October 28, 2008
AFN Public Service Announcement

This morning at the mess hall here in Iraq, I was watching the Armed Forces Network(AFN) when a Public Service Announcement came on (they don't have paid advertising so this is what we get instead) that was reminding Military members that the APO/FPO (Military Post Offices) have delivery confirmation at that it is recommended to use that on your absentee ballot so that you know your ballot was received by your state.

This got me wondering how bad is it for Military Overseas ballots during elections? So I did some checking and discovered that during the 2006 election roughly 70% of Military Overseas Ballots were not counted. This was due to various reasons such as, ballots did not arrive on time, ballots mailed to the wrong place, ballots filled out wrong, ballots not mailed back and never received, there are some that are just not mailed back at all and in some cases you have political attempts to disenfranchise the military vote (A poll shows troops favor McCain 68%).

This is just part of the problem. CNN is even reporting on this issue and had this to say about Overseas Ballots:

"It's disenfranchising our military and frankly I think it's very unpatriotic," said retired Navy Lt. Melissa Cox Boss.

A part of the problem is that each state has its own rules for absentee voting, and those rules can change in the middle of an election season.

In Virginia, for example, the federal write-in ballot required a witness' signature and address. That proved confusing for soldiers overseas because there was no box provided for a witness address.


At least in the Virginia case listed above they discovered the problem early and the Secretary of State said don't worry about it count their votes.

This is truly a sad deal when our brave Men and Women in uniform risk their lives, yet have to add the cost of delivery conformation to ensure their ballot is counted.


cross posted: The TrueSoldier Rants

Posted by TrueSoldier at October 28, 2008 10:43 PM | Email This
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