Last year Congress passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) requiring every state to mail out absentee ballots to military personnel and family members 45 days before Election Day. However, several states with late primaries received waivers and extended the deadline for the return of ballots mailed in from overseas.
The dictator’s home state of Illinois did not have a late primary, yet 35 of 110 counties missed the September 18 deadline. Eric Holder’s [In]Justice Department will push aside MOVE Act violations as it did for voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia in 2008. The Department will not enforce the Act because the majority of military votes are usually Republican.
Congress should also clarify that military personnel and family members overseas have the right to vote in state and local elections as well as federal elections, and that any violation of the 45-day rule must be remedied by a court order extending both the deadline for the postmark of the marked ballot and the deadline for its receipt.
If electronic means are secure enough for our nation’s most important secrets and for huge sums of money, why is it not possible, in 2010, for deployed service members to vote by a secure means that will guarantee that their ballots are counted?—Captain Samuel F. Wright
It’s up to Congress to amend the MOVE Act and put some teeth in it this time so that disenfranchised military voters have recourse of action to enforce the 45-day rule.
For the rest of Wright’s commentary, see The Scandal of Military Voter Disenfranchisement by Captain Samuel F. Wright.