The dispute over early voting in Ohio provides reason for disappointment with both sides of the argument.
That's because the feud isn't over early, in-person voting itself. The fuss is about the schedule for the early casting of ballots in person.
President Barack Obama's campaign and Democrats accused the Ohio secretary of state and attorney general - both Republicans - and the GOP-dominated legislature of trying to suppress turnout by working-class and minority voters by limiting early voting periods.
At issue is the part of an election law overhaul that would end early voting for most residents the Friday evening before a Tuesday election. The law makes an exception for military personnel and Ohio voters who live overseas.
The assumption is that military voters and business people working overseas tend to vote Republican. Blue-collar and minority voters tend to vote Democratic. Aspects of voting should not be manipulated for these reasons.
What's also disheartening is that voting the weekend before Election Day only seems to be an issue in two battleground states, Florida and Ohio. A dozen states, not counting Ohio, end in-person early voting Nov. 2. Another 19 don't offer that option at all. Yet those states aren't the target of lawsuits.
That's because the issue really isn't being able to vote the last three days before the election; it is the availability of in-person voting during the weekend and other off-hours.
Military and overseas voters can walk in and vote those last three days; why not allow others?
Election laws should ensure each voter casts a ballot - and only one ballot - where he or she lives. Partisan manipulation of turnout should be avoided.
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Early And Absentee Voting, By State: