Posted: 11:58 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2012
By Barrie Barber
This is part of a series running throughout September looking at Ohio’s key role in the upcoming election. Since the beginning of the month, we’ve had stories looking at how the presidential race is shaping up across the state including in southwest Ohio. We’ve also taken a look at the minority and youth vote, the gender gap and today’s story looks at the veteran vote.
We are committed to bring you in-depth, balanced coverage of the race for the White House. Throughout the election season, we plan in-depth special reports on the issues you care about such as the economy, health care, military issues and the federal budget. If you have story ideas or questions, shoot us an email at email@example.com
Go to DaytonDailyNews.com/go/election for the latest news, maps and video. Also find voting resources about polling locations, absentee ballots and more to get you ready for Election Day. Follow our political team on Twitter at @Ohio_Politics throughout election season.
How to vote
Military service members overseas may request an absentee ballot through the website www.ohiomilitaryvotes.com.
Ohio’s Military Ready-to-Vote program offers voting materials, information and assistance to active-duty service members.
Service members absentee ballots must be received within 10 days of the Nov. 6 election to be tabulated, said Alexis Zoldan, an Ohio Secretary of State spokewoman. The state had sent about 9,700 absentee ballots overseas as of Sept. 27.
Where candidates stand
President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney have made appeals to veterans to vote for them based on where they stand on national defense and veteran-related issues.
Among other points, Obama has touted:
Ending the Iraq war;
Withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by end of 2014;
Ordering the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden and military drone strikes that have hunted and killed al-Qaida operatives;
Significantly increasing spending on veterans health care and benefits.
Romney has touted:
Reversing defense budget cuts;
Reequipping and replacing aging military weapon inventories;
Adding 100,000 active-duty troops;
Expand the VA outreach to rural veterans through more on line and electronic services, and easing a claims backlog, among other priorities.
4 KEYS TO WINNING THE VETERANS’ VOTE
Military veterans are an influential demographic in presidential elections, according to political analysts. They are especially important in a swing state Ohio and its southwest region, which relies heavily on defense spending jobs.
Veterans say these are important issues to them:
Defense: Projecting an image of national strength through a strong military
Budget: Avoiding the growing prospect of automatic, across-the-board defense cuts in January
Jobs: Being able to find jobs after returning from deployment, which has been more difficult for post-9/11 veterans than for the general population
Benefits: Receiving benefits and services that meet their needs from the Department of Veterans Affairs