Monday, January 28, 2013

The Military Voter’s Disenfranchisement

13.8 percent of military voters tried to vote but could not finish the process.  21.6 percent – which comprises over one-fifth of military voters - did not receive their ballots.  These were the results of a survey from the 2012 election conducted by the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Disenfranchisement of military voters is a tragedy that the government sought to avoid by passing legislation in 2010.  The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act)'s intent is to protect military voters, but if the law is not implemented and enforced, it fails to serve that purpose.

The Justice Department failed to put pressure on critical states that were not sending out military ballots on time.  In Wisconsin and Michigan, there were counties that failed to send out their ballots.  The state authorities sued the localities and political campaigns tried to sue to enforce the law, but the Justice Department conveniently ignored these swing states.

The Obama administration has a history of ignoring military voters.  This can be seen in the 2010 election where the administration avoided critical states and tried to justify they were enforcing the law by focusing on small territories like Guam.

All military voters, including those in large swing states, deserve to receive their ballots and have the ability to complete the process.

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