Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) posted a scathing statement on his Facebook page Friday, saying President Obama's decision "to unleash his campaign cronies against our military is unconscionable."
"As a retired Army officer 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," West wrote.
"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. Barack Obama is undeserving of the title Commander-in-Chief."
West's statement was in response to decision by the Obama campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party, to sue the state of Ohio last month in an attempt to strike down changes in the state's law that limit in-person early voting for some and not others.
Under the law, members of the armed forces and their families as well as civilians overseas can vote through the Monday before an election, while early voting for all other Ohio residents ends on that Friday. This is the disparity that the Obama campaign reportedly believes is "unconstitutional."
And though the Obama campaign and the other Democratic groups do not want to eliminate the military's early voting extension, as some outlets first reported, West argues the "collective" shouldn't enjoy the same voting privileges as the men and women of the military.
Hot Air has more details about the Ohio voting lawsuit:
Gabriel Malor forwarded me a link to the brief, and the relevant language within it:
"WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request of this Court the following equitable relief:…
B. A preliminary and permanent order prohibiting the Defendants, their respective agents, servants, employees, attorneys, successors, and all persons acting in concert with each or any of them, from implementing or enforcing lines 863 and 864 of Sec. 3509.03 (I) in HB 224, and/or the SB 295 enactment of Ohio Revised Code § 3509.03 with the HB 224 amendments, thereby restoring in-person early voting on the three days immediately preceding Election Day for all eligible Ohio voters;"
So no, they aren’t trying to block military members from getting to the polls, but arguing that since the polls will be open anyway, everyone else should have access to them as well. A couple of commenters think this will be a “logistical nightmare,” but the logistics aren’t really that scaleable. Having the polls open for a few would be the same as having them open for many. There may need to be few more election judges, but those positions are voluntary anyway.
Some outlets initially -- and incorrectly -- reported that the move was an effort to disenfranchise military voters.
(h/t: Weekly Standard)