Defense Department Rejects 4 States’ Military Voter Plans, Grants 5 States Waivers

Serviceman Casting His Ballot - Every vote counts

The Department of Defense announced Friday that it was denying four states’ requests to waive requirements of a law intended to protect the voting rights of military personnel overseas, but five other states were granted exemptions because their alternative accommodations were deemed adequate.

The states denied exemptions to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act were Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. Waivers were granted to Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington.

The MOVE Act requires states to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act no later than 45 days before an election for federal office starting with this fall’s elections, election. In accordance with the MOVE Act, states are allowed to apply for a waiver from the 45-day ballot requirement.

U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the department was working with those denied to bring them into compliance. The department will file lawsuits against any state that doesn’t voluntarily comply, she said.

The Wisconsin board that regulates elections issued a statement saying it was committed to ensuring all military and overseas voters fully participate in elections and will begin working immediately with the DOJ to work out what steps to take next.

Wisconsin election director Kevin Kennedy said before the decision was handed down that a denial would not change how the state holds its Sept. 14 primary. Under the new federal law, ballots to members of the military and others living overseas have to be sent 45 days before the Nov. 2 election.

Wisconsin and other states with August and September primaries sought the waiver saying they don’t have enough

Casting a Ballot from Bagram Afghanistan

time to formalize the ballot and get it sent to those voters by the Sept. 18 deadline.

Minnesota and Vermont responded to the law by moving their Sept. 14 primaries back to August. Maryland initially asked for a waiver for its Sept. 14 primary, but then determined it could get the ballots to military and overseas voters before the election.

The head of a nonprofit group that advocates for military and overseas voters said the 45-day requirement under the law isn’t that big of an issue because all states can e-mail ballots to voter.

The 45-day requirement was the worst-case scenario for how long it would take a ballot to be sent and returned by mail, said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president and of the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Of those that requested a waiver, three have already had their primaries — Colorado on Aug. 10, Washington on Aug. 17 and Alaska on Aug. 24. Six of them are on Sept. 14 — Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. The Virgin Islands’ primary is Sept. 11 and Hawaii’s is Sept. 18.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/27/dod-grants-states-waivers-military-voting-law/

McAuley’s World Comments:

According to Real Clear Politics, 3 of the 10 States requesting “MOVE Act Waivers”, to authorize the State’s non-compliance with the law, have political races that at present are projected as “to close to call”. Those 3 states are Wisconsin, Colorado and Maryland. Remember that past U.S. Senate races in Minnesota and Wisconsin have been decided by a handful of votes … in Minnesota we have the most recent and infamous stolen election to the U.S. Senate … and in Wisoconsin more votes were cast in Milwaukee then there were registered voters … Contact your elected officials and demand action … See if you can question your elected officials about this outrage at their public campaign appearances …  http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml      

US Troops Vote in Iraq

Task Force Finds More Ballots Cast Than Registered Voters  –  

“MILWAUKEE — A task force that was investigating possible voter fraud in Milwaukee released its findings Tuesday. U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said investigators found more than 4,500 ballots were cast in Milwaukee than registered voters in the Nov. 2 election. But he said they have not found any pattern of conspiracy to commit fraud. Investigators also found more than 100 instances of suspected double-voting and more than 200 felons who voted improperly. No one has been charged, but the investigation continues.”  http://www.wisn.com/politics/4472834/detail.html 

I’d like to point out that we never have a 100% voter turnout – during the record breaking turnout that elected Barrack Obama only 63% of registered voters cast ballots:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout / http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html#axzz0xkU5FT7Y

Why is this significant? In Miwaukee 11 people voted for every 10 registered voters. (Roughly 45,000 registered voters with 50,000  ballots cast). The article sited above notes that their was no “evidence of intentional fraud”. This is simply laughable … With 60 years of U.S. voting statistics to work with, it should have been readily apparent that there is no other conclusion to reach but that massive voter fraud took place. There is zero probability that Milwaukee suddenly achieved a 100% voter turnout when no community in the United States has ever been able to do so … not one, ever… not even in the record year of 2008 …. In that record breaking year when Barrack Obama was elected we had a 60% voter turnout, or 6 in 10 registered voters turned out to cast ballots … so lets assume that Milwaukee had a 60 percent turn out … 6 out of 10 voters … Then how do we explain the other 5 votes, remember that for every 10 registered voters 11 votes were cast … a total of 11 votes cast, 6 by registered voters … 5 votes unaccounted for …. for every 6 legal votes in Milwaukee there were 5 illegal votes … that doesn’t happen without an organized and widespread effort … this isn’t a small statistical blimp .. this represents a massive an intentional voter fraud … the statistics say so … not any type of political bias … there was very nearly one illegal vote cast for every legal vote cast in Milwaukee … Contact your elected Representative. Please.

See Original Post Here: DOJ Stalls Implementation of MOVE – Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act. Troops in field may be improperly denied their right to vote

Study: 28% of deployed troop votes not counted

By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday May 14, 2009 18:30:56 EDT
 A study released Wednesday says that 28 percent of deployed service members were unable to vote in the November elections because their absentee ballots were uncounted or never collected.

That finding, based on data gathered by the Congressional Research Service from seven states with high populations of military voters, is worse than in the 2000 presidential election, despite a massive effort to improve the absentee voting process, said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who requested the study.

“This is unacceptable and something we should not allow to continue,” Schumer said.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said he expects Congress to do something tangible because voting laws are not working.

The seven states in the study were California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

Combined, they account for 43.5 percent of the active-duty military population.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/05/military_absenteevoting_051309w/

Ballot For U.S. Military

519,000 ballots cast by overseas troops

By Karen Jowers – Staff writer
Posted : Friday Nov 7, 2008 21:28:31 EST

The Military Postal Service Agency had returned 519,032 overseas absentee ballots to local election offices as of Nov. 4, more than 2½ times the total of 203,233 returned in the 2004 election, officials said.

MPSA delivered 415,428 absentee ballots to APO and FPO addresses between Sept. 8 and Nov. 4, said Shari Lawrence, Army Human Resources Command spokeswoman, more than twice the total of 205,418 sent out in the same time period in 2004.

Some people were able to get ballots electronically, depending on the state. That’s why nearly 105,000 more ballots were received by local election officials this year than were mailed through the military postal system to APO/FPO addresses.

DOJ Stalls Implementation of MOVE – Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act. Troops in field may be improperly denied their right to vote

UPDATE #2: Posted 08/26/2010 – According to Real Clear Politics, 3 of the 10 States requesting “MOVE Act Waivers”, to authorize the State’s non-compliance with the law, have political races that at present are projected as “to close to call”. Those 3 states are Wisconsin, Colorado and Maryland. Remember that past U.S. Senate races in Minnesota and Wisconsin have been decided by a handful of votes … in Minnesota we have the most recent and infamous stolen election to the U.S. Senate … and in Wisoconsin more votes were cast in Milwaukee then there were registered voters … Contact your elected officials and demand action … See if you can question your elected officials about this outrage at their public campaign appearances …  http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml      

Task Force Finds More Ballots Cast Than Registered Voters  –  

“MILWAUKEE — A task force that was investigating possible voter fraud in Milwaukee released its findings Tuesday. U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said investigators found more than 4,500 ballots were cast in Milwaukee than registered voters in the Nov. 2 election. But he said they have not found any pattern of conspiracy to commit fraud. Investigators also found more than 100 instances of suspected double-voting and more than 200 felons who voted improperly. No one has been charged, but the investigation continues.”  http://www.wisn.com/politics/4472834/detail.html 

I’d like to point out that we never have a 100% voter turnout – during the record breaking turnout that elected Barrack Obama only 63% of registered voters cast ballots:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout / http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html#axzz0xkU5FT7Y

Why is this significant? In Miwaukee 11 people voted for every 10 registered voters. (Roughly 45,000 registered voters with 50,000  ballots cast). The article sited above notes that their was no “evidence of intentional fraud”. This is simply laughable … With 60 years of U.S. voting statistics to work with, it should have been readily apparent that there is no other conclusion to reach but that massive voter fraud took place. There is zero probability that Milwaukee suddenly achieved a 100% voter turnout when no community in the United States has ever been able to do so … not one, ever… not even in the record year of 2008 …. In that record breaking year when Barrack Obama was elected we had a 60% voter turnout, or 6 in 10 registered voters turned out to cast ballots … so lets assume that Milwaukee had a 60 percent turn out … 6 out of 10 voters … Then how do we explain the other 5 votes, remember that for every 10 registered voters 11 votes were cast … a total of 11 votes cast, 6 by registered voters … 5 votes unaccounted for …. for every 6 legal votes in Milwaukee there were 5 illegal votes … that doesn’t happen without an organized and widespread effort … this isn’t a small statistical blimp .. this represents a massive an intentional voter fraud … the statistics say so … not any type of political bias … there was very nearly one illegal vote cast for every legal vote cast in Milwaukee … Contact your elected Representative. Please.    

UPDATE: Review of Judge Bolton’s Decision begins here: The Immigration Debate: The Arizona Law – Judge Bolton’s Decision (Part 1) 

DOJ Accused of Stalling on MOVE Act for Voters in Military

The Department of Justice is ignoring a new law aimed at protecting the right of American soldiers to vote, according to two former DOJ attorneys who say states are being encouraged to use waivers to bypass the new federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.

The MOVE Act, enacted last October, ensures that servicemen and women serving overseas have ample time to get in their absentee ballots. The result of the DOJ’s alleged inaction in enforcing the act, say Eric Eversole and J. Christian Adams — both former litigation attorneys for the DOJ’s Voting Section — could be that thousands of soldiers’ ballots will arrive too late to be counted.

“It is an absolute shame that the section appears to be spending more time finding ways to avoid the MOVE Act, rather than finding ways to ensure that military voters will have their votes counted,” said Eversole, director of the Military Voter Protection Project, a new organization devoted to ensuring military voting rights. “The Voting Section seems to have forgotten that it has an obligation to enforce federal law, not to find and raise arguments for states to avoid these laws.” 

Adams, a conservative blogger (www.electionlawcenter.com) who gained national attention when he testified against his former employer after it dropped its case against the New Black Panther Party, called the DOJ’s handling of the MOVE Act akin to “keystone cops enforcement.”

“I do know that they have adopted positions or attempted to adopt positions to waivers that prove they aren’t interested in aggressively enforcing the law,” Adams told FoxNews.com. “They shouldn’t be going to meeting with state election officials and telling them they don’t like to litigate cases and telling them that the waiver requirements are ambiguous.”

The MOVE act requires states to send absentee ballots to overseas military troops 45 days before an election, but a state can apply for a waiver if it can prove a specific “undue hardship” in enforcing it.

Sen. John Cornyn,R-Texas – who co-sponsored MOVE – wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on July 26 saying he is concerned that the Department of Justice is allowing states to opt out of the new law. Click here to read the letter.

“Military voters have been disenfranchised for decades, and last year Congress acted,” Cornyn said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “But according to recent information, the Department of Justice has expressed reluctance to protect the civil rights of military voters under the new law. All our men and women in uniform deserve a chance to vote this November, and the Obama administration bears responsibility for ensuring that they have it.

“For far too long in this country, we have failed to adequately protect the right of our troops and their families to participate in our democratic process. The MOVE Act was supposed to end this sad history. The right to participate in democratic elections is fundamental to the American experience.”

In his letter to Holder, Cornyn cites minutes from the 2010 winter meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), during which Rebecca Wertz, deputy chief of the DOJ’s voting section, told state election officials that the legislative language regarding waivers is not completely clear. Wertz described the provisions of the law as “fairly general” and “somewhat of an open question as to what type of information” a state needs to submit in order to for their waiver application to be granted. She said it was also unclear whether waivers are for one election only, or if they apply to future elections.

According to the meeting’s minutes, obtained by FoxNews.com, Wertz also said “that the DOJ is working to find effective ways to disseminate any information guidance that can help states with different questions about MOVE interpretation. She invited questions and dialogue from states, and said that litigation is always the last resort.”

Cornyn wrote, “If these are the positions of the DOJ, then they fly in the face of the clear statutory language, undermine the provisions in question, and jeopardize the voting rights of our men and women in uniform.”

He said the language of the law makes it clear that there is no ambiguity when it comes to states’ eligibility for being granted a waiver, and that the statute does not leave room for the Justice Department to decide whether to enforce its requirements. 

“If a state is not in compliance with the statute, there is little room for “dialogue” or negotiation, and the Voting Section should take immediate steps to enforce the law and safeguard military and overseas voting rights, including pursuing litigation whenever necessary,” Cornyn wrote. “The comments by the DOJ official, as reported in the NASS minutes, appear to ignore Congress’ clear legislative language and could facilitate the disenfranchisement of our men and women in uniform.” 

Cornyn, who discussed Eversole’s allegations at a meeting with Defense Department officials last week, called for Holder to immediately provide guidelines to state election officials; to ensure that states are required to abide by the law; and to provide Cornyn himself with a state-by-state breakdown of which states have already applied for waivers and which are expected to be in noncompliance with MOVE in the November midterm election. He also called for full transparency in the waiver process.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Xochitl Hinojosa, declined to comment, other than to say Cornyn’s letter is being reviewed.

FoxNews.com obtained waiver applications submitted by Washington and Hawaii. 

Defense Department spokeswoman Major April Cunningham told FoxNews.com that New York, Delaware, Maryland, Alaska and Virgin Islands had also applied for waivers. (Cornyn’s co-sponsor for the MOVE Act was New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat.)

“All waivers are currently under review. The Defense Department must respond, under the law, after consultation with the Department of Justice, no later than 65 days before the election, which is August 29, 2010,” said Robert Carey, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program. 

“The voting section has taken this haphazard approach to enforcing military voting law,” said Eversole. “The voting section is asserting itself into statute to make a statute that’s not ambiguous, ambiguous. Can you imagine any other agency giving prospective defendants advice like this?”

“Everybody in Washington knows it doesn’t matter how good the law is; it comes down to who’s enforcing it,” said Adams. “This stuff should be transparent and online for the citizens of these states to comment on, the fact that it’s being done behind closed doors tells you everything you need to know about how it will affect the voters.”

Adams and Eversole separately pointed out that the DOJ’s website lacks any mention of the MOVE Act. In fact, the section on military voting includes the outdated and nonbinding 30-day recommendation for sending out ballots. There is no mention of the the current 45-day mandate. 

But the DOJ’s online voting section includes a detailed section devoted to helping felons learn how get their voting rights back.

“It is just offensive to most Americans that we can send soldiers to the front lines but they can’t vote,” said Eversole. “This is an issue that tugs at the heartstrings of America and people can’t understand why we can’t get that right. This is something we have to get right.  We should be fighting as hard for their rights as they’re fighting for ours.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/28/exclusive-doj-stalls-voter-registration-law-military/

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