Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Move Act US Military Votes: DOJ Allows States to Opt Out of Timely Ballots to Troops

The MOVE Act ensures the votes of service men and woman serving overseas will receive their ballots in ample time to return their vote to their precinct (which did not always happen in the 2008 presidential election). Senator John Cornyn has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing his concern for the lack of action, and at issue is the DOJ allowing states to opt out of the mandate for timely ballots getting to the troops. Cornyn's letter says "the statute does not create any discretion for the Executive Branch to decide whether or not to enforce its legal requirements."

The MOVE Act

The result of the DOJ's alleged inaction in enforcing the act, say Eric Eversole and J. Christian Adams — both former litigation attorneys or the DOJ’s Voting Section — could be that thousands of soldiers' ballots will arrive too late to be counted.
"It is an absolute shame that the section appears to be spending more time finding ways to avoid the MOVE Act, rather than finding ways to ensure that military voters will have their votes counted," said Eversole, director of the Military Voter Protection Project, a new organization devoted to ensuring military voting rights. "The Voting Section seems to have forgotten that it has an obligation to enforce federal law, not to find and raise arguments for states to avoid these laws." 
The MOVE act requires states to send absentee ballots to overseas military troops 45 days before an election, but a state can apply for a waiver if it can prove a specific "undue hardship" in enforcing it.
Sen. John Cornyn,R-Texas – who co-sponsored MOVE – wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on July 26 saying he is concerned that the Department of Justice is allowing states to opt out of the new law
From Cornyn's letter to Holder [pdf]:
The MOVE Act requires states to mail unmarked absentee ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before an election. This 45-day standard was statutorily mandated based on extensive Congressional evidence that any shorter period of time significantly burdens military and overseas voting rights. The bill allows states to apply for a waiver from the 45-day requirement, but only if at least one of three specific situations arises that renders the state "unable" to comply with that time frane. The waiver language is very narrow and very clear, just as it was intended to be.
How sick is this? How obscene is it that our DOJ would purposefully allow states to avoid getting ballots to our troops - and worse that we allow it to happen? Our DOJ is completely corrupt and our Republic is so broken.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton