The Eric Holder Justice Department is repeating the military voting mistakes of 2010. Yesterday Justice sued Vermont for not sending military ballots out in time under federal law. The MOVE Act requires ballots to be mailed 45 days before the election. The moment a state fails to do so, they are in violation and can be sued.
Naturally the swift and efficient DOJ Voting section waited nearly three weeks to bring the federal lawsuit. To anyone who has worked in the Voting Section, the reasons it takes so long for military voting enforcement to activate are entirely obvious, and must be comprehensively overhauled in a Romney administration.
These lost 19 days will disenfranchise military voters. DOJ should have filed a complaint within the first week of non-compliance, and demanded either a consent decree or TRO that forced Vermont to use express delivery of ballots from that moment forward. Instead, DOJ’s current leadership thinks that a slow leisurely litigation schedule that tacks on extra days to return ballots after the election is already over is the solution. That thinking needs to be removed from DOJ in 2013.
Here is the problem – because it takes so long to get the ballots overseas, many servicemembers from Vermont won’t get their ballot in time to even vote it before the election. Some will assume there is no chance for it to be counted. Consider the servicemember who receives it October 31. They know a week isn’t enough time to turn it around, and they just quit the process.
I’ve talked with scores of military voters in the last 2 years that describe a voting system that is so inefficient that large numbers of folks who wear the uniform simply bail out of the process. This is a sickening tragedy that must be once and for all fixed by a new administration. Fundamental changes must be made @FVAP (#IGReportsaysFAIL), where social media is seen as the solution to the problem. (#wherearethevotingoffices #PaddyMcGuireDemocrat #75milliondollarsblown) Even more fundamental changes are needed to eliminate the DOJ bottleneck to speedy and effective UOCAVA enforcement.
One thing is certain, a second Obama term will preserve the failures in the system.