Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Virginia Attorney General Defends Military Votes
As we noted in an October 16 SITREP article titled "DoD Must Not Tolerate Disenfranchisement of Troops," we need to guarantee to our men and women in uniform the opportunity to cast their vote and to have it counted. CMR applauds the action of Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, who issued an October 27 opinion defending the rights of military voters.
McDonnell's opinion overruled a decision of the Fairfax County, Virginia, registrar who had claimed that state law required the disqualification of absentee ballots that did not display the signature of a witness. AG McDonnell's opinion found that federal law governing overseas military voting took precedence over the state law cited by the registrar. Federal law does not require a witness for military absentee ballots. The Virginia State Board of Elections subsequently advised the local elections officials to abide by McDonnell's opinion.
CMR commends the efforts of the National Defense Committee, which played a crucial role in bringing this issue to light. Retired Rear Adm. Jim Carey, his son Bob Carey, and Sam Wright, Director of the Military Voting Rights Program, are dedicated volunteers who have done a great job protecting our servicemen and -women's votes, and ensuring that they are counted.
We hope that as the election enters its closing days, the Department of Defense will match the vigilance of the National Defense Committee and other like-minded organizations and citizens. More than any other group, our brave men and women serving in harm's way deserve the opportunity to cast their votes and to have them counted on Election Day.
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Interested readers, including members of the military, are invited to comment through the "Confidential Contact" site on this website, www.cmrlink.org. Nothing in the CMR SITREP Blog is intended to aid or hinder elections or the passage of legislation before Congress.