GratefulCitizen is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Page/Lake Powell, Arizona
Disenfranchising the military vote
Not sure of the significance of this action.
It would be interesting to see how often this sort of thing happens with other secretaries of state who have a (D) after their name...
DENVER -- Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher is asking the federal government for a waiver of the 45-day rule to mail ballots to military servicemen overseas for the November election.
Spokesman Rich Coolidge said the ballots will still be mailed, but some soldiers might not have enough time to mail them back, even though the state will give them an extra seven days after the election. He said they can also send them by e-mail or fax.
Coolidge blamed late primaries and petition deadlines. He said primary ballots also went out under short notice, but the 45-day deadline doesn't apply to those elections.
"Our timelines are very tight with the caucus and the petition process," Coolidge said.
The decision drew a rebuke from Republican lawmakers, who said that is unacceptable.
State Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, said ballots for all soldiers should count and the state should protect the privacy of their vote. Tipton said in a letter to be sent to Buescher that President Barack Obama signed the new deadlines in October, known as the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, to address voting challenges for the military.
"Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that Colorado will soon be submitting an application for a waiver from an important provision of the act. This is an important provision that guarantees that military personnel serving our country abroad can cast their votes in time for those votes to be counted, and that the privacy of those votes can be protected," Tipton said.
Buescher warned last year that he probably wouldn't make the deadline, along with other states with late primaries, including Washington. Coolidge said Buescher is working with the Secretary's Best Practices and Vision Commission to revise the state's election calendar, which may involve moving the primary.
"Obviously, this will require legislation, and when the calendar changes, it creates a domino effect for all other dates in state election law," Coolidge said.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Republican Gubernatorial Robert Ehrlich says it's embarrassing that Maryland is seeking a waiver to a federal law
designed to give voters overseas more time to send ballots.
Ehrlich, who is running for governor, joined other Republicans and veterans on Thursday to criticize the move.
But Linda Lamone, th e administrator of the Maryland State Board of Elections, says the board simply didn't have a choice, because there is not enough time for officials to comply because of Maryland's late primary, which is Sept. 14.
Other states with late primaries also have applied for waivers. President Barack Obama signed the law in October requiring states to provide military and other overseas voters with ballots at least 45 days ahead of a general election to ensure there is enough time to return them.
After the al franken fiasco, I'd be suspicious of Mark Ritchie...
With the state's first August primary just days away, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie visited Austin on Thursday to say the transition seems to have gone smoothly.
One of the issues addressed was the changed date of the primary election, which has traditionally come after Labor Day but was moved to Tuesday. The Aug. 10 change was well publicized in the media and, according to Ritchie, has been a smooth transition.
"So far, it's been amazingly smooth," Ritchie said. "I've been in almost every corner of the state, and I've heard many positive comments.
One of the concerns addressed in the forum was that the date of the primary falls on the opening day of the Mower County Fair. Ritchie said the positive effects of the date change will include the greater probability for military personnel overseas to receive and return their ballots.
"In the past, a September primary meant that if ballots were being sent to the troops overseas, there was little time for the mail to get them back in time," Ritchie said.
Without a real "hot-race," a primary attendance range of 10-20 percent is expected, but according to Ritchie, "we expect it to be on the low end."
Another issue addressed was that the absentee ballots will now be taken care of at the county level, which will create less stress for the election judges because they won't have to process and hold ballots at the end of the night.
"The election will be no different for anybody except for those who can't physically vote on Aug. 10, they can vote in person at the city clerk's office or the county auditor's office up until Monday at 5 p.m.," Ritchie said.
The next step for Ritchie is to keep gathering comments and suggestions. He will be at the Minnesota State Fair to provide feedback for voters.
"If there is anything else that our office can do or ideas that people have, I encourage them to share," Ritchie said. "So far, there are no big changes, but we will go forward."
Having trouble uploading an attachment, here is a link:
Waiting for the perfect moment is a fruitless endeavor.
Make a decision, and then make it the right one through your actions.
"Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." -Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NIV)
Last edited by GratefulCitizen; 08-06-2010 at 21:16.
Reason: added info