President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has taken a stand against recent changes in Ohio's election laws.
Ohio's Republican-led legislature passed the election law reform, HB 224, last June. Among other provisions, the law shortened the early voting period and the time period for casting absentee ballots, and banned county election boards from mass mailing absentee ballots.
Democratic lawmakers protested that the new laws will unfairly limit ballot access. They also said the law was motivated by politics, since early voters typically favor Democratic candidates. Though he lost the general election, the party's candidate for governor, Ted Strickland, won 52.8 percent of the early vote in 2010, according to the Columbus Blade.
Now the Obama campaign has weighed in against the law, and is encouraging Ohioans to sign petitions to block the reforms.
One campaign email, quoted by HudsonHub.com, says, "More than 1.7 million of us who voted early in 2008 will have to find a new way to vote in 2012."
HB 224 would have been an even stricter law if a photo ID requirement been approved. Because it was not, Ohio's election laws are not as stringent as those of neighboring Indiana. The Hoosier state requires photo ID to vote, and under a controversial new measure, the names of candidates running unopposed will no longer appear on ballots.