10/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Voting Rights of Ohio Veterans and Deployed Troops Under Attack

You wouldn't think that anyone would knowingly threaten the voting rights of our nations' deployed service members and hospital-bound veterans. But an attempt is being made right now that could risk the absentee ballots of thousands of troops and veterans from and in Ohio.

Existing Ohio law allows citizens to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot on the same day, as long as it happens 30 days before the election. But a ridiculous new lawsuit brought against Ohio's Secretary of State is trying to prevent the two actions of registering to vote and submitting an absentee ballot from happening simultaneously. If the lawsuit succeeds, it could nullify the votes of potentially thousands of veterans in VA hospitals and deployed military personal that took advantage of this opportunity to register and vote at the same time.

Ohioans have made tremendous sacrifices in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since September 11th, more than 46,000 of the state's sons and daughters have deployed. We owe these veterans and all service members an absentee voting process that is fair, predictable, and clear.

This is not a partisan matter. Regardless of which candidates they cast their ballots for, servicemen and women and hospitalized veterans, who rely on absentee voting, could find their ballots thrown out.

Disenfranchising our brave men and women in uniform is unpatriotic, and threatens the very democracy and freedoms that they are fighting so hard to defend. Join IAVA in demanding that the court reject this last minute, politically-motivated ploy that could block the votes of our troops and veterans. This is a campaign effort that all Americans should support -- Republican, Democrat and everything in between.

UPDATE: We Won! The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a last minute challenge to the state's absentee ballot voting law, a decision which represents a tremendous victory for Ohio's troops and veterans. Last week, IAVA joined several advocacy rights groups in submitting an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the current understanding of the law. The Court's decision to uphold the current law ensures that our servicemembers are able to take full advantage of the very freedoms they are fighting for, anything else would be unpatriotic and un-American.

Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?