Military voter getting disenfranchised for November 4th?
Group warns of 'bleak' military voter participation despite Pentagon efforts
They fight for our freedom on the front lines, but members of our military could have less of an impact at the ballot box this year.
Estimates say that the number of troops who will end up voting in the November could be down by more than a third.
"We could see an election where turnout is down 25 or 35 percent," predicts Eric Eversole, executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project, which brands this yearís predicted military voter participation levels as "bleak."
In the crucial swing state of Ohio, the groupís report found that only 3.3 percent of the eligible military voters have requested ballots as of Aug. 21.
North Carolina had even less, just 1.7 percent, Virginia a scant 1.4 percent. And the key state of Florida reported a rate of 15.7 percent.
"What could happen is that we once again could face an election, as we have had in past years, that our men and women in uniform aren't able to have their voices heard on election day, and itís too bad," Eversole laments. He calls for a greater effort to get the military vote out.
"Our service members have so much on the line. They are not only overseas fighting for our rights but in some ways fighting for their own rights," he said.
Eversole says in the 2010 election there were "widespread failures" in getting absentee ballots into the hands of deployed troops, citing 14 states that had at least one county that did not distribute the ballots on time.
While troops register to vote with their home states, Congress in 2009 passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act to help smooth the process.
Defense Department figures show that while 77 percent of active duty military members were registered to vote in 2010, 29 percent reported that they never received the absentee ballots that they had requested, which was an increase from 16 percent in 2008, before the law meant to protect the military vote was even enacted.
"It was supposed to make it easier for service members to register, request an absentee ballot and ultimately participate," Eversole notes. "With these low numbers, it raises serious questions ... whether that important federal law was actually implemented."
Read more: Group warns of 'bleak' military voter participation despite Pentagon efforts | Fox News
Re: Military voter getting disenfranchised for November 4th?
This speaks more to voter apathy in general, not just in the military.
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