Illinois latest state to violate MOVE Act?

posted at 10:12 am on October 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

First New York failed to meet federal regulations in getting ballots to military personnel serving abroad.  Now the Dept. of Justice will investigate whether Illinois also violated the MOVE Act, which Congress passed in the wake of a series of elections where military absentee ballots got left out of the count:

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the state of Illinois missed the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to members of the military and other overseas American voters as part of a new federal overseas voting law.

Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois’ 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE). …

Illinois was required to have all of its absentee ballots mailed by Sept. 18, the national deadline. Election officials have until Nov. 15 to count the absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by midnight Nov. 1 to be eligible.

In an e-mail response, Justice Department spokeswoman Xochil Hinojosa confirmed that Illinois is being investigated for the absentee ballot infraction.

New York had an excuse of sorts; the state held its primary on September 14th.  The ballots couldn’t be printed until each primary race was certified.  For that very reason, the DoJ pressured states into moving their primary dates back, and a few complied, such as Minnesota.  Those states that didn’t reschedule their primaries either requested waivers or insisted they could get their ballots out on time.

In contrast, Illinois had its primary in … February.  The candidates have been certified for more than half a year.  They could have had ballots written out by hand and still have made their deadline for getting absentee ballots to men and women in the armed forces.  Instead, those serving their country abroad may find themselves unable to have a voice in this election.

How should Illinois and other states get penalized?  Glenn Reynolds suggests reducing federal funds going to the state by a certain percentage as a fine, but Congress would find ways to work around that.  I’d suggest that states that don’t comply with their obligations to protect the franchise for men and women serving our country lose half of their Electoral College votes in the next presidential election.  In the meantime, the voters in Illinois and New York ought to toss out their current leadership and find people who put more of a priority on meeting deadlines, especially in Illinois, where a seven-month lead time apparently wasn’t enough to overcome the incompetence of Pat Quinn’s administration.

Update: How did the DoJ manage to miss this for so long — when Pajamas Media had already been reporting it?


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“’d suggest that states that don’t comply with their obligations to protect the franchise for men and women serving our country lose half of their Electoral College votes in the next presidential election.”

Unbelieveably stupid. Where would such manipulation / abuse of the Electoral system end, once begun?

rayra on October 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

I hope those overseas military who didn’t get their ballots in time know that their is a write-in option available to them and that these write-in ballots can be faxed stateside…We’ve been through a similar situation a few years ago when we were stationed in England…my husband (he’s with the AF) was deployed to Qatar at the time and I was supposed to mail him his absentee ballot there…only problem: his absentee ballot never reached us at our address in England…So, I contacted the election clerk in his home state and it turned out that they did send the ballot only they got our address wrong (their mistake entirely, my husband printed the address clearly on his FPCA card) and now the guy was telling me that there wasn’t much that he could do about it since the law stated that they could not issue a second ballot in the same name…Of course I went ballistic and I decided to sort it all out on my own…so I contacted every single person in my husband’s chain of command (higher-ups that is) + some guys at the Pentagon that had their emails listed on their websites as being in charge with election matters + the legal office at the Lakenheath base and + a bunch of non-profit orgs (Overseas Vote Foundation, Military Voter Services, etc) and I made a big ‘circus’ (deliberately, of course)…Next thing I know, the Lakenheath base commander contacted me personally and some Maj at the Pentagon in charge with election matters emailed back and they all assured me that the whole thing would be taken care of and they thanked me for pointing out to them this particular ‘irregularity’, blah, blah…Guess what, next day my husband was issued a write-in ballot in Qatar (I think it’s a blank write-in ballot) and they faxed it to his home state…bingo, problem solved! How easy was that! It only took a ‘crazy’ military spouse (and I am not even a US citizen, I’m European) to make them check what their own damn laws say about such situations and to figure the legal solution to the problem… Funny thing, my own husband was a little ‘shocked’ and incredulous as for how I managed to sort it all out, he had basically given up the idea of voting alltogether that year…The sad part is that a lot of the overseas military don’t know about this write-in option…

jimver on October 14, 2010 at 4:38 PM

They should be prevented from finalizing the election until every last military ballot can be counted. Period.

Boxy_Brown on October 14, 2010 at 5:23 PM

or annul the election’s results if the overseas military votes are not in and counted…I am not sure you cannot prevent them from finalizing elections, but I am pretty sure that elections’ results can be annuled if there are serious irregularities.

jimver on October 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Unbelieveably stupid. Where would such manipulation / abuse of the Electoral system end, once begun?

rayra on October 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Start? The abuse and manipulation started when those whose votes have the greatest value were disenfranchised. But instead of worrying about that, you worry that some civilians might be similarly disenfranchised?

Well let me tell you something rayra. I agree that nobody should be disenfranchised, but the time to get freaky-deaky about it is when it’s happening to our military men and women serving overseas.

Immolate on October 14, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Unbelieveably stupid. Where would such manipulation / abuse of the Electoral system end, once begun?

rayra on October 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Start? The abuse and manipulation started when those whose votes have the greatest value were disenfranchised. But instead of worrying about that, you worry that some civilians might be similarly disenfranchised?

Well let me tell you something rayra. I agree that nobody should be disenfranchised, but the time to get freaky-deaky about it is when it’s happening to our military men and women serving overseas.

Immolate on October 14, 2010 at 5:53 PM

I agree. If you don’t have the decency to make sure your fighting men and women–the ones who put it on the line on your behalf and the very reasons you still have the ability to vote in the first place–have the right to the vote, then maybe you don’t deserve yours.

And if you think that’s not fair, you should have thought about that when you elected democrats instead of decent people who would’ve made sure this doesn’t happen… and mind you, every single state that’s doing this is ruled by dems.

Chaz706 on October 14, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Wait a minute no Nuttoboy? Soldiers are losing their voting rights and he says NOTHING? Nutto you are too busy chasing the WRONG boogiemen.

CWforFreedom on October 14, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Unbelieveably stupid. Where would such manipulation / abuse of the Electoral system end, once begun?

rayra on October 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Start? The abuse and manipulation started when those whose votes have the greatest value were disenfranchised. But instead of worrying about that, you worry that some civilians might be similarly disenfranchised?

Well let me tell you something rayra. I agree that nobody should be disenfranchised, but the time to get freaky-deaky about it is when it’s happening to our military men and women serving overseas.

Immolate on October 14, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Listen up, you confused idiot. I’m pissed beyond compare over this deliberate disenfranchisement of servicemen and think the malfeasant Democrat scum committing it should HANG.

But my comment was about the extraordinary foolishness of contemplating or accepting ANYTHING that tampers with apportionment of the electoral college. If you – or Morrissey – cannot see the foul precedent that would set, see how that would open the door to all manner of other abuses of that system on a NATIONAL level, then you are fools.

/doesn’t anybody know Civics or give a damn about the history any more?

rayra on October 14, 2010 at 10:10 PM

But my comment was about the extraordinary foolishness of contemplating or accepting ANYTHING that tampers with apportionment of the electoral college. If you – or Morrissey – cannot see the foul precedent that would set, see how that would open the door to all manner of other abuses of that system on a NATIONAL level, then you are fools.

rayra on October 14, 2010 at 10:10 PM

that makes sense…but there are other ways of sanctioning this kind of behaviour, which is no ‘accident’ or coincidence mind you, given that the ‘villains’ in question are all largely dem districts… or else they will do it again every single time, what do they stand to loose? they will settle in courts with the feds this time and then next year they will do it all over again… There got to be remedies and cirrections…such as annullment of elections’ results in the particular states where such irregularites occurred…especially if the results were close and followed by recounts for instance…they will have to do it all over again in such states and ensure in the process that the overseas military do get their ballots in time and their votes are counted….

jimver on October 14, 2010 at 10:34 PM

.
.
…..you have to be friggen kidding me. We just work a miracle with God’s help on saving 33 miners trapped for 70 days in a hole about a half mile in the ground who got phones with a TV camera. We can’t use the uber technology we have to have our service men and women vote from the damn field if they had too?????????

And its Illinois. WTF did you expect. The top scum is from there. Its the b.s. “Chicago Way” and I’m friggen sick of it.

auspatriotman on October 14, 2010 at 10:41 PM

We can’t use the uber technology we have to have our service men and women vote from the damn field if they had too?????????
auspatriotman on October 14, 2010 at 10:41 PM

there are ways, not sure if all overseas military are informed on this or if all states accept this (besides they might have to pound the table a little) but they can demand a write-in ballot…they have the power to issue write-in ballots to them (the military office/person in charge with election affairs on their PCS base or deployment base), they fill them in and then the ballot can be faxed back to the States…my husband did that when he was deployed to Qatar…they faxed his ballot stateside…

jimver on October 14, 2010 at 10:51 PM

I’d suggest that states that don’t comply with their obligations to protect the franchise for men and women serving our country lose half of their Electoral College votes in the next presidential election.

Jail time is much simpler.

pedestrian on October 15, 2010 at 1:08 AM

NO real outrage anywhere that I can see. A GOP majority in Nov does Zip Zero Nada about THIS Damn$ed election cycle!!!! Sorry, I take this personally…I have been in EBF hell hole and was able to vote while serving.

Dingbat63 on October 15, 2010 at 8:42 PM

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