• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Protecting Military Voting Rights

    It seems counterintuitive that those men and women risking their lives to protect our essential freedoms and rights—among them the right to vote—are often disenfranchised when they do not have the opportunity to make their voices heard on Election Day.

    At the most recent Bloggers’ Briefing, representatives from Military Voting Rights USA discussed the Military Voting Protection Act sponsored by Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Dan Oren (D-OK), along with 32 other House co-sponsors, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), along with 25 Senate co-sponsors.

    Twenty-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jessie Jane Duff explained that the current absentee voting system for military personnel leads to massive disenfranchisement because of the long delays in overseas mail. It can take up to three weeks for ballots mailed from combat zones in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to arrive back in the states. The Military Voting Protection Act will replace this three-week mark with the opportunity for soldiers’ ballots to be sent home from overseas military bases using Express Mail in as little as four days. She explained that, “There is no reason military voters should not be able to cast their vote on the Friday before the election and know that it will be counted on Tuesday.”

    As data for the 2008 election is not yet available, Ed Fitzmaurice, former U.S. Marine Corps pilot, looked to the Election Assistance Commission to point out that in the 2006 election, 990,000 military and overseas absentee ballots were requested. However, more than 660,000 did not reach election officials and, of those that did, another 10 percent were received too late to be counted.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Protecting Military Voting Rights

    1. Our Military must ha says:

      Should our elected officials not be out ragged by this?? So where is there out rage over this and why are they not??

      This is a gross in justice to our Military.

      When the commission has to point out that in the 2006 election, 990,000 military and overseas absentee ballots were requested. However, more than 660,000 did not reach election officials and, of those that did, another 10 percent were received too late to be counted.

      What is being done to correct this??

    2. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Anything to make it easier for our troops should not be ignored.

    3. D. Gluzman, Austin, says:

      Roughly 3/4 of a million, mostly young people's, votes were ignored. Wow! These votes could've tipped off the balance in some election cases and therefore can not be tolerated in a democracy. It is hard not to think that someone is using it as a political tool or even worse – promote this situation.

    4. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      This is the voting rights violation and it is unconscionable. The people in charge of getting the military personnel absentee balloting must be held liable for the delays and must be made into a felony.

    5. Casey, Virginia says:

      Our congress *is* outraged – and there are is a lot of legislation proposed this year to improve the laws and process of military and overseas voters, yes. It is an issue that has bipartisan support, as well. New, visionary leadership is needed in the federal agency that runs this program.

      Some caution, the data cited in this article is old and most of it was weak to begin with (not all states report consistently and "undeliverable" ballots were tallied as rejected vs. unused which makes it all look even worse). The US Election Assistance Commission has yet to release new data for the recent 2008 election. Doesn't mean anyone should expect it to be good data or a better story (although we can hope it will be), but it can re-flavor the arguments and "outrage."

      Along with returning ballots faster and more reliably, we ought to think about the other 3-week+ period of delay involved in snail mailing BLANK ballots to military voters – these ballots could just as well be send to the voters by email or downloaded, after all, they are blank. It isn't hard and there you capture another 3 weeks. Too bad the bill doesn't address this as well.

    6. NEAL says:


    7. johnW,laughlin says:

      How soon we forget, it was the democratic party during the 2008 election that wanted to ignore the overseas ballot problem, as well as the votes from our soldiers abroad…But in the same instance found it completely acceptable to receive votes from questionable sources, such as votes and monies from Arabic and south American sources that have not been completely investigated to this day!! Talk about OUTRAGE!

      Our fighting forces should be allowed to have their votes counted first and above all others! they are earning not only their own vote but our right to vote freely as well!

    8. M.L.P. Bellingham, says:

      We are negating the votes of the very people, the fighting service people overseas, which make our voting continue possible. Incredible!!

      What about voting by secure websites for the service people? The comm. units in the service have them available even in the forward bases in Afghanistan.

    9. Richard, Spring TX says:

      As much as they pay lip service, Democrats don't want the military to vote because the majority are Republicans.

    10. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      The following was received from a friend who is the father of a USNA grad.

      I suppose that we soon will decommission a four-ship division of our decimated destroyers, remove their gun mounts and associated powder rooms, and install swimming pools, hot tubs, and the like — for the foreign dignitaries we take on a cruises for heart-to-heart talks about their giving up their nuclear weapons.

      I note the author didn't include the Clintons as among those who respected the military.

      - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

      Talk about a lack of trust and respect.

      - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

      No Naval Swords for U.S.N.A. Graduation this year – Threat to the Dear Leader Inside the Beltway – Washington Times

      No Weapons for Anyone

      From the news-you-couldn't-make-up-if-you-tried file…….Obama's protectors have ordered graduating Midshipmen….and I suppose Commissioned Officers through Flag rank…to leave their swords at home. Full Dress White includes "wear sword". More to the point…those badges of office have been earned in a manner Obongo and his minions just wouldn't begin to understand. Important traditions that inspire are kind of lost on the red banner crowd, apparently.

      Further, ceremonial swords never seemed to bother the Secret Service for any previous President. And before World War II, the swords were not particularly "ceremonial." I've seen some of those blades, boarding actions did occur on the China Station pre-war against river pirates, warlords, etc. Those swords were worn not just to graduation, but to Inaugurations, in the receiving line at the White House afterward, to the Inaugural Ball. Somehow nobody gave it a second thought. Somehow even Presidents in the past didn't presume to specify items of uniform.

      But of course, what worked for Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, F.D.R., the Bushes, T.R., any other rational non-cult leader…..doesn't work for this former state senator anointed by the Chicago machine.

      Does he secretly consider our Naval and Military leaders "the enemy"? Perhaps the message this sends escaped his handlers. Sad. And …..follow me on this Obama and minions…..insulting. Actually it's contemptible.

    11. Pingback: Protecting Military Voting Rights « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    12. Lizz E says:

      Hello! You bet you're on the right track! We at Count US In (www.countusin.us and http://www.militaryvote.blogspot.com) share your mission!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.