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Obama’s Invisible War Against Military Voters

The president has failed to fully implement the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which he signed in 2009.

by
Matthew Vadum

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October 1, 2012 - 11:42 am
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Almost no one has noticed that the Obama administration is waging war administratively against the voting rights of America’s warriors overseas.

This bureaucratic assault comes in the form of the Obama administration’s unconscionable foot-dragging on the implementation of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2009. The legislation passed, in part, because the nonpartisan Military Voter Protection Project discovered in 2008 that under 20 percent of 2.5 million military personnel voted by absentee ballot. By 2010 that figure had shriveled to just 5 percent.

But the Obama administration, which moves at light-speed to undermine common-sense state voter identification laws, hasn’t bothered to set up half of the installation voting assistance offices (IVAOs) required under the MOVE Act. The law was created to help deployed soldiers, many of whom are constantly on the move, to exercise the right to vote that they risk their lives to protect. IVAOs are supposed to help military personnel find their way through the maze of confusing voting rules enforced by the nation’s 55 states and territories.

But IVAOs can’t help anybody vote if they don’t exist. By Washington standards, setting them up properly would cost a pittance. Creating IVAOs as required by the law would cost just $15 million to $20 million per year in this era of Obama-approved annual trillion-dollar deficits.

This effort to prevent deployed soldiers from voting comes as the Obama administration and its allies endlessly hype phantom voter suppression here at home, accusing grassroots good-government groups like True the Vote of voter intimidation, while giving aid and comfort to nightstick-equipped storm troopers from the New Black Panther Party.

Do you think the administration’s lack of interest in protecting soldiers’ votes could have something to do with the fact that military personnel tend to lean Republican? Mitt Romney scored the support of 58 percent of the military compared to President Obama’s 34 percent in a Gallup poll this past May.

You may be forgiven for not knowing about this civil rights travesty-in-progress because the recent congressional hearing that exposed this sad state of affairs was virtually ignored by the mainstream media.

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