This is follow-up information about the military absentee ballot situation that was brought up last evening.
Military persons who want to vote must request an absentee ballot to be sent from the jusisdiction where they are registered to vote.
It’s obvious that in order to vote you must be registered. Military personnal who are not registeterd to vote, missed the registration deadline, so they will not be able to vote in the 2012 election.
The problem is now with those who are registered. The numbers of absentee ballots requested by the military are way down this year.Most states are seeing declines of between 50 & 70% on military ballot requests. In Florida requests for ballots are down by 47% from 2008, In Ohio and Virginia, they’re down by 70%.
Here in Beaufort County only 81 service members stationed abroad requested absentee ballots down from 217 in 2008. Our County elections office started mailing military absentee ballots yesterday (right after they arrived from the printer) and they expected to complete the mailing today.
What’s the cause of the drop in military voting this year?.
The Military Voter Protection Project, a non-profit citizen group, says current leadership at The Pentagon is not providing even the most basic assistance to our military — like reminding them it’s time to request an absentee ballot and assisting them in the procedures to get the ballot to their overseas location and back to the polls at home in a timely way.
Military personnel stationed overseas are from virtually every state in the Union. Consequently, there is generally one trained person at each duty station who is familiar with election procedures in the various states and can provide assistance.This is not happening under the current administration.
Here is a web video that explains part of the problem.
What can we do about it? We spoke with the Concerned Veterans for America, another military voting advocacy group, this morning, and they promised to send us some information about what we, as a group, can do to help fix this problem.
Meanwhile, with only 4 weeks to go till election day, we need to ask the legislators to demand that The Pentagon expedite the following:
1.) Send an urgent message to each duty station asking them to immediately remind all registered voters that they still have time to request an absentee ballot and to advise them to see the individual who is designated at their location to provide assistance with their voting process.
2.) Demand that the message about voting contain a sense of urgency to encourage all military personnel to vote in the Nov. 6, 2012 election.
3.) Demand that the Pentagon authorize overnight Fed Ex service for all completed ballots.
Congressman Howard McKeon - Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
202-225-1956, or 661-274-9688, or 661-254-2111
Congressman Mac Thornberry, Vice Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
Senator Lindsay Graham, member of Senate Armed Service Committee
Feel free to forward this message to any and all elected officials who may have any sway over The Pentagon. It is apparent that Pentagon incompetence is the major cause of this problem.
Bluffton Tea Party Patriots