I hope you take the opportunity to vote this year and every year offered. I, being one of many servicemembers deployed overseas that desire to vote via absentee voting wanted to vote but wasn’t successful. (sorry Walter B Jones North Carolina 3rd you didnt get my vote because our absentee system is all jacked up)
In August, long before the deadline of Oct 8, (US Senate/House representative elections), I began perusing my absentee voting requirements and application process for registration. I began looking on the “rockthevote” website that helps you get the forms to your particular state. It did direct me to a website that helps me for my state (in this case North Carolina) where they sent me forms to fill out & mail, email or fax back to become a confirmed absentee voter. I downloaded the required forms and mailed them in before the end of the month of Aug.
OK, if you’re in an austere environment where scanning is almost impossible, mailing is delayed weeks (at best) and calling is far and very few (like ummm Afghanistan), sending in a successful absentee voting ballot can be near but impossible. After I sent my request (mailed it) to NC & didn’t hear or see a ballot returned to me I emailed them to see if they received it (they were able to confirm that they did not receive it). Because the Oct 8 deadline was approaching I then downloaded another application, was remarkably able to scan the document and email it to them only to have the NC office email me back on Oct 7th saying “there is a problem with your ballot/request, please call XXXXX at the following number” I was able to sweet talk my way to call NC (a task that would not be provided for 99% of the infantry Marines overseas) and big surprise by 1635 on Oct 7th…they were out of the office. I then, not being able to call them again emailed them several times asking what was the problem with the ballot, what could I do to fix it and not a reply was returned. Almost as they knew I was overseas and wouldn’t be able to respond by the Oct 8 deadline.
This is total bullshit! We are wrong as a five legged goat if we do not instill a system that provides servicemembers a way to easily vote and accurately account for their vote per state while they are defending this country. How can we look at ourselves in the mirror if we do not fix this come future elections? The inability for the government workers in the NC state office to comprehend that a servicemember overseas cannot simply pick up a phone and call some other gov worker that has no idea in the first place of what their job actually consist of blows me away & is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem. Obviously they have NO idea what their servicemembers are going through as they request an absentee ballot…..Freaking clueless. We should be embarrassed that we even think that any elections were accurate as obviously servicemembers ballots were not accurately collected. There is no way you can tell me we have accurately collected absentee ballots for those overseas….no way. Especially if this is happening to me, I hate to see the amounts of younger/junior US servicemembers this is happening to that think their vote is being counted and in true reality, it is not.
I had the means to call in a favor to get access to a sat phone, I had the pull & resources to scan a document, many overseas do not. Why isn’t there a single site that compounds all of the states absentee ballots and feeds them to the servicemembers perspective state that would allow easy access voting? That is the only way we will fix this problem. Until this is done, I am not a believer that we are accurately accounting for our servicemembers votes in any election….and that my friend is a damn crime towards our servicemembers. Its a damn shame when an illegal alien can vote more readily and easier than a warrior protecting this country…
Have you been burned by absentee voting?
If you have any questions or concerns, you may send an e-mail to FederalVotingAssistanceProgram.FVAP@osd.pentagon.mil, or leave a message anytime, toll-free at 1-800-881-5307.