Military Absentee Ballots Rejected In Virginia

Seems like Deja Vu of 2000 on election night down at the Court House, when hundreds of us were chanting ‘count every vote, every vote counts.’ That’s when Democrats sent their lawyers here to deny our military absentee ballots from being counted. Now, Fairfax County, in Virginia is rejecting 98 percent of the absentee ballots they have received, on a technicality that is of no fault of the voter. The ‘voter’ being the ones whose vote should count more than anyone’s, the ones who are actually fighting for that right.

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.

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.”

The instructions say this in STEP 1:

Block 6: Provide any information that may assist the local election official in accepting this ballot or application.

Block 7: Sign and date in the presence of a witness. The witness must sign and date the form.

Then, STEP 2 of the instructions say to put the ballot into the security envelope. STEP 3, Submission Options describe where to mail the envelope.

Only in STEP 4 is there a mention about requiring the address of the witness, which says it was supposed to be put in block 6, which is actually part of STEP 1.

STEP 4: Follow-up

* Check the “Important Dates” section at the top of this page for deadlines.
* Registered Virginia voters can use the FWAB simultaneously as an absentee ballot request and ballot for Federal offices as long as it is received 5 days before the election. The FWAB Declaration/Affirmation must contain the residence address where the voter is registered in Virginia, the voter’s current military or overseas address, and the voter’s and witness’ signature and date. The witness must provide his or her printed name and address in Block 6.
* If you receive your state absentee ballot after submitting your Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, fill it out and return it. The state absentee ballot will be counted instead of the back-up ballot if it’s received in time.

If you use just a little common sense here, chances are good that the witness is not a resident of Fairfax County, or of the State of Virginia. Their current address is in the war zone. Are county officials going to call or write them to verify that the address they gave is correct? Would it not be logical to assume that they are not looking for witness’s war zone addresses?

I wonder if those instructions were written by the genius in Palm Beach County that made the butterfly ballot in 2000? Nevertheless, the instructions were misleading at the very least. Especially considering the ‘voters’ are in a war zone conducting the war and their ballots were not created by ACORN. Those ballots, all of them, should be counted.

links: Military Ballots Being Rejected in Virginia | Federal Voting Assistance Program

2 thoughts on “Military Absentee Ballots Rejected In Virginia”

  1. Hit the links,they’re there. I heard about it on the radio for one, and the two links above are the rest of my source.

    UPDATE: 10/27/08, 14:45. Although I just found a link that said that the problem was resolved, and that these ballots will all be counted, that is NOT the case.

    I just got off the phone with an employee at the Fairfax Co. board of elections (703-222-0776) who confirmed that the issue has not yet been resolved. He did say, however, that the issue is supposed to be discussed and voted on tomorrow by the Commonwealth Board of Elections.

    Let’s hope they make the right choice and let those voters be heard.

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