Shenandoah County GOP


Fraud watch: Military absentees being tossed

Earlier this month I wrote that Fairfax County General Registrar was engaging in some questionable behavior by targeting jails over other locations for on-site absentee ballot registration. Now, some even more disturbing news is emerging from Fairfax, this time in the form of absenstee ballots from our men and women in uniform being thrown out en masse. From Human Events:

Fairfax County Registrar Rokey Suleman is disqualifying an overwhelming majority of the military federal write-in absentee ballots received in his county on the basis that no address had been given for those witnessing the voter signatures on the ballots. According to Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and four former members of the military who held a press conference on Thursday, over 98 percent of these military absentee ballots in Fairfax County are being rejected.

“The federal write-in absentee ballot is a federally mandated ballot that allows military service members and their dependents to cast an absentee ballot when they haven’t received a [state] ballot before the election,” Herrity said. “For them it’s a safety net. It allows them to vote if the mail truck hasn’t reached his or her remote base in Iran or Afghanistan in time to cast a regular absentee ballot.”

When asked how many ballots had been rejected, Herrity responded, “Out of the 260 military federal write-in ballots received to date, only five included an address for the witness. The other 255 have been set aside for rejection.”

Fortunately, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, a veteran himself, is doing his best to make sure that every vote cast by our country’s finest is counted. From the Virginian Pilot (based out of Hampton Roads, where even more people will be on the lookout for this sort of behavior due to the region’s large military population):

State elections officials and Attorney General Bob McDonnell are taking a new look at a thicket of state and federal voting laws that threaten to invalidate some of the thousands of absentee votes being cast by military members and other Virginians overseas.

“Every eligible vote will be counted,” David Clementson, a McDonnell spokesman, said Friday.

The review by the State Board of Elections and McDonnell’s office comes amid calls from some of the attorney general’s fellow Republicans for the state to count all votes submitted using a federal write-in absentee ballot.

In a conference call arranged by the McCain for President campaign, former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said Friday that federal law should “trump” a state statute that the elections board has said would require it to set aside some votes submitted on the federal ballot.

At issue is a state requirement that the completed federal ballot provide both the name and address of a witness to the absentee vote – unless the voter has also requested a separate, state-furnished ballot. The federal form, used for voting in all 50 states, does not provide a space for the address and does not specify which states, such as Virginia, require it.

The federal ballot is intended as a backup, for use when voters have applied for, but not yet received, a Virginia ballot. The state form requires the witness’s signature but not an address.

More from the Waynesboro News Virginian:

State Board of Elections Spokeswoman Susan Pollard said the 100 ballots in the Northern Virginia area are under investigation by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell.

Under state law, Pollard said, the ballots must be witnessed and also include a signature of the witness and the witness’ printed name and address.

She said the 100 ballots in question lack all the witness requirements of the state law.

She said McDonnell’s office is working to review both federal and state law and said the status of the 100 ballots is uncertain.

“We are also looking to see if this is occurring elsewhere in Virginia,” Pollard said of the witness information problem.

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