chief.” That would be Congressman Allen West, who wrote on his Facebook page:

I am appalled at the Obama administration’s actions to bring a lawsuit against the State of Ohio for the early voting privileges it extends to our Men and Women serving in uniform. To have the Commander in Chief make our US Servicemen and Women the target of a political attack to benefit his reelection actions is reprehensible. The voting privilege extended to these Warriors who represent the best among us should not be a part of the collective vision of this inept President who is more concerned about his reelection than sequestration. As a Combat Veteran, for this President to unleash his campaign cronies against our Military is unconscionable… how dare this President compare the service, sacrifice, and commitment of those who Guard our liberties not as special and seek to compare them to everyone else.

The lawsuit West alludes to was filed jointly in mid-July by the Obama for America campaign, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the Ohio Democratic Party. Its purpose was to strike down part of an Ohio law that grants members of the military an extra three days to cast their votes.

The Daily Caller’s Holly Bensur cites a report by the Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program specifying the primary “reason for military voter disenfranchisement” and that is “inadequate time to successfully vote.” The report was sent to the president and Congress, but Democrats nevertheless wrote in a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio that the law is “arbitrary” and possesses “no discernible rational basis.”

The president and his minions have a point. Why should individuals who put their lives in harm’s way to defend the nation deserve special treatment? If they can’t get to a polling place in a timely fashion like the rest of us, that’s their problem.

Naturally, the question of why Obama is taking such an unfeeling position arises. He will claim it’s in the interests of fairness. Cynics will argue that it is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise members of a voting bloc in a critical swing state whose ballots are likely to favor Obama’s opponent.

But if his motivation is the latter, then consider two facts: (1) Ohio, according to the 2010 census, has only 8,261 active military personnel. (2) In 2008, Obama carried 44% of the military vote nationally. Even if every service member in Ohio is registered to vote (which is unlikely) and even if the vote is distributed in proportions identical to 2008, his actions will block a little over 4,600 votes.

It could be a meaningful difference in a state he needs in his column to win a second term. But it could also create epic backlash if the 1,088,465 service members nationwide vote in solidarity with their Buckeye State brethren, not to mention the countless millions of civilians who are staunch supporters of our fighting men and women.

One things that’s for sure is that the story, with its negative optics for the president, isn’t going away. The Marine Corps Times reports that a consortium of 15 military groups, including AMVETS, the National Guard Association of the United States, the Association of the U.S. Army, have asked the judge in the case to dismiss the suit. Regardless of the outcome, Obama stands to lose the vote—and respect—of many.

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bho/team already knows he is NOT all that well liked by the military and won’t vote for him? Look for more of this and the sad fact, WHO knows if the ballots will BE counted by the military when they come in?

God bless our wonderful men and women in the military having to serve under this anti-American cic! They deserve better than bho, IMO!

letget on August 4, 2012 at 3:44 PM

BTW, too bad Col. West isn’t president, we sure would not be in the mess we are now under bho!

letget on August 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM

First off, let me state that I am not a fan of Pres Obama and will vote for Mitt Romney in Nov. That said, are we to now adopt the tactics of the left and spew misinformation to denigrate the “other” side?

Point — I don’t know about 2011, but in 2010, the Obamas gave a lot to charity, most of it to Fisher House, which is tied to supporting military families whose wounded love one is going through rehab from serious war injuries.

Point — as updated yesterday on the Hot Air main page, not the Green Room, the Ohio challenge is to limiting the law to just military and civilians overseas, they are trying to add everyone to the process, not exclude the military.

Again, my bottom line is not about defending the President and his policies, I disagree with him on almost everything. There is so much that is true to criticize. When we fall into complaining about that which is not true, we mix fact and fiction and undermine the efforts to convince those on the fence to vote for Romney or against Obama.

Grinch on August 4, 2012 at 4:02 PM

As Ed Morrissey points out, the Obama Administration’s position is the voting extension is OK but it should apply to everyone. Did Portnoy fail to notice this, or is he deliberately trying to spread misinformation? I hope and assume it’s the former.

mlindroo on August 4, 2012 at 4:22 PM

What’s the point of the Green Room anymore? There actually used to be some compelling pieces posted here. Now it’s just crap that was handled earlier and better by AP or Ed.

Armin Tamzarian on August 4, 2012 at 4:25 PM

My poor, simple 61 yo brain can’t see the logic in this. Does it make sense to antagonize military voters? Doesn’t Obamao want every vote he can get? Isn’t his campaign supposed to be worried because the economy is in the toilet? The polls aren’t encouraging, either. Could it be that Obamao and supporters aren’t worried about the upcoming election results? Could it be, if Obamao lose that the White House might have to ringed by tanks to ensure he leaves office?

rpjkw11 on August 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

In 2008, Obama carried 44% of the military vote nationally.

Most of that 44% will make sure not make that mistake again.

petefrt on August 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Obama is in no danger of losing the respect of the military.

wright on August 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

As Ed Morrissey points out, the Obama Administration’s position is the voting extension is OK but it should apply to everyone. Did Portnoy fail to notice this, or is he deliberately trying to spread misinformation? I hope and assume it’s the former.

I did indeed miss this info, both in Ed’s post and in my own reading of the complaint. In our effort to get stories out—seven days a week—these things happen. My apologies.

Howard Portnoy on August 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Enabling vote fraud by opposing Voter ID while at the same time trying to make it more difficult for the military to vote? That certainly ought to cost Obama the election.

WannabeAnglican on August 5, 2012 at 8:06 AM

obama wants illegals, dead people, and pets to vote, not once, but repeatedly. But he’s trying to block the votes of our brave soldiers?! I hope this bites him in the butt big-time.

Mean Granny on August 5, 2012 at 8:16 AM

Color me cynical, I voted in every national election during my 25 years in the Navy and I don’t think my votes were ever counted. Just a feeling…and the fact that I come from good ole liberal New York!

NavyMustang on August 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Mr Portnoy did not claim that the Obama administration is “suing to block the military vote”. He claimed that the Obama administration is suing to strike down the military voting extension – or else to extend it to everyone, regardless of whether they face the same challenges in getting to the polls as serving military can and do.

The big question is, why the hell is Obama messing in this now? Cui bono?

Just like all the votes from the USS Cole they threw out because they (shame!) arrived late, this smells. The Democrats have form for being antagonistic towards the military when it comes to their mantra of “making sure every vote counts”.

s_dog on August 5, 2012 at 9:06 AM

In answer to your headline question, the answer is “no” because the MSM will never cover it, so few people outside of Ohio will even know about it.

College Prof on August 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Obama campaign sues Ohio over early voting restrictions

By Stephanie Warsmith
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published: July 17, 2012 – 01:11 PM | Updated: July 18, 2012 – 12:12 PM RELATED STORIES
Graphic: Early voting in Ohio
Motion for preliminary injunction
Complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief
Obama campaign sues Ohio over early voting restrictions July 18,2012 04:12 PM GMT Stephanie Warsmith Beacon Journal Publishing Co. Copyright � 2012 Beacon Journal Publishing Co. Inc and Black Press. All Rights Reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of any of the contents of this service without the express written consent of the Akron Beacon Journal is expressly prohibited.
More than 1.7 million Ohioans voted before Election Day in the 2008 presidential election — about 30 percent of all ballots cast.

And nearly 100,000 of them voted in-person in the final three days before the November election.

Noting the significance of those numbers, President Barack Obama’s campaign filed a federal lawsuit in Columbus on Wednesday, seeking to restore the three days of early voting prior to Election Day that the GOP-controlled legislature eliminated earlier this year.

The suit was the first legal action Obama’s campaign has filed in this election.

“This lawsuit seeks to treat all Ohio citizens equally under the law,” Bob Bauer, the attorney for Obama for America, the president’s campaign committee, said during a conference call with reporters. “We want to restore the right of all to vote before Election Day.”

How do you know when a Hot Air contributor is lying? His cursor is moving.

plewis on August 6, 2012 at 4:33 PM