Military Disenfranchisement

Disenfranchisement. It’s an ugly word.  The dems claim requiring a photo ID to vote is disenfranchisement—it’s not when it covers all voters.  The real, ugly disenfranchisement is what is being done to our service people. Absentee ballots are not being sent in time to be completed and returned before Election Day.  The numbers of military voters being disenfranchised is large enough to shift the election in a number of swing states—like Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia.

In 2000, Florida dumped thousands of military ballots. Some were found months afterwards when it was too late to affect the election. The dems hope to block the military from voting again.

The Military Ballot FUBAR

By Charlie Sykes

Madison, Wisc…] At least 30 Wisconsin municipalities failed to send absentee ballots to military voters before the 45 day deadline, according to former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony Principi, and he’s demanding the Government Accountability Board address the problem immediately.

As reported by the website, Principi sent a letter to the GAB on Monday pointing out the failure to meet the 45 day deadline is in violation of Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act.

“This violation is particularly unsettling in light of the fact that, only six months ago, a federal court entered a consent decree against Wisconsin and the Government Accountability Board for similar violations of military voting rights,” wrote Principi.

Principi cited a study by the Military Postal Service Agency, which found less than 45 days is not enough time to ensure service members can receive, complete and return in time.

“Your office’s violations therefore may deprive service members of their fundamental right to vote,” he wrote.

And this is another article about the Wisconsin fiasco.

DOD Corrects Late Deadline Published for Wisc. Military Ballots

by Tony Lee 1 Oct 2012

After the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) published an incorrect deadline for the return of absentee military ballots of Wisconsin servicemen overseas, the Department of Defense emailed service members Thursday to inform them the initial deadline was wrong. 

“Please follow the directions that come with your ballot and allow sufficient time to ensure that your ballot is received in time to be counted,” the email read, according to a MacIver Institute report. “We regret any inconvenience that this may have caused.”

Last week, the MacIver Institute discovered the FVAP website listed “listed Wisconsin’s ballot return date as seven days after the actual deadline, an error that could have disenfranchised thousands of military voters serving overseas.”

The FVAP’s website stated ballots had until November 16th to reach election officials in Wisconsin when the actual deadline is November 9th. As the MacIver Institute noted, this means “service members and overseas voters must mail their ballots well before Election Day for them to be delivered in time,” even though ballots could be postmarked as late as election day, which is November 6th.

The federal program created to oversee this operation, the Federal Voting Assistance Program, has been a complete failure. Between the liberals at the state level and the civilian liberals in the Defense Department, significant numbers of military voters will be effectively disenfranchised.

It is beginning to appear that the issues with the military vote are not accidental but are purposeful. The Obama administration appears to be deliberately suppressing the military vote.

Is the Obama administration suppressing the military vote?

By: Hope Hodge, 9/27/2012 10:42 AM

Voter assistance programs for the military – specifically targeted for improvement with $75 million after low military turnout in 2008 – have been left to languish by the Obama administration and the result may be depressed military turnout. Again.

The situation is especially alarming for the Mitt Romney campaign, because polls have consistently shown that Romney’s support from military voters and their families exceeds that of Barack Obama’s support by double digits.

In other words, the less the administration puts a priority on military voter outreach, the more the president is helped in the election.

The situation is reaching a crisis point, as members of the military face deadlines for absentee ballots in some states in just a matter of days. So far, military ballot requests are at a dismal low.

In the pivotal swing state of Ohio, roughly 9,700 absentee ballots had been requested by military and overseas voters as of Sept. 22, compared with well over 32,000 in 2008 total ballots cast for those groups. In Virginia, another swing state with a significant military presence, the nearly 12,300 military and overseas ballots requested so far are something less than 30 percent of the more than 41,700 absentee military and overseas cast four years ago.

The problem was so acute that the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act was enacted in 2009 as part of the defense authorization bill to counter the apparent barriers to military voting. It required blank absentee ballots to be sent to service members who requested them at least 45 days before an election and called for the creation of dedicated voting assistance offices on every non-deployed military installation.

But while these offices were dutifully set up at many installations, early numbers suggest they are ineffective, and a recent Inspector General investigation found that representatives in those offices are, up to half the time, unreachable or unresponsive.

Of 229 installation voting assistance offices officials tried to contact by telephone, or email, more than 49 percent could not be reached at all. Furthermore, surveys conducted by the Defense department after the 2010 election, which showed the offices were effective in helping troops to vote, were found to be misleading because the surveys had a low response rate and respondents were largely self-selecting.

In a Sept. 13 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on military personnel to discuss the Inspector General report, Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) suggested the problem lay with Obama administration priorities.

“It seems to me that the DoD made sure that they got the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell surveys (determining the effects of a repeal) to every member of the military, to every spouse, to everybody that they were supposed to,” he said. “But when it comes to military voting, it seems that we’re not able to get the absentee ballots to our soldiers…it seems to me that there’s a different standard there when it comes to voting versus a survey that the DoD or the administration actually wanted a response to.”

When I was in the Air Force a number of years ago, each commander was personally responsible for insuring all his people were: (a) registered to vote either at their home of record or locally if they met the residency requirement, (b) that each military member who was registered applied for an absentee ballot by the deadline and insured each absentee voter returned that ballot on time, (c) insured that every voter, military and civilian within his command had the opportunity to vote on election day. I remember my base commander had an officer outside the on-base polling station with a clipboard and checked off each military member and dependent as they entered the polls. Failure to meet these requirements meant a poor OER and effectively ended the military career of the commander.

Times have changed since then as has technology. I find it hard to believe if military commanders faced a bad OER the number of absentee ballots would skyrocket. I also find it hard to believe if the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted adherence to the FVAP program, it would have happened.  In my opinion, this is what happens when our military leaders are no longer leaders but politicians.