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.
Add to this that the DOJ finally got around to filing a lawsuit against Guam for failing to send out military ballots — something that still hasn’t been accomplished despite the September 18 deadline. DOJ waited seventeen excruciating days before filing an enforcement action, even though it was apparent that they were breaking federal law on September 19, at the latest.
These most recent failures demonstrate why James Cole, the nominee to be deputy attorney general, is not going to be confirmed any time soon. Senator John Cornyn of Texas has placed a hold on Cole because of the failures of the DOJ Voting Section to aggressively enforce military voting. The Illinois and Guam problems won’t help
Instead of aggressive enforcement to protect military voting rights, the DOJ has been cutting deals with states like Wisconsin which ignore the congressional mandate that ballots be mailed at least 45 days before the election. Because DOJ did nothing all year to enforce the 45-day mandate, they cut deals that ignored the numeric minimums in law.