The Federal Voting Assistance Program, run out of the Pentagon, is responsible for aiding servicemembers participate in elections. They are charged with informing those in uniform about upcoming elections and helping them register and vote.
But if you are a servicemember from Virginia, you’d hardly know it.
If you go to the FVAP website, and click through to the page that should help Virginia servicemembers register to vote in Virginia, they are greeted with this news:
This omission has created quite a stir among local election officials in Virginia. Virginia has a scheduled November election for Governor, Lt.. Governor and Attorney General. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is relying on the votes of servicemembers for victory. While it is true there are no federal elections, servicemembers are entitled to register to vote using a special federal post card application – a program which FVAP should be promoting, but as you can see, isn’t. Remember, the statement above is from the link to “register to vote.” But hey, GOP leaning servicemembers can wait until next year to register to vote, after all, the Pentagon says there is no upcoming election.
FVAP is overseen by Assistant Secretary of Defense Jennifer Wright, a long time careerist.
FVAP is temporarily being run by another careerist with no election administration experience, Matt Boehmer. The Pentagon Brass is currently looking for a full time director, and if one with no election administration experience is chosen, the response from Congress should be merciless.
FVAP has been plagued by partisanship and abuse. Accounts of FVAP employees boozing it up on the dime of federal contractors, and hiring partisan Democrats as civil service employees because they are Democrats are rampant. Worst of all, the record of FVAP actually helping military voters is embarrassing according to the Department of Defense Inspector General.
We’ll learn soon if the Obama administration rewards incompetence and promotes from within, or really cares about military voters. Given the record of this administration so far, we can guess the answer.