10 States Seek Waiver to Comply With Military Voting Law’s Absentee Ballot Rules

Published August 25, 2010 | FoxNews.com

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Armed insurgents provide more than enough for our
fighting men and women overseas to worry about, but this fall’s
jam-packed election calendar is also ambushing them. 

Ten states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands are all seeking
waivers exempting them from complying with the new law — the Move Act
— that requires all states to mail absentee ballots to overseas
military voters 45 days before Election Day.

"The waiver process is kind of recognition, probably, that 2010 was
going to be a transition year, that some states would have to do things
like move their electoral calendar, which is not easy," said Chip
Levengood of the Overseas Vote Foundation.

In Delaware, for example, primary day, Sept. 14, 47 days before
Election Day, leaving not enough time for officials in Washington to
certify a winner, print ballots and ship them to Mazar-I-Sharif fast
enough to comply with the new law. 

"It’s been very clear that some of these states were not going to be
in compliance with the Move Act a long time ago," said Eric Eversole,
executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project. "And the
Department of Justice, each step of the way, has simply not taken the
actions to ensure that the Move Act would be implemented in each of the
50 states."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who co-authored the Move Act, wrote
Attorney General Eric Holder last month to complain that a top Justice
Department official had called the law "fairly general" with some
provisions "an open question."

"If a state is not in compliance with the statute," Cornyn wrote
Holder, "there is little room for ‘dialogue’ or negotiation, and (the
department’s) Voting (Rights) Section should take immediate steps to
enforce the law."

An assistant attorney general fired back four days later, writing to
Cornyn, "The department (is) forming a team of attorneys to monitor
state compliance with the act’s requirements."

Despite repeated requests by Fox News, the Pentagon refused to make
the officer charged with deciding on the 10 states’ waiver requests —
Robert Carey, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program —
available for an interview.

Fox News’ James Rosen contributed to this report.



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