Will Ohio military have a voice in the 2012 presidential election? Perhaps not, if the Obama administration has its way.
On behalf of more than 100,000 Americans, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is fighting to protect the military's opportunity to vote in Ohio. In an amicus brief filed on Tuesday, the ACLJ urged the U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the lower court's decision prohibiting additional voting days for members of the U.S. Armed Forces in the state of Ohio. ACLJ attorneys are also asking the court to vacate the preliminary injunction filed as well.
The Obama administration filed a federal lawsuit challenging this state-enacted measure, granting members of the military three extra days to vote early before Election Day. A federal district court agreed with the administration and ordered a preliminary injunction that could prevent many members of the armed forces in Ohio from being able to vote.
"Members of the U.S. military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms here and abroad. The fact is, the Ohio law that accommodates the uncertainty that comes with serving in the U.S. military simply gives our service men and women a few extra days to exercise their right to vote," says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.
"The Ohio measure is certainly reasonable and is fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution. The Obama administration’s challenge is legally flawed and we urge the appeals court to reject the lower court decision and take the appropriate action to permit members of U.S. Armed Forces to participate fully in the electoral process."
In the brief, the ACLJ argues that the Constitution, including the Equal Protection Clause, allows governments to recognize the reality that members of our armed forces and their families make tremendous sacrifices that other Americans do not.
According to ACLJ attorneys, "The reality is that members of the armed services and their spouses and dependents often have, in practical terms, a much smaller window of time than other Ohioans to exercise their right to vote due to the rigors of military life."