Virginia argues that they don't need to send out military absentee ballots in time to vote

Last year, we covered some of the problems in the counting of military absentee ballots in Virginia, as did others. This problem has not gone away. It has just moved. The day before election day 2008, the McCain campaign filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia to force Virginia to count military absentee ballots that came in after election day. McCain lost Virginia by more than enough votes, but the case went on with the Department of Justice replacing the McCain campaign.There were filings last month and will likely be a hearing this month. So what?

The Virginia State Board of Elections argued in their most recent filing that they have no legal obligation to send out military absentee ballots in a timely manner. Restated, the State of Virginia has argued in a federal court filing that they can legally send out absentee ballots to active duty soldiers the day before an election. Restated again, the Democratic Chairwoman of the Virginia State Board of Election (appointed by the Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine, in his capacity as Virginia Governor) Jean Cunningham just claimed a legal basis for massively raising the barrier to voting for soldiers at war.

Really. Read on for details.

The details of the legal proceedings are at the invaluable Election Law@Moritz. Let's start with the most recent filing on behalf of the defendant

There is no federal statute that requires States to mail absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters a minimum number of days before an election. The Complaint in Intervention is based entirely on a “determination” by the Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense that such ballots be mailed at least 30 days before an election, and a “recommendation” that States allow 45 days for round-trip mailing of absentee ballots.

This is remarkable, and the implications of this should be understood. First of all, some counties in both Virginia and New Jersey haven't sent out absentee ballots yet in violation of their own laws. Whether due to maliciousness or simply being overburdened and understaffed is always up for debate. If Virginia prevails, there would be a legal argument for putting the ballots of active duty military at the back of the bus, as it were.

Second, this whole debate concerns only federal elections. States have to pass laws that allow for military voting in non-federal elections. I do not believe that either state has done that. Virginia's filing notes that many of these questions are irrelevant in many ways because of the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, but their flier on military voting notes "Virginia allows you use the FWAB as an absentee ballot for Federal Offices only". In other words, not state and local elections. In fact, state laws have to do more to let active duty military vote in state elections.

Third, if ballots were even to be sent out in a reasonable time, a question is them getting back in time. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Dan Boren, Sen. John Cornyn, and Sen. Mark Begich have a proposal to have DoD pay for ballots to be returned by express mail, but Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are blocking consideration in the House, even though it passed the Senate last year

In discussing last year's issues, Marc Ambinder noted, "Democrats insist they're biased towards access... so will they try to intervene on behalf of these voters?"

Good question.

Your rating: None


Military Man

Having actually been in the Army I know that every unit has a non-cmissioned officer in charge of acquriring absentee voting materials for every soldier in the unit who wants them. They are required to work in this well in advance of any federal election.

Further they provide information about voting deadlines both for applying for the materials and for submittingthem back to the service member's home state.

Your issue is in fact non.



how could anyone suspect the Democrats of engaging in vote suppression, voter registration fraud, condoning criminal misconduct in voting, press to have the vote of felons restored or award non-profit community activists with millions of federal taxpayer dollars for willingly engaging in such vote fraud to advance the Democrat Party?

I mean, my God, this article makes it sound like Virginia is Chicago or someplace.  Gheesh.

Besides, it's like only 65% of military personnel vote for GOPers... do the Democrats even presume their votes should be counted?  Sounds like in VA, they'd rather not.

Good Post; Unclear Reply

The problem of the left attempting to keep military votes from counting is well documented; this information needs more play & dissemination.

For the comment; The NCO who would do that has to get the ballots from somewhere - I don't think he or she could simply create them. If that NCO requests the ballots be sent but the state does not send the ballots out in a timely manner which would allow them to be returned in a timely manner... issue.

Ding, ding, ding... at least you got the important fact correct.

Unlike bottoms who says

They (the NCOs) are required to work in this well in advance of any federal election.

Really bottomboi?  Well, you need to spend some time thinking about what MI-GOPer wrote above... his state is not much better than VA and it's had a long checkered history in addressing the ballot issue for military personnel.  As long ago as 1999 in Michigan, a group of veterans worked in league with the GOP Mi Secy of State to sue the SOS so that she could, in turn, compel local election officals to send military personnel the ballots with enough lead-time to afford a vote, a timely return and counting.  The federa lawsuit demnded the SOS to adhere to a realistic functional timeframe and was made to compel local clerks to do the same.  But a federal judge and a lawsuit and willing parties don't always result in constructive results.

As late as last week, an NCO familar with Michigan said this:

Responsible for the morale and discipline of 90 recruiters working throughout Michigan, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Laura Rios found herself battling her own spirits when it came to one confounding issue: voting overseas.

"They would mail me my ballot and I would always get it on the day it was due," said Rios, a 26-year active member of the military who served tours in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and England. "My vote has never counted."

A bill moving through the Michigan House would speed up the process for overseas military members by allowing election clerks to e-mail or fax absentee ballots.

In fact, 10 yrs later, the problem is still NOT fixed, despite bottomboi's wish to declare this is nothing but "(t)he absurd GOP outrage of the week".

And MI-GOPer has one thing wrong... it isn't just a Democrat vs GOP thing.  In Michigan, it's a Democrat House member who has introduced legislation to finally bring an end to this problem and force election officials to live-up to their moral obligation to count the military vote.

So, before you get all up-in-the-feathers there, bottom boi, try getting smarter rather than faster in your commentaries here.  I wouldn't put it past the VA election officials to be playing fast and loose with the military vote because it isn't a regular constituency of the Democrat Party... but to say it isn't important or it's a fake outrage, as you do, is just pure ignorance parading as opinion.  Hey, maybe that qualifies you for a czar position in the Obama Administration?



If Virginia prevails, there

If Virginia prevails, there would be a legal argument for putting the ballots of active duty military at the back of the bus, as it were.

Diety on a pogo stick. How do you get from that to Virginia is not sending ballots to service members?

If Virginia pervails in the alternate universe where Spock has a beard Virginia might conceivably not send servicemembers their ballots in time.

No has said they plan to send out the ballots the day before the election. No one has even hinted they might send them out with less than 45 days turn around.

But... As long there's the legally microscopic chance it might happen, and in at least one universe that means it did happen, so it can said with certainty in this universe it will happen.

The absurd GOP outrage of the week.


The only thing "absurd" is that you believe your nonsense.

It's still happening all over the US, rbottoms.  A Pew Study found at least 16 major states place considerable impediments in the way of citizen-soldiers exercising their franchise.  You may need to defend the Democrats and work to discount the military vote, but it is a shame that this nonsense --and your nonsense-- is allowed to continue as the status quo.


the so-called "absurd..."

"How do you get from that to Virginia is not sending ballots to service members?"

First of all, no one has said that they currently are not sending out military ballots.  The comments are being made about a maneuver by a democrat that would remove any legal obligation to get votes out to service men and women in a timely manner.  

If this is, as you say, the "absurd GOP outrage of the week", then perhaps you can tell me why it is necessary to strip this obligation from the state of Virginia?  Or are you saying that a democrat was just hell-bent on pursuing needless litagation?  Either Virginia has a legal obligation to its voters (ALL of them, including military members!) or it does not.  If it is presumed to have them, why bring a suit to destroy that obligation?


So, before you get all

So, before you get all up-in-the-feathers there, bottom boi

I've long htought the GOP was full of racist crackers but was under the impression sites like this was about changing all that.

Seems not.



bottom boi is a racist, too

plus, he's got that added benefit in being able to play the Victimhood card in the best Democrat tradition.  I pity da' fool.

Race card, victim, disenfranchised... and you'd think that after 100 yrs of special advantage and favorable treatment minorities could --at some point-- finally stand as real men and become productive members of society... instead of the highest drug abuse rate, the highest divorce rate, the highest family abandonment rate, the highest violent crime rate, the highest rate of felony convictions, the lowest incomes, the lowest education levels, the worst rate of medical health, the lowest graduation rate, etc.

And now we allow him to call others "racist" while he casts about racial slurs?  That's progress!

Jake, what is with these Left liberals and the Race Card?

Let's see, rbottoms calls you a racist "cracker", which, by its very use is a racial slur.  But you're the racist in his biased world?  WTF??

Well, to some twisted logic or reality, I guess that makes sense.  I guess its okay for black people to be racists and issue out racial slurs, for black people to get special treatment from govt because of their race, for black people to play victim-all-day-long even outside of the DNC.  Now that a mixed race President is in the White House, I was hoping that maybe some change might come along and fix all that preferential treatment that's rooted in conduct by some back in the 1840s and earlier.

Guess not as far as rbottoms is concerned.  Too bad that his hate has soured his perspective.

It's a double standard... they want you to do as they say,

but be free to do whatever they want to advance their cause --like being a racist by using racial slurs to racially intimidate others.  Jesse, Al, rbottoms and the entire watermelon patch crew depend more on racist attitudes to legitimize their victimhood.

YOu have it right:

Too bad that his (rbottoms') hate has soured his perspective. romney2012


rbottoms begins claiming "x, y & z", loses and exits stage left

It's interesting to note that this thread was about the failure of VA election officials to adequately provide for ballot counting of military voters.

The Virginia State Board of Elections (controlled by the Democrats) argued in their most recent filing that they have no legal obligation to send out military absentee ballots in a timely manner.

rbottoms, one of the resident far Left Democrat trolls, went on record as saying that all of this was just an "absurd GOP outrage of the week"... in defense of Democrat efforts to supress the mostly GOP military vote.

When it was pointed out that Michigan and 16 other states have similar, equally long-standing problems, rbottoms stuck to his mantra about the issue being a non-issue.  And then rbottoms launched into a tiresome, predictable rant about racism because, just like Obama, if you disagree with a minority's unsubstaniated and wrong-headed opinion, you're a racist.

Democrats, the VictimHood Industry and playing the racecard to dismiss legitimate, contrary views.  Same old, same old; where's da Hope, where's da Change?  And, in this case, the Democrats are driving a bus over the military personnel they've been trying to court and woo.