Pentagon not helping overseas soldiers vote

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.

~Eowyn

9 responses to “Pentagon not helping overseas soldiers vote

  1. Disenfranchised Paulistas,Tea Party and RNCers ….
    you’re on your own

  2. I believe this to be a bogus article. I am in the military and I have even recieved e-mails with links on how to register and send in ballots. There are many ways for Service Men and Women to register and vote if they so desire to.

    • From CNN: “The Defense Department does have some concerns. It believes that the voter assistance offices are ineffective and not the most cost efficient way to reach out to service personnel.”

      Also, each county may be different. I went to my local county web site (as directed from Army News) and my absentee ballot isn’t available as a recent Aug. 12 voting deadine passed. It didn’t give me an option to obtain my November absentee ballot.

    • Bogus article?

      Gosh, Bruce, I urge you to contact the Inspector General of the Dept of Defense, because this “bogus article” is based on the Inspector General’s report:
      http://www.dodig.mil/SPO/Reports/DODIG-2012-123.pdf

      Here’s the contact info for DoD Deputy Inspector General Kenneth P. Moorefield (who signed the Report):

      Dept of Defense
      4800 Mark Center Drive
      Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

      or call Joseph Oliva at ((703) 604-9488 or Michael Herbaugh at (703) 604-9164

      I’m sure they’d love to hear from you!

  3. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for exposing this horrible injustice, which has been deliberately done by the king so our service personnel will not vote! This is just more of Obama’s fraudulent games!

  4. More attempts to keep the military from voting–happens every election.

  5. And we just know the congressional repubs are going to…

    Oh, never mind.

    -Dave

  6. UPDATE:

    6 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.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/7/gop-senators-ask-panetta-make-sure-troops-can-vote/

  7. Soldiers who risk their lives and die for this country don’t get to vote while Obama and the dems makes sure that anyone, regardless if you can be identified or not, can vote… as long as you vote for them and for gov handouts, of course.

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