Disenfranchising those who serve us valiantly

In the wake of controversy regarding the Department of Justice complacency regarding violation of voting rights by New Black Panther Party members comes news that the DOJ is also freely granting waivers that allow states to ignore the votes of our citizens in the military:

From the Washington Times, commenting on the disaster of 2008 when many thousands of military votes were uncounted (and could very well have made a difference in the Minnesota race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken):
Much of this disaster could have been avoided by the Voting Section of the Justice Department, and without swift action, the Voting Section will cause a similar disaster in 2010 despite congressional efforts to fix the problem.

The primary hurdle, according to most experts, is time. Nearly every military-voting expert agrees that absentee ballots must be sent to overseas military voters at least 45 days before an election to give those voters sufficient time to receive and return their ballots. The Military Postal Service Agency goes one step further and recommends that absentee ballots be sent to war zones 60 days before an election.

Unfortunately, states have been slow to revamp their voting laws to accommodate a 45-day mailing standard. Before the 2008 election, at least 10 states and the District of Columbia provided military voters with just 35 days or fewer to receive and return their ballots. Overall, the Pew Center on the States found that "more than a third of states [did] not provide military voters stationed abroad with enough time to vote or [were] at high risk of not providing enough time."

Yet the primary entity responsible for protecting military voters, the Voting Section, decided not to pursue those states even though federal law (i.e., the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) gave the section wide latitude to protect military voters.

Thousands of military members were disenfranchised because their votes came in too late to be counted. Congress acted by requiring states to send ballots much earlier-at least 45 days before an election unless a state requested a waiver. That is the nub of the problem.

The Voting Section of the DOJ is in control of granting waivers. A few months ago, a senior official of the department informed an audience of state officials that the waiver provision was "ambiguous" and tipped his hand by indicating that the DOJ would be flexible regarding granting waivers.

In other words-wink, wink-states will not be sued for failure to send absentee ballots to our men and women in uniform. They can be disenfranchised again-with no penalties.

Military members tend to vote for Republicans.

Given the seeming willingness of the DOJ to turn itself into an apparatus of the Democratic Party when it comes to enforcing voter laws (it goes beyond just The New Black Panthers Party), is it too far-fetched to assume that once again the DOJ is using its power to help elect Democrats?
In the wake of controversy regarding the Department of Justice complacency regarding violation of voting rights by New Black Panther Party members comes news that the DOJ is also freely granting waivers that allow states to ignore the votes of our citizens in the military:

From the Washington Times, commenting on the disaster of 2008 when many thousands of military votes were uncounted (and could very well have made a difference in the Minnesota race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken):
Much of this disaster could have been avoided by the Voting Section of the Justice Department, and without swift action, the Voting Section will cause a similar disaster in 2010 despite congressional efforts to fix the problem.

The primary hurdle, according to most experts, is time. Nearly every military-voting expert agrees that absentee ballots must be sent to overseas military voters at least 45 days before an election to give those voters sufficient time to receive and return their ballots. The Military Postal Service Agency goes one step further and recommends that absentee ballots be sent to war zones 60 days before an election.

Unfortunately, states have been slow to revamp their voting laws to accommodate a 45-day mailing standard. Before the 2008 election, at least 10 states and the District of Columbia provided military voters with just 35 days or fewer to receive and return their ballots. Overall, the Pew Center on the States found that "more than a third of states [did] not provide military voters stationed abroad with enough time to vote or [were] at high risk of not providing enough time."

Yet the primary entity responsible for protecting military voters, the Voting Section, decided not to pursue those states even though federal law (i.e., the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) gave the section wide latitude to protect military voters.

Thousands of military members were disenfranchised because their votes came in too late to be counted. Congress acted by requiring states to send ballots much earlier-at least 45 days before an election unless a state requested a waiver. That is the nub of the problem.

The Voting Section of the DOJ is in control of granting waivers. A few months ago, a senior official of the department informed an audience of state officials that the waiver provision was "ambiguous" and tipped his hand by indicating that the DOJ would be flexible regarding granting waivers.

In other words-wink, wink-states will not be sued for failure to send absentee ballots to our men and women in uniform. They can be disenfranchised again-with no penalties.

Military members tend to vote for Republicans.

Given the seeming willingness of the DOJ to turn itself into an apparatus of the Democratic Party when it comes to enforcing voter laws (it goes beyond just The New Black Panthers Party), is it too far-fetched to assume that once again the DOJ is using its power to help elect Democrats?

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