Eaton had recently explored these themes in a lengthy Sunday story about the voting-rights wars that’s also worth a read. (In a separate story, the PD’s Felesia M. Jackson examined voting restrictions enacted in the last couple of years in 16 states, including Ohio.) Eaton’s PolitiFact entry, which rated Romney’s claims “false,” invites some of the semantic disputes that surround the factchecking sites—Romney’s statement was arguably more misleading than false—but it offers a thorough treatment of the important facts about the lawsuit.
Cincinnati’s at one corner of the state, Cleveland at the other. Right in the middle, The Columbus Dispatch offered its own take, via a pair of items by Joe Vardon. The first noted clearly that while in Nevada, Romney had been asked a question that offered an “inaccurate characterization” of the suit, and added:
The lawsuit does not ask the judge to reduce early voting days for military personnel, which is required to stretch through the day before Election Day by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act. Rather, it reminds the court that all Ohio voters could cast early ballots in person up to Election Day until Republican state legislators in Ohio passed House Bill 194 last year.
That article had a bland headline (“Both campaigns roil over voting suit”). But the point was driven home by the headline on a subsequent story by Vardon: “Experts: Romney’s wrong on early-voting suit.”
Unfortunately, some of the material in the middle of the follow-up may have muddied the waters for readers who haven’t been following the legal twists and turns closely. But the overall point is clear. And it all adds up to a solid showing from the Ohio press about this particular bit of misleading campaign rhetoric.