This is unconscionable and utterly shameful.
The Pentagon is failing to comply with a law to help our soldiers overseas to vote in the upcoming critical November 6th election.
John Solomon reports for the Washington Guardian, Sept. 4, 2012:
Congress required the Pentagon to create voting assistance offices on all overseas military bases to help deployed soldiers cast their ballots back in their home states, but military branches haven’t fully complied, citing budget shortages and a difference of opinion with lawmakers.
With another election lurking around the corner, the Pentagon is getting a bad review for its efforts to comply with a new law designed to make it easier for overseas military personnel to cast their ballots.
The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act was passed by Congress in 2009 and signed into law by President Barack Obama and was supposed to make it easier for both soldiers deployed overseas and U.S. citizens living abroad to cast ballots back in their home states.
One of the key provisions required each military branch to create an installation voting assistance office (IVAO) for every military base outside an immediate combat zone.
But the Pentagon’s inspector general, the military’s internal watchdog, reported Tuesday it got a disappointing result when it tried to locate such voting assistance offices on each installation earlier this year.
“Results were clear. Our attempts to contact IVAOs failed about 50 percent of the time,” the inspector general reported. “We concluded the Services had not established all the IVAOs as intended by the MOVE Act because, among other issues, the funding was not available.”
The Pentagon estimates it could cost $15 million to $20 million a year to create all the offices required by the law.
In addition, Pentagon officials apparently disagree with the tactics the law recommended, preferring to use advertising and digital outreach efforts to educate overseas soldiers rather than creating the voting assistance offices.
“DoD officials also posed concerns about IVAO effectiveness,” the inspector general reported. “They noted that younger military personnel were the biggest DoD military population segment and emphasized that IVAOs were likely not the most cost effective way to reach out to them given their familiarity and general preference for communicating via on-line social media and obtaining information frominternet websites. They suggested assistance might be provided more effectively and efficiently by targeted advertising.”
[…] You can read the full report here.
And why is the Pentagon under the POS’s administration dragging its heels?
The reason for this delay is simple. The POS wants to minimize soldier voting as much as they can legally do it because military voters are 65-75% Republican.
UPDATE (Sept. 8):
Sean Waterman of The Washington Times reports that six Republican senators are asking Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta personally to intervene to ensure that U.S. troops stationed away from home get the chance to register and vote in the upcoming election.
The 6 are John Cornyn of Texas, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, James Inhofe of Oklahoma.