October Surprise?

You know, comrades,” says Stalin, “that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how. 

Boris Bazhanov’s Memoirs of Stalin’s Former Secretary, published in 1992

Sadly, it would seem that several blue states decided the would cut out the middle-man — rather than worry about counting the votes, they’ll simply neglect to send them in a timely fashion.

According to the MOVE Act, the states were supposed to mail out absentee ballots to overseas voters, including military personnel serving in foreign lands, 45 days before an election.  Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington State all applied for waivers from the Department of Justice regarding compliance with this act, which were granted, despite the lack of demonstrable hardship that left them unable to comply with the law, which is the standard for granting such a waiver.  In the case of New York, they simply scheduled the primary sufficiently late (four days before the primary) that they couldn’t possible send out the ballots — a little too cute, I’d say.

Of course, the Department of Justice, rather than admonish the states for their failure to comply with the law or demonstrate a real reason they couldn’t comply with their electoral responsibilities, simply handed out the waivers two-a-penny candy.  Now, here we are, nearly a month later and New York *still* has yet to fully comply with the law.

And there isn’t just something rotten in the Big Apple…  Apparently, while the dead might be able to vote in Illinois, their military personnel might not.

Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois’ 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).

The law requires every state to mail their absentee ballots 45 days prior to Election Day to overseas troops, government employees and other Americans who want to vote from abroad.

Cray says she is currently compiling data from each of Illinois’ jurisdictions to determine which were compliant and which were delinquent. Cray said it’s possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.

Illinois was required to have all of its absentee ballots mailed by Sept. 18, the national deadline. Election officials have until Nov. 15 to count the absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by midnight Nov. 1 to be eligible.

Coincidentally, there are tight races in which the generally more conservative military ballots could make a crucial difference.

Of course, we all know we can rely on the Civil Rights division to protect the rights of our men and women overseas, the same way they protect the rights of every voter here in the United States, right?

3 replies
  1. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    It simply makes me sick when those serving in the military are disenfranchised. That their votes may not count because certain states couldn't get their crap together (as if that's the reason…ha!) to make sure EVERYone's vote counts in places where the race is tight is despicable.  There really should be more of a public outcry when this happens…or how about this?  It shouldn't happen PERIOD.

  2. TomL
    TomL says:

    Holder's Department of Injustice is filing lawsuits now against the non-compliant states. A little pressure on the states earlier by Injustice to protect the rights of those serving to protect us would have been the thing to do, but I being one that wants less goverment interference in our lives place the blame squarely on The Secretary of States. They could have prepared a plan beforehand to have things put in place to get the ballots out in time.  They've had a long time to prepare for it. Once we get past November 2nd it will be time for "We the People" to start cleaning out the political deadwood in all branches of those who govern us.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Hmmm.  All the states in noncompliance are controlled by Democrats.  The military is known to be heavily conservative.  So what can the logical conclusion be?

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