Ryan Presses Early Voting, Military Ballot Concerns in Wisconsin
WAUKESHA, Wis.-Returning home to the same city he came back to after being selected as Mitt Romney's running mate two months ago, Paul Ryan reminded the hometown crowd to vote early, comparing his party's success in the state's recall to victory for his ticket in November.
"Let's not forget, early voting starts pretty soon, so you can vote early, you can vote early absentee so that you can make sure we work on making phone calls and getting people to the polls," Ryan, wearing a Green Bay Packers tie, said. "Because you know what we learned here in Wisconsin?…we learned that if you'd say to people here's who I am, this is what I believe in, and this is what I'm going to do, in Wisconsin we elect them and then they go do it and that's exactly what we're going to do for the United States of America, we're going to take on these challenges in this country."
The yearlong recall effort ended in Gov. Scott Walker, who attended today's rally, keeping his job as well as the state legislature remaining Republican. Both the Romney and Obama campaigns are aggressively fighting for Ryan's home state with ads from both sides flooding the state as well as the candidates stumping here.
Vice President Joe Biden made Wisconsin his first stop after their debate last week. The latest poll out of the state, the New York Times/Quinnipiac/CBS News poll from last week, had Obama and Romney within the margin of error with the president at 50 percent and Romney with 47 percent. Ryan said his state is on a "winning streak in Wisconsin" mentioning the record of his Packers as well as Republicans being victorious in the recall and asked the crowd to "keep that winning streak going," noting the state hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1984.
"We here in Wisconsin we have an obligation," Ryan said to a crowd of several hundred at Carroll University. "We are what we call a targeted state. That means we have an obligation we have a responsibility and we have a great opportunity. We have shown and we have seen what courage looks like. Look at that man right there, Scott Walker. Look at these state legislators. That's what courage looks like. And in Wisconsin we have shown that if leaders step up and lead we as voters have their backs… Let's make sure that we win Wisconsin. Let's get out to the polls. Let's get people there."
Ryan's event was a town hall, he's done over 500 in his district mostly on his health care and his budget plan, but Monday he got asked about ballots being distributed to servicemen and women currently overseas.
On Friday, the Romney campaign filed a federal lawsuit seeking more time for military voters in Wisconsin to return ballots that were sent past their deadline and Ryan mentioned the suit while answering the question, blaming the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
"You can't selectively enforce our election laws," Ryan said. "You can't selectively enforce voting rights. And of all the people who have a right to vote, it's our men and women in uniform, especially those that are overseas serving us right now - of all the people who deserve this right -we've had to go to the length, our campaign, of having to bring a lawsuit to make sure that these men and women who are getting their absentee ballots, who are serving in military, who are overseas have enough time to return their ballots so that their votes are counted."
Ryan said "if a single soldier is denied his or her right to vote, that's a shame. That's not what we can stand for in this country.
According to the suit obtained by the Associated Press, a spokesman for the GAB said 44 ballots were sent up to five days after the September 22 deadline. The suit is seeking five additional days for them to be returned; the current federal law requires the ballots to be returned by November 9.
Waukesha is where Ryan came home to on August 12th with Mitt Romney, the day after he revealed his running mate to the world on the deck of the USS Wisconsin. Monday, Ryan said his mother Betty Douglas told him afterwards that as a young girl in San Francisco she visited the ship with her father.
It wasn't the only time he would make his pitch personal, telling the audience that the six touchdowns Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers scored Sunday night "reminds me of what it's going to look like on November the 6th." Ryan's next stop is a campaign event in Cincinnati before traveling to New York City to attend fundraisers for his ticket.