Why PJM's Military Voting Monitoring Project Is So Important

Pajamas Media is asking military voters who had problems getting their ballots to send their stories to [email protected]. Why? Because the MOVE Act may likely be rewritten next year, and information about problems you experienced will be essential to get it right in 2012.

Military voters don’t like to rock the boat; they don’t want to be attached to gripes. Here’s how Pajamas Media will deal with that -- simply, by making sure your privacy is protected if you want it. PJM has gotten information already, especially from military families. It’s clear by now that military voting this year turned into a fiasco, despite the new MOVE Act.

Sixteen states and territories, at least, blew it and didn’t mail ballots on time. The Maine secretary of state, amazingly, told Fox News last week that compliance has been “pretty impressive.” I’d hate to see what he thinks is pretty “awful.”

Pajamas Media had been predicting this fiasco as far back as July 2010. The reasons are many, and were predicted. For starters, some states like New York, Maryland, Colorado, and Wisconsin did nothing to change their laws. They just didn’t care enough to get the job done and bring the ballot mailout dates in line with the MOVE Act’s 45-day guarantee. Maryland passed legislation to allow 16 year olds to register to vote, but couldn’t take the time to ensure that military members got a ballot in time by complying with the MOVE Act. State apathy was one reason for the fiasco.

But the Eric Holder Justice Department deserves enormous blame. As far back as February, a manager at the Voting Section told state election officials that the new law was vague and the DOJ didn’t really want to sue anyone. State election officials were flabbergasted and acted accordingly. They assumed compliance with the new law wasn’t a big deal to the DOJ, the agency charged with enforcement.