If you’re keeping an eye on the key issue of military voting, as we are, then you should know that tomorrow (Saturday, September 22), is a critical date: it’s the deadline for election officials to send out absentee ballots to military and overseas voters.
We’ve reported here on the difficulties faced by service personnel in casting their votes, which has led some experts to characterize military voters as “the most disenfranchised” voters in the U.S. Our CEO Pete Hegseth recently made the case for strengthening military voting rights at Military.com. If you need to request an absentee ballot, the Heroes Vote initiative can help.
NBC News reports on the looming deadline:
One imminent deadline is this Saturday, Sept. 22, the date – 45 days before the general election – which is set by two federal laws, the Uniformed Overseas Absentee Voting Act and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, for election officials to send ballots to voters in the military and to civilian voters living outside the United States.
“There needs to be time for the ballot to get to the voter and back by Election Day – and that means 45 days” before Election Day, said Samuel Wright, director of the Service Members Law Center in Washington.
Americans in the military who are serving around the world are eligible to vote “but the problem has always been getting them their absentee ballots in time so that they can mark those ballots and send them back in time to be counted,” Wright said.
The MVP Project issued a report last month that offered a “bleak” forecast for military voting in 2012. And the government’s performance in ensuring that military personnel’s voting rights are assured is looking equally unpromising—the Federal Assistance Voting Program in the Department of Defense still has failed to implement key provisions of the 2009 Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment (MOVE) Act.
Again, if you’re in the military and stationed away from your home voting precinct, or if you have friends or family in this situation, visit the Heroes Vote initiative to request your ballot today.