The Fund and Spakovsky Show

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 7 2012 4:42 PM

The Fund and Spakovsky Show

Ryan J. Reilly and I both ended up at the always-useful Heritage Foundation Bloggers' Briefing today. His lede: John Fund saying that Republicans focus on voter ID laws because they want to win elections. What I found interesting, though, was Hans von Spakovsky's defense of the argument that only Ohio's military voters deserve early voting rights from Saturday-Monday before an election.

"There's a very good administrative reason for that," von Spakovsky said. "They need a couple of days to get ready for the election. They need a couple of days to take the records of people who early-voted and take them off the rolls of people who can vote on election day."


Did Ohio falter in 2008 and 2010, though, when its non-military voters could go to the polls early? I think the better von Spakovsky arguments are in his blog post (which has been shared nearly 3000 times on Facebook), but I get stuck on this one.

Contrary to the claims being made by the Obama re-election campaign, there is no comparison between the average resident of Ohio who knows he may be on a business trip on election day, and therefore should vote by absentee ballot or vote early, and a Marine who is suddenly given orders to deploy to Helmand province or is ordered on a field exercise with little advance notice.

Fine to compare the military voter to the "average voter," I guess, but aren't there other tasks that can put you out of commission on election day? A cop engaging in a high-speed chase then filing paperwork? A sanitation worker who unexpectedly pulls two shifts? The "soldiers deserve a right that belongs to no one else" argument is politically astute, sure, but I notice that not even Ohio's GOP U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who mentions his Marines service in every ad, has decided to deploy it.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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