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Military Voters, We Want to Hear From You

States are failing deployed military members and families, and the DOJ's Keystone Kops are doing little to nothing to help.

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October 21, 2010 - 2:21 pm

Men and women in uniform and your families: Please send us your stories about voting difficulties!

There are reports our overseas soldiers have not yet received voting ballots, face voting irregularities, or are encountering obstacles in trying to vote in the field. If you or a family member is finding it difficult to vote in the 2010 elections, we want to hear from you. Submissions can be anonymous or openly identified.

We want to hear if those fighting for our country are being denied the right to cast their vote.

Please send your first-hand reports to bryanp@pjmedia.com.

Several states and jurisdictions have failed this year to mail out absentee ballots to military voters on time. Among them, Westchester County, New York, and New York City.

New York City and Westchester Country are but two of the several New York jurisdictions which admitted that they failed to mail military ballots. This fact should have been known on October 2, when the Justice Department should have marched into court seeking an immediate order that the ballots be sent — preferably by rapid express mail.

Instead, a Justice Department press flack says they are in “urgent discussions.” Great. Congress should ask why they aren’t in urgent “litigation.” New York had already received a waiver, which DOJ supported, allowing the state to mail ballots on October 1. They couldn’t even meet that relaxed deadline.

The state of Illinois has also failed our military voters:

The crack Department of Justice unit set up to protect military voters is beginning to resemble the Keystone Kops operation of 2008.  It turns out that after they concluded that all the military ballots in Illinois went out on time, they were wrong.

In fact, ballots in one of the largest counties in the state, St. Clair County, did not go out early enough to comply with federal law. In fact, it is unclear whether or not they have gone out at all.

Yet inside the DOJ, the crack unit made inquiries in Illinois and went away satisfied that all was well, nothing to worry about.

These appalling and ongoing failures may result in the disenfranchisement of active duty and reserve military members and their families. And the Department of Justice has utterly failed to deal with the situation.  And it’s not as if states are incapable of making it easier for deployed military families to vote. This year, the state of Texas has done just that on its own initiative:

In accordance with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, the state of Texas has adopted new administrative rules that make it easier for military and overseas voters to access the absentee voting process. Included are provisions which allow military service members temporarily residing outside their county of residence, as well as United States citizens residing overseas, to request blank balloting materials to be sent to them by email as well as the establishment of a ballot tracking system allowing military and overseas voters to determine the status of their ballot.

When a voter submits their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), they may specify that a blank ballot be sent to them via email. Voted ballots must still be returned through regular mail, unless they are sent from a designated war zone and are eligible to be returned by fax.

If you or anyone in your family has been impacted by the failure of your state or local jurisdiction to send out absentee ballots on time, we at PJ Media and PJTV would like to hear from you. Please send us your story.

(thumbnail photo courtesy FreeFoto.com)

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