Senator: Defense Department Not Complying With Election Law
5:27 PM, Oct 22, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
It’s bad enough that the administration has repeatedly cut defense spending in the midst of fighting a war but it now appears it is also shirking its duty to make sure those serving in that war are able to vote and have their vote counted. At the end of last week, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reminding the Pentagon chief that the department has a positive obligation under a 2009 law (Military Overseas Voter Empowerment Act) to collect and, if need be, express mail absentee ballots from the men and women serving overseas in time for those ballots to be counted prior to Election Day. But, according to the senator, “Recent communication from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, as well as an internal review by the military postal system, indicates that DoD is not complying with the law.”
Of course, this is not a new issue. And as recent as 2010, somewhere between 8 percent to 10 percent of service members’ absentee ballots failed to make it home on time to be counted. Yet, even today, with our troops still in harm’s way and forward deployed, the Military’s Postal Service is telling service men and women that it’s up to them to acquire the ballots, get to the military post office or mail clerk, and express mail the ballots themselves. However, as Senator Cornyn points out, “That is not what the MOVE Act required. The law assigned these responsibilities to DoD. Under no circumstances should DoD be shifting its obligations onto the shoulders of overseas service members.”
Probably just another reason why recent polls show the military overwhelming supporting Governor Romney over President Obama.