Absentee voting trouble for our troops is the biggest civil rights issue in America today. Politicians in Washington who were so hell-bent on pushing through “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the name of civil rights don’t seem quite as motivated to make sure that your men and women in warm’s way get to vote. In 2008 half of our oversees troops reported problems in voting. In 2010 that number was still an alarmingly highly 1/3. Can you imagine if any other group in America faced those challenges? There would be complete and total outrage. Troops having trouble voting? Ho-hum. Congressional hearings are now underway on the subject. So what are they going to do about it? A report:(READ MORE)
The Justice Department negotiated out-of-court agreements last year with four states that missed the Sept. 18 deadline for mailing absentee ballots to military service members. As a result of those agreements:
• Seven counties in Kansas agreed to delay counting ballots the same length of time that ballots were late in being mailed.
• Twenty-two counties in Mississippi counted ballots until Nov. 8.
• Elko County, Nev., sent ballots by e-mail or expedited mail, then counted ballots until Nov. 8.
• Thirteen counties in North Dakota counted votes until Nov. 8.
The Justice Department also reached agreements with other jurisdictions that had sought Pentagon exemptions to the mailing deadline and were rejected. Those agreements affected:
• Wisconsin, which held a Sept. 14 primary. Justice officials sued to force an agreement that ballots be mailed by Oct. 1 and not counted until Nov. 19.
• The District of Columbia, which also held a Sept. 14 primary. D.C. officials agreed to mail absentee ballots by Oct. 4 and wait to count them until Nov. 19. The District has since decided to hold an August primary in 2012.
• Hawaii, which held a Sept. 18 primary. State officials agreed to send and receive absentee ballots by express mail at no cost to voters. Ballots went out by Sept. 24. Hawaii also decided to move up its primary to August.
• Alaska, with an Aug. 24 primary; Colorado, with an Aug. 10 primary; and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with an uncontested Sept. 11 primary. All three ultimately agreed to meet the Sept. 18 deadline.