Obama To Soldiers Overseas: No Voting For You!
Military: The administration thanks the troops for their service by failing to comply with a law requiring that it help soldiers deployed overseas cast ballots in their home states.
The administration has taken various states to court to block voter ID laws on the grounds it will disenfranchise voters. But it has no qualms about the disenfranchisement of military voters overseas through its failure to comply with and enforce the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, passed by Congress in 2009 and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The law acknowledges the difficulties caused by time and distance for deployed soldiers in exercising the right to vote they put their lives on the line to protect. One of the key provisions required each military branch to create an installation voting assistance office (IVAO) for every military base outside an immediate combat zone.
Last week, however, the Pentagon's inspector general reported that attempts to locate and contact IVAO offices at overseas military installations failed about half the time.
"Results were clear. Our attempts to contact IVAOs failed about 50% of the time," the inspector general reported. "We concluded the Services had not established all the IVAOs as intended by the MOVE Act because, among other issues, the funding was not available."
The estimated cost of establishing functioning IVAOs at all overseas military bases not in combat zones is estimated at between $15 million and $20 million a year. We wasted $530 million on Solyndra but can't afford a relative pittance to ensure our soldiers are not disenfranchised.
An administration that constantly talks about voter disenfranchisement appears unconcerned that a study by the nonpartisan Military Voters Protection Project found that in 2008 less than 20% of 2.5 million military voters successfully voted by absentee ballot. In 2010, that participation shrank to a scandalous 5%. We need to encourage military voting and make it easier. >>>
The law also requires that states mail absentee ballots to their servicemen 45 days before an election so there's enough time to return and count them. The Department of Justice can file suit to ensure compliance but in 2010 was content to grant failing states waivers. As a result, about one-third of overseas troops who wanted to vote in 2010 couldn't, according to testimony at a House committee hearing in February.
The administration showed its true appreciation for military service when on July 17 the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in that swing state to strike down part of a state law governing voting by members of the military that gives them three extra days to cast their ballots. The Democrats objected that it discriminated against nonmilitary voters.
The National Defense Committee, a veterans organization, notes that "for each of the last three years, the Department of Defense's Federal Voting Assistance Program has reported to the president and the Congress that the number one reason for military voter disenfranchisement is inadequate time to successfully vote."
So where is the outrage by the the weasels aka as the GOP "leadership" in Congress? Crickets.
Probably in the same place as the ones in Romneys camp who insist 0bama is not a Marxist who is systematically shredding the Constitutution... no, no, no .... he's "a nice guy". Just "mis-directed".