Thousands of military absentee ballots are being lost

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A curiously large percentage of military absentee ballots are going AWOL, according to the Virginia Watchdog.  In fact, ballot requests have seen a 92 percent decline, during one of the most high-profile elections in recent history.  Coincidence?  The Virginia Watchdog investigates:

A 92 percent drop in absentee-ballot requests by military personnel in Virginia is raising concerns that the Pentagon is failing to carry out a federal voting law.

With only 1,746 military voters in Virginia requesting absentee ballots so far this year — out of 126,251 service members in the state —the Military Voter Protection Project says the system has broken down.

It sounds like there has been a massive mishandling of paperwork for voters in the military.  Just the fact that there are 124, 505 fewer absentee ballots requests in the system suggests that something has gone terribly wrong.  How does one lose voting paperwork from over 120,000 members of the armed forces?  That’s a good question.

This trend in Virginia is not an isolated one either.  Apparently, this issue is popping up across the US:

Compiling data from Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Colorado and Nevada, Eversole’s organization found that military families have requested 55,510 absentee ballots so far this year. That’s a sharp decline from the 166,252 sought in those states in 2008.

The report further states that this is ‘ironic’, as the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) was passed in 2009, supposedly making it easier for folks in the armed forces to vote.  Despite the passage of ‘MOVE’, numbers are in unnaturally sharp decline.

A 92% drop in absentee ballot requests does not suggest that the data is indicating a fluctuation in ‘statistical noise’.  This is a massive reduction, and the most prevalent understanding is that the Pentagon has not followed through with allowing folks in the military their constitutional right to vote.

Whether this is by accident or on purpose, this is still an outrage.

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