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Federal audit: 70% 2006 overseas military ballots not counted nationally; 73% not counted from FL

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 04:15 PM
Original message
Federal audit: 70% 2006 overseas military ballots not counted nationally; 73% not counted from FL
This is the first bit of information I have seen about the outcome of the overseas military vote in 2006.... and it's not good.


In 2006, of the overseas military ballots requested nationwide, only 30% were counted.

And in Florida in 2006, only 27% were counted.


**And no one knows why.**





Troops overseas miss out on voting

By DARA KAM
Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

October 31, 2008


TALLAHASSEE The men and women dodging bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan now have something else to worry about: whether their votes will be counted.

.....

Even if their ballots get in the mail, a federal audit found, only about 27 percent of the 77,000 military overseas ballots requested by Floridians in 2006 actually were counted.

Florida military personnel, as well as civilians living overseas, can receive their ballots by e-mail, print them, fill them out and return them to elections supervisors by regular mail or fax.
Mail sent from military bases in the Middle East, however, can take up to three weeks to be delivered, prompting the legislature to pass the law to allow overseas voters to fax them.
Although the state gives those living or stationed overseas an extra 10 days to return their ballots, only the votes in federal races are counted if the ballots are received after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The troops whom Browning visited want to be able to scan their completed ballots and e-mail them back to their elections supervisors - a suggestion he said is reasonable and one he would pursue.
Many military personnel also want to get an e-mail confirming their absentee ballot was received, Browning said - something that should be simple to do.

.....

In the last federal election in 2006, only about 30 percent of all overseas military ballots requested nationwide were counted, according to data gathered by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, compared with about 85 percent of those requested by domestic residents.

No one knows exactly why the ballots were not counted. Many never were received, possibly because military personnel move frequently or are deployed after they make their request. Others arrived too late or were filled out incorrectly. Some never may have been sent.

"Every single member of the military takes an oath to defend the Constitution. Yet they are the ones that are being systematically denied the fundamental right of voting. That's a breach of trust," said Bob Carey, a senior fellow at the National Defense Committee, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that advocates for military voting rights.
"Who is going to be more affected by the decisions of elected leaders than the personnel who are carrying out those orders? They're being denied the opportunity in having a say in who those leaders should be."

Florida is one of four states targeted by Carey's organization and others in which teams of lawyers will keep tabs on the counting of overseas ballots, he said.

.....




I would wager that the trend of military voting is decidedly more Democratic since the epic Bush failure-- something the GOP would rather keep hidden.


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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. They may have been voting for Kerry before --
How can we make sure their votes are counted this time?
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. If IRS tax returns can be submitted securely online and acknowledged as received,
overseas ballot voting *ought* to be no problem.

It's really odd that domestically, we have these *hi-tech* voting machine systems shoved at us via HAVA, yet the overseas military vote is relegated to FAX machines(!) and erratic mail delivery....


I hope President Obama will appoint some top notch people to restore the integrity of our voting process.


We have had enough.



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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Enough! It is shameful
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Publicly fight for their vote, and hard. (nt)
Edited on Sun Nov-02-08 12:06 PM by w4rma
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R. (nt)
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. They Only Counted the 27-30% That Were For Bush**
All mail to and from military bases is subject to inspection/censorship, isn't it?
That probably includes ballots.
Very likely any ballot voting for a Democrat gets "censored".

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sunnystarr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. which means they counted the officers and not the enlisted (nt)
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-08 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. And we never even got the 2004 military vote results.
Unlike all previous elections, where the Republicans could point to their heavy support from military families, in 2004 military votes tended towards Kerry, and they couldn't let it get out.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
7. San Diego reporter: How do I find out what the rate is here?
The article doesn't reference sources. Does anyone know where I can get the rate of military ballots returned and counted for CA and for SD County, a heavily military area?
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. You might try contacting the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
Here's more information about the abysmal voting rights of our overseas military and civilians. This is shameful.

Military and Overseas Citizen Voting Project (The Pew Center on the States) PDF

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bluesmail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-08 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. More dirty tricks. K&R
Nixon wasn't even this evil. Thanks Darth. Thanks George.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-03-08 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. I will spend the last dime I have to catch a plane to visit the Hague
That is my dream to see them tried and CONVICTED!
I will gladly stand outside with my sign when that day comes.
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