Monday, July 28, 2008

Every vote counts?

This is embarrassing. America's best and bravest have problems getting their votes in so that their voice may be heard as is their right, and all that is heard from the other side of aisle is crickets chirping, a resounding (and damning) silence.
Rep. Roy Blunt, the House Republican whip, on July 8 introduced a resolution demanding that the Defense Department better enable U.S. military personnel overseas to vote in the November elections. That act was followed by silence. Democrats normally leap on an opportunity to find fault with the Bush Pentagon. But not a single Democrat joined Blunt as a co-sponsor, and an all-Republican proposal cannot pass in the Democratic-controlled House.

Analysis by the federal Election Assistance Commission, rejecting inflated Defense Department voting claims, estimated overseas and absentee military voting for the 2006 midterm elections at a disgracefully low 5.5 percent. The quality of voting statistics is so poor that there is no way to tell how many of the slightly over 330,000 votes actually were sent in by the absentee military voters and their dependents and how many by civilian Americans living abroad -- 6 million all total.

Nobody who has studied the question objectively sees any improvement since 2006, and that is a scandal. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Charles Henry wrote in the July issue of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings: "While virtually everyone involved ... seems to agree that military people deserve at least equal opportunity when it comes to having their votes counted, indications are that in November 2008, many thousands of service members who try to vote will do so in vain."

I freely admit to being biased on this issues, as I am a Soldier (though unlike my Active Duty comrades I can go cast my vote at my polling place). But for these Soldiers (and those other service members) to not have their vote counted as is their right is embarrassing. Yes, the majority of these votes are probably going to be Republican but every member of Congress (and not just the Republicans) should be falling over themselves to support this bill (and any other that gives full representation to this most prestigious class of voters, those who have risen above most people and volunteered to place their lives on the line to defend this great country). To have their voices silenced over partisan politics is sickening. Shame, Shame on every Democrat Congressperson for this....

The Soldier Voting Scandal
The Military Voting Scandal Continues

2 comments:

Greg said...

Also shame on the majority of Republicans for not taking on this issue for the last 7 years. 6 years during which they controlled the House/Senate/White House and they couldn't have been bothered? I'm sorry but blame here has to flow to both parties.
It is pretty obvious why congress has an approval rating in the single digits... Of course they'll still all get reelected. It's too bad we didn't term limits passed back in the 90s.

John said...

I thought we'd all decided to let Kevin Costner pick the next President. What's all this talk of letting other people vote?

Also, do you have a reason for thinking these votes would be overwhelmingly Republican? I can't get to that conclusion.