New Data Confirms Military Voting In 2012 Set For Record Low
MVP warns that military voters must take immediate action
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With less than 40 days before the election, The Military Voter Protection Project (MVP) is providing updated information following its recent report, Military Voting Update: A Bleak Picture in 2012. That report provided alarming information about the low number of absentee ballots being requested by military members and their spouses.
"The number of absentee ballots being requested is shockingly low," said Eric Eversole, founder and executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project. "While we knew the number of absentee ballots requests would increase as we got closer to the election--and they have--the number being requested is still way too low and indicates that many military members will have their voices silenced on Election Day."
Last week, state and local election officials started to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters in accordance with federal law. That law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act), required state and local election officials to send the absentee military ballots on September 22nd--at least to those military voters that have requested ballots.
The numbers below reflect the number of absentee ballots being requested by military and overseas voters as of September 22nd for North Carolina:
State Total Requested Current Requested Percent Difference
in 2008 in 2012
North Carolina 19,109 7,848 -59%
As noted in the MVP report, and later confirmed by a U.S. DOD Inspector General report--the Pentagon and its Federal Voting Assistance Program failed to comply with a key provision of the MOVE Act to provide greater voter assistance on military installations. In particular, FVAP failed to create voter registration offices that would provide voting assistance to every military member when they checked into a new duty station. The concept was simple: if military members receive a bunch of other forms when they check-in, why not provide them with the form to update their voting information. It is the same type of assistance being provided to civilians when they visit their local driver's license branch.
"Notwithstanding the data, we have not given up and will keep fighting for our military voters," said Eversole. "The registration deadlines are quickly approaching, but there is still time to fix this mess. We are asking every active duty military member or spouse to visit, www.heroesvote.org, where they can quickly register and request an absentee ballot. They can quickly fill out the form and get their absentee ballots in 7 to 10 days."
Heroesvote.org was launched this year as part of its Heroes Vote Initiative. The webpage provides a simple six-step process for active duty military members and their spouses to complete a registration and absentee ballot request form. That form can be printed, dated and signed by the military member and mailed to the local election official. With quickly approaching registration deadlines, military members must act now if they want to participate in November's election.