Why Ohio Early Voting Decision Could Be a Big Deal
So the U.S. Supreme Court has refused the Ohio GOP’s request to overturn an appeals court decision to reinstate early voting on the weekend and Monday before the election. This is a big, big victory for the Obama campaign, and it could arguably make a difference to the outcome in the critical state of Ohio.
Remember, this is something the Romney campaign opposed. As you may recall, the Obama campaign this summer sued to restore in-person early voting for all Ohio voters, and not just members of the military. The Romney campaign falsely claimed this was an effort to “undermine” military voting rights, when in fact it was an effort to expand voting rights, not limit them.
It isn’t hard to see why the Romney camp opposed an expansion of voting rights. More early voting makes it easier for more people to vote — particularly minorities and lower income voters — which will likely help Obama.
Right now, it’s not clear how much of a lead Obama holds in Ohio. It’s possible that it is slimmer than state polls suggest, if in fact things are narrowing there along with the national tightening of the race. But the fact that Ohio may very well end up being an extremely tight finish is what makes this decision a big deal for the Obama camp, in a state that may be pivotal to the whole election’s outcome.
Dems have argued that as many as 100,000 people voted during the three days prior to the election in 2008. What’s more, Dems hope they have built a superior early voting operation. According to the Plain Dealer, Obama has 117 field offices across the state, versus only 40 for Romney. Republicans claim the GOP has done more door knocking, but Dems note that the claim is unsubstantiated.