Sometimes it seems as if politics is becoming a matter not of how well candidates can make their cases to voters, but how persuasive attorneys supporting them can be in court. And it often appears the idea is to inject chaos into the election process.
Two examples of that have occurred in Ohio, where some so-called election advocates don't appear to want any rules enforced on Election Day. Consider the two lawsuits they filed recently:
In one case, the Service Employees International Union filed a lawsuit demanding that voters be allowed to cast ballots anywhere in their home counties, not just at precincts where they are supposed to vote.
Obviously, the SEIU system would have created confusion at some polling places, increasing the chances of errors and outright fraud.
Incredibly, a federal judge in Columbus agreed with the union. But, with just days to go before the election, a three-judge federal appeals court panel overruled him. If you wanted your ballot to count in Ohio, you had to show up at the right polling place.
An even more outrageous lawsuit was filed by the Ohio Justice and Policy Center of Cincinnati. Officials at the center insist something needs to be done about the voting rights of Ohioans arrested last weekend and held in jail through Tuesday.
Because the deadline for requesting absentee ballots had passed already, that handful of people wasn't able to vote at all, protested the center.
Well, that's just too bad. Finding a way to accommodate that infintesimally small number of voters affected by the situation would be difficult at any time. Ordering the state and county election officials to address it last week would have been ridiculous.
Federal Judge Susan Dlott in Columbus felt that way. She refused to take action in the lawsuit without obtaining more information.
Indeed, safeguarding voting rights is important. But so is having a few rules to keep the election process orderly and manageable and to avoid fraud. Judges who reject lawsuits aimed more at creating chaos than protecting voters' rights are doing the vast majority of Ohioans a service.