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Monday, September 10, 2012

Troops Voting Rights

Have you heard about this? Apparently a new-ish law orders the military to set up voting-assitance offices at each base, and some bases are setting up electronic voting, others paper ballots, and still more are ignoring the law entirely. Depriving military personnel of their absentee ballots is nothing new (though this law is), and I've written before how Illinois and New York both failed to send ballots to their citizens serving in the military in time for them to be returned and have their votes counted, just because the military leans Republican. Not that they cite that reason, naturally. Either way, the military doesn't get to vote because there is no penalty for states (and now the Pentagon it seems) for failure to comply. The Washington Times reported yesterday:
Six Republican senators are asking Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta personally to intervene to ensure that U.S. troops stationed away from home get the chance to register and vote in the upcoming election.

They say Pentagon officials are ignoring a 2009 law that ordered the military to set up a special voting-assistance office at every U.S. base around the world, to make sure troops can negotiate the confusing patchwork of 50 different sets of state registration and absentee voting requirements, and get their ballots mailed in time.
From which point the Times describes the lack of established voting offices in over half of military locations. Not good.  A Pentagon representative will come before the House Armed Forces Services subcommittee this week. Watch the news media ignore the meeting entirely. They're good at ignoring problems which would benefit Democrats to ignore. Instead they like to drum up sympathy for illegal immigrants' lack of voting rights, rather than our own servicemen at work to protect our country. They show their colors.

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