By: Gen Jerry Curry (Ret.)
Many of our military personnel stationed overseas do not successfully vote in presidential elections; or when they do vote their ballots don’t count. It is criminal that the President and the Pentagon can arrange for our troops to die in the service of their country, but can’t arrange for those same troops to vote.
The Department of Defense could have ballots printed and flown to our troops at all our bases all over the world, have them filled out by the troops, sort the ballots out, fly them back to the U.S., and then have them deposited at voting drop off sites with plenty of time to spare. If legislation is needed to make this procedure legal and lawful, then let the President so inform the Congress and it will be done.
“So, why aren’t soldiers voting? In many cases they simply can’t, and they have their commander in chief, President Obama, to blame,” asserts American Majority Action CEO Ned Ryan writing in the Washington Times. Since most military service men and women are by nature conservative, they tend to vote Republican. The President and the Secretary of Defense are Democrats and they may not be as keen as they could be to see that our troops exercise the right to vote.
But Obama and the Secretary of Defense are only a small part of the problem. The Generals and Admirals running the Pentagon could easily arrange for every overseas military soldier, sailor and airman on active duty worldwide to vote. Of course this assumes that exercising the soldier’s right to vote is a high priority within the Pentagon bureaucracy. If there isn’t a high level of interest, a simple nod of the head by the Secretary could fix the problem.
Currently the Obama Administration counters our troops failure to vote by pointing out that fiscal problems, including the Sequestration and a shortage of funds, makes it impossible to properly implement the military voting program as well as the President would like. The problem is really not just a shortage of funds; it is also a shortage of will power and little concern for our troops being able to exercise their constitutional right to vote. We know that many in the Obama Administration may not be too eager to encourage military troops to vote. So, some of the bureaucrats in the Pentagon will not protest overly much if somehow the overseas voting program doesn’t catch fire and if the troops are “accidentally” shut out of exercising their constitutional voting rights.