Romney Camp Still Won’t Say If Vets, Firefighters, Cops Deserve Early Voting Rights

Days after falsely accusing the Obama campaign of working to restrict the voting rights of members of the military, the Romney campaign still won’t say whether they believe Ohio cops, firefighters and veterans are worthy of early voting rights.

The Romney campaign has failed to respond to multiple inquires from TPM on whether they believe Ohio veterans, cops and firefighters should also be allowed to vote in-person during the three days before an election.

Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, told TPM that the VFW doesn’t see the Obama campaign’s suit as a veterans’ issue, but said the VFW wouldn’t object to veterans (and the general public) being allowed to vote in the three days before the election.

“The way we read the actual suit was, they wanted to match it to allow the rest of the Ohio citizens to early vote in-person up until the Monday before the election on Tuesday,” Davis said.TPM also reached out to the AFL-CIO to talk with Ohio firefighters to find out what they made of the Romney campaign’s attack on early voting rights. Doug Stern, a Cincinnati firefighter, told TPM that protecting existing early voting rights shouldn’t be partisan.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s coming down to a Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama issue. I would think with something like this we would all be on the same page and want the opportunity to vote for everyone as much as possible,” Stern said. “I think limiting somebody’s right to the ballot box is a mistake because fundamentally that’s the voice that we all have.”

The intent of the suit is clearly to expand early voting, Stern said. Over 93,000 Ohio voters cast a ballot during that three day period in 2008.

“It’s not to limit anyone’s right to vote. The military thing is a minuscule part of the overall intent — the intent is not to restrict anyone’s right, it’s to open anyone’s right, not just for military members but for everyone, and that is the fundamental reason, the driving force behind it,” Stern said.

Veterans on a conference call organized by the liberal Center for American Progress said Monday that Romney was lying about the Obama campaign’s suit, which seeks to restore early voting during the three day period before the Election Day.

A federal judge ruled Monday that 15 military groups could intervene in the lawsuit, a move both the Obama campaign and the state of Ohio supported.

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