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Pentagon official to face “tough questions” on military voting before House Subcommittee this week

September 9, 2012

The Lonely Conservative blog reports that the Obama administration is doing very little to ensure that our deployed troops get to vote.  Follow their source link, and you can find this troubling statistic and sage analysis:

An administration that constantly talks about voter disenfranchisement appears unconcerned that a study by the nonpartisan Military Voters Protection Project found that in 2008 less than 20% of 2.5 million military voters successfully voted by absentee ballot. In 2010, that participation shrank to a scandalous 5%. We need to encourage military voting and make it easier.

Is there a method in the administration’s madness, a reason it doesn’t want to make it easier for soldiers to vote? It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that John McCain won 54% of the military vote in 2008 or that a May 2012 Gallup poll showed Mitt Romney pulling 58% to President Obama’s paltry 34%.

On Friday, six Republican U.S. Senators sent a plea to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on this issue.

U.S. Republican Sens.  John Cornyn of Texas, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, John Barrasso of Wyoming,  Richard Burr of North Carolina, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma…. say Pentagon officials are ignoring a 2009 law that ordered the military to set up a special voting-assistance office at every U.S. base around the world, to make sure troops can negotiate the confusing patchwork of 50 different sets of state registration and absentee voting requirements, and get their ballots mailed in time….

Early last week,

the Pentagon inspector general released a report saying investigators had been unable to contact voting-assistance offices at just over half of the U.S. military’s 229 bases across the globe. But Pam Mitchell, the acting director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program at the Pentagon, said they were using outdated contact information.

“I strongly believe that voting-assistance is the best that it has ever been,” she said.

Ms. Mitchell will have to do better than that this week.

[A]ccording to a staffer, [she] will testify… before a House Armed Services Subcommittee and will face “tough questions.”

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