Cornyn: DoD Must Answer For Growing Military Voter Disenfranchisement

Today I issued the following statement regarding reports by the Military Voter Protection Project (MVPP) indicating a 92-percent drop in absentee-ballot requests by service members in the state of Virginia (versus 2008 requests). MVPP has also concluded that absentee ballot requests by service members are down by well over 50 percent in other states including Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, and Nevada. The MVPP report comes on the heels of a report issued by the Pentagon’s Inspector General indicating deficient on-base voter assistance for military service members and their families, mandated by the 2009 law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, or MOVE Act.

Today we’re learning our men and women in uniform may be even more disenfranchised than they were before sweeping reforms were signed into law two years ago to make it easier for them to exercise their right to vote. This is an unacceptable failure by Pentagon leaders to comply with the law and ensure our service members and their families are able to exercise one of the most fundamental rights for which they sacrifice every day.

DoD leaders must answer for this serious failure and do everything in their power to make this right for military voters and their family members.

In September, Sen. Cornyn and several colleagues wrote to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, voicing concerns with the DoD’s inadequate implementation of on-base voter assistance for military service members and their families. The Senators outlined immediate action items that must be taken to ensure members of the military and their family have the opportunity to vote in November’s election. A copy of that letter can be found here.

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