The Justice Department’s program for handling military absentee ballots suffers from major flaws, and a survey revealed low turnout among military voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, according to a report by a private group made public on Tuesday.
Less than 5 percent of 2 million military personnel in states that are home to 80 percent of U.S. troops voted last year, the report by the Military Voter Protection Project (MVP) said. The low numbers were in part the result of complicated and mishandled federal enforcement, said Eric Loveland, MVP founder and author of the report. “We’re 10 years into conflict now, and we still can’t seem to get the absentee voting things right,” Mr. Eversole said. “This needs to be a priority now. We can’t let our servicemen suffer another election.”
Mr. Eversole, a veteran and former Justice Department official, studied 24 states’ voting records and found widespread gaps in the application of a 2009 federal law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.
“The states didn’t have clear guidelines from the Department of Justicefrom the very beginning, even though the Department of Justice promised to provide those guidelines” in February 2010, Mr. Eversolesaid.
The MOVE Act requires states to send absentee ballots to troops and their families at least 45 days before ballots are due. In the 2010 elections, offices in 14 states failed to meet this deadline, including New York, Maryland and Illinois. Most of the infractions were spotted at the local level, including 35 counties in Illinois.
Full Article: Flaws seen in absentee ballot program – Washington Times.