One out of every four ballots requested by military personnel and other Americans living overseas for the 2008 election may have gone uncounted, according to findings being released at a Senate hearing Wednesday.This has to be fixed and there is no excuse not to get it fixed immediately.
Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, said the study, while providing only a snapshot of voting patterns, "is enough to show that the balloting process for service members is clearly in need of an overhaul."
The committee, working with the Congressional Research Service, surveyed election offices in seven states with high numbers of military personnel: California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.
It said that of 441,000 absentee ballots requested by eligible voters living abroad -- mainly active-duty and reserve troops -- more than 98,000 were "lost" ballots that were mailed out but never received by election officials. Taking into account 13,500 ballots that were rejected for such reasons as a missing signature or failure to notarize, one-quarter of those requesting a ballot were disenfranchised.
I remember requesting ballots for absetee voting and then seeing how rediculously difficult it was. I also recall different standards and procedures for me (a Florida voter at the time) and my roommate (a Wyoming voter). One standard, one easy to follow procedure, every vote counted. Period. Full Stop. No execuses.