GOP senators: Thousands of ballots unlikely to reach military voters in time

The Hill

By Ramsey Cox


A group of Republican senators said Monday that thousands of voter ballots are unlikely to reach military service members until after Nov. 6.

One day ahead of the election, Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to express their concern over delays in ballots reaching military voters overseas.

“We write to express concerns over another serious failure by the Department of Defense (DoD) to safeguard the voting rights of our overseas military service members, which we believe could result in the imminent disenfranchisement of thousands,” the letter stated.


Mail redirection in the military can take between 14 to 50 days, meaning a ballot could reach the voter possibly more than a month after ballots have to be mailed back in order to be counted. The Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) identified problems with the system after the 2010 election, but hasn’t implemented changes.

“DoD’s failure to fix this longstanding problem means that the blank ballots of thousands of overseas service members, as well as some who have recently returned from overseas, could be currently trapped in an archaic and inefficient mail forwarding system,” the senators wrote. “These ballots are unlikely to reach these service members until after Election Day has passed."

The senators advised Panetta to create a centralized mail redirection system and modernize military mail delivery.

“We are perplexed as to why DoD did not do everything in its power to modernize the system for redirecting blank ballots in order to eliminate this roadblock for military service members, per the top 2010 recommendations from MPSA,” the letter stated. “As we know you agree, they deserve to have a voice in choosing their elected leaders. Our men and women in uniform should be able to participate in the very same democratic system of government that they defend, not be relegated to mere spectator status because their ballot never reached them.”

The senators asked that a new mail system be in place by the next election, in 2014.


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Just fresh-one day before election:

At the present I am visiting Czech Republic. Tonight news on TV Nova Channel:

...the race for US presidency is a tie 46 to 46...everybody is watching in expectation, who will be the next president of USA... even IN HIS NATIVE LITTLE TOWN WHERE HE WAS BORN IN KENYA...(With the shot of Kenyan town).

It is funny that in foreign country it is not a secret, where Obama was born, but it is big NO NO in United States of America. It is funny for me, because in spite of his communist ideology, he would be hanged in any of the former Communist states as traitor and the plant by enemy.

New president and a "new'  Defense Secretary also.. :)

Exactly. What kind of oversight to wait until they are disenfranchised to "write a letter"? Heads should roll for this. The election should not be finished counting until each has had opportunity to vote. 

My point exactly. Oh Mr. Panetta, Please,please have a system in place by 2014, so our poor soldiers can have a vote, or at least before they are killed. What a bunch of pompous, incompetent, non-caring politicians both Republican and Democrat that masquerade as honorable people.  The Department of Defense created a Clearing House months ago to facilitate distribution of Absentee Ballots to our soldiers and it has been a total failure and in some cases worse than 2008. How in the hell can this be. We have been excoriating our Township,Municipal, City, County Officials for months to get this resolved. Oh1 Says one Township official, They have to request one. Oh, Let me put down my Rifle and grab my I-Phone between shots and request one. As I stated earlier. EVERYBODY IN OHIO GOT ONE WHETHER THEY REQUESTED ONE OR NOT. Just what we need. A BIGGER MORE INCOMPETENT GOVERNMENT. I can't believe this incompetence!

Frankly I think the higher ups in the DoD that did not fix this after 2008 should loose their jobs and pensions as a result. This is just not right that the very people that are on the front lines won't get a chance to vote because the DoD could NOT fix it's mail system. Maybe we need UPS to deliver the mail to the troops Geeze this is just wrong.

I want them delivered and counted before this is over.  I spent almost 30 years in the US Military, and I am tired of our young men and women getting the shaft.

Obama did not want the military to vote.

This is exactly the point.

Why because he knew that the military votes Republican almost every election. Period.

There is no need for a better Military mail system. Perhaps they have heard of Fed-Ex or UPS? Either of these companies would be capable of delivering the ballots. And if for some reason they could not get through, surely a computerized system with a paper trail could be implemented which would not need ballots to be sent into war zones.

So the story is that a plane with the ballots crashed. Well I would bet that the Obama White House leaked exactly which flight had those ballots so insurgents could take it down. Add the lives lost to those in the Benghazigate debacle. When Obama lies Americans die. How anyone could reward that man with a second term is simply beyond me.

Hasn't a precedence been set with the vote extension in Florida? I had read earlier that a vote station had to be cleared due to a suspicious package or container left unattended so the local voters were given a time extension. If the voting can be extended for potential dangerous objects in one of our states, then I would think that the voting can be extended for those that are bodily in harm's way in a war zone who didn't get their ballots in time! Some of Hurricane Sandy's victims have the option to vote by email, why not our military?!



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