President Barack Obama’s Dept. of Justice has been unusually aggressive about fighting voter ID laws states have enacted. However, one voting bloc the Obama administration appears unconcerned about comprises the men and women putting their lives on the line daily—the U.S. military.
Congress passed the MOVE Act in 2009, but the Military Voter Protection Project has pointed out that half of our military bases lack a voting facility. MVP has also pointed out requests for absentee ballots are down.
A Pentagon spokesperson told media voting assistance for the military “has never been better.”
Facts suggest otherwise.
MVP responded that a recent report from the organization “found that requests from service members for absentee ballots are remarkably low this year, specifically faulting the Defense Department’s voting assistance offices.”
Only 15 states earned all-star status for making sure military voices are heard in elections.
Only 3 percent of military voters have requested ballots.
Eric Eversole, Executive Director of MVP, told Fox News, “Our service members have so much on the line…they’re fighting for their own rights too.”
MVP said, “The report shows the military has let down its service members by failing to implement the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.”
Members of the military are running out of time.
The Pentagon spokesperson said voting was a personal responsibility, ignoring conditions soldiers may face in the field. The spokesperson appeared unconcerned.
Noting a history of disenfranchisement, MVP said:
The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights of American democracy. It has been defended for well over 200 years by the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. Yet, when it comes to their right to vote—our military members’ right to choose the next Commander in Chief or their elected representatives—their voices have long been silenced by an electoral process that has failed them.
That silence was most evident in the 2008 election when thousands of absentee military ballots were never received by the military voter or received after the election.
DOJ head Eric Holder came under political fire in 2010 over compliance with the MOVE Act. Holder was accused of stalling on compliance. However, it’s possible his department was overwhelmed, engaging in lawsuits with numerous states over voter ID, the ObamaCare Tax Bill and the MOVE Act, among other matters.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 7, 2012)
Related at The US Report