Here is a military spouse who the Trump campaign has baselessly accused of committing voter fraud in a Nevada lawsuit. When Christian Adams’ PILF made similar accusations calling legal voters “aliens,” they got sued and Adams had to apologize to settle the case.
Should Nevada residents who are serving overseas in the military be allowed to vote?
Both federal and local laws say yes, but a letter sent to the Department of Justice by a lawyer representing the Donald Trump campaign doesn’t think so.
Attorney Shana D. Weir, representing Donald J. Trump for President Inc., sent a letter to United States Attorney General William Barr on Thursday claiming to have evidence of “criminal voter fraud” in the state of Nevada.
Specifically, they have a list of 3,062 voters who voted in the 2020 presidential election, even though the National Change of Address database shows have moved out of Nevada….
The list provided by Weir gives no way of telling how long these voters have been out of town, and how many are in college. However, the data shows something telling — many of the votes that Weir claims to be fraudulent have overseas military addresses.
To be specific, 132 of the out-of-town addresses listed have Army Post Office addresses — addresses used for active service Army and Air Force personnel serving overseas….
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have extended deadlines for military voters to account for the delays facing overseas ballots.
“Each state establishes clear absentee ballot deadlines, including some extended deadlines for military and overseas citizens to return their ballots after postmarking their ballots by election day,” Lisa Lawrence, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Task & Purpose. “All ballots that are timely received, pursuant to state law, will be considered by election officials for either acceptance or rejection.”…
“Federal law protects military and overseas voters and many states give extra time for military ballots to arrive and be counted,” Richard Hasen, a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California-Irvine, told Task & Purpose. “No state has a final or official count on election night; the full counting takes days or weeks. It is true that races are sometimes unofficially called by news organizations on election night or soon thereafter, but those are just predictions of what the official count will likely show.”
“Trump’s calls to stop counting on election night, if followed, would disenfranchise military voters allowed to vote under state and federal law,” Hasen said. “Fortunately, the president has no role to play in dictating which ballots are counted and when.”
That decision is up to the states.
“Traditionally most states even if they are in-hand states, where the ballots have to be in at the close of the polls, have a specific carved out allowance for military and overseas voters to have their ballots come in after the fact,” Tammy Patrick, a senior advisor with the Democracy Fund, told Task & Purpose.
But for voters, it’s growing increasingly difficult to keep up to date on exactly what the rules are, even as the election looms around the corner.
President Donald Trump, in social media posts and remarks, is demanding that all ballots be counted by election night, even though federal law permits states to count ballots from troops stationed outside the United States, diplomats and other Americans abroad to have their ballots counted days later, as long as they were sent no later than Election Day.
In Trump’s new home state of Florida, the deadline for this election is Nov. 13. So, for example, his attempt to skew the counting in his favor could prevent service members deployed overseas from the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville or from Southern Command headquarters in Doral from having their votes matter.
Charlie Dunlap analysis.
David Beirne, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, at Electionline.
Questions are swirling around two close elections in the Fredericksburg region that appear destined for recounts.
In a conference call Friday, House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Trent Armitage said that 55 military ballots delivered to the Stafford County registrar’s post office box on Tuesday—Election Day—went uncounted because they were not picked up until Wednesday. Democrats said they had no way of knowing which candidates the 55 votes went for, but the ballots arrived on time and came from active-duty military personnel.
“We find that to be absolutely ridiculous,” Armitage said.
Stafford Supervisor Laura Sellers, a Democrat, lost her Garrisonville District seat to Republican Mark Dudenhefer by just 15 votes. And Republican Bob Thomas holds an 83-vote lead over Democrat Joshua Cole in the race for the 28th District House of Delegates seat representing parts of Fredericksburg and Stafford.
Rarely does the first iteration of a law translate legislative intent into implementation flawlessly and durably. The legislative process allows us to correct, improve or update laws as needed in our changing times. It’s an ongoing process, and one we should embrace!
A new round of legislative reform is needed to ensure that the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and its progeny continue to play a vital role. In 2009, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) was passed as a much-needed, bipartisan reform to UOCAVA; and it has served as a mechanism to modernize key aspects of UOCAVA. The MOVE Act’s creation was informed by years of research, including work by U.S. Vote Foundation’s (US Vote) Overseas Vote initiative (formerly Overseas Vote Foundation), and it has been demonstrably successful in accelerating the transition to online methods for most overseas and military voting processes across all states.
That’s the lead story in this week’s Electionline Weekly.
Stacey Scholl blogs at the Democracy Fund.
Yesterday, the Department of Justice released a legislative package aimed at helping members of the military, veterans and their families. Here’s an excerpt of the press release:
When the Justice Department launched the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative last March, we set in motion a dynamic engine to drive enforcement, outreach and training efforts on behalf of servicemembers, veterans and their families. It is our responsibility to protect these individuals from financial scams, to preserve their right to return to their civilian employment after active duty and to strengthen their ability to cast a ballot when they are overseas. When our servicemembers and veterans have peace of mind that their rights are protected at home, our nation is stronger.
As part of that package, DOJ is proposing several amendments to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), as amended by the MOVE Act, including….
Earlier this month I adopted several amendments to the Secretary of State elections rules. In large part, these amendments are “cleanup” in nature; that is, they reword certain rules for grammar and clarity, they repeal some unnecessary or overly burdensome rules, and they reflect recent legislative changes in election law.
In addition to those more-technical amendments, I adopted a rule that clarifies the General Assembly’s mandate to permit electronic transmission of ballots to and from military and overseas citizens. Unfortunately, there are some who do not want members of the military, their family members, military contractors, missionaries, and other Coloradans abroad to have the same ability to vote that you and I have. Those of us in Colorado have the ability to study the issues and candidates and then turn in our ballots after reviewing what’s on them for several weeks. That way, we can make informed choices.
To permit these military and overseas voters the same rights, the General Assembly adopted a law in 2006 permitting electronic ballot transmission for this limited number of voters and then readopted it in 2011. Let me be clear: My rule puts some previously nonexistent guardrails on the legislature’s electronic transmission policy. The General Assembly adopted the law, not me. And I’m required to construe the law so that every eligible voter may vote — in fact, that’s a specific requirement of Colorado law.
Not surprisingly, a handful of elections activists used this most-recent rulemaking to rail against what they term “Internet voting.” But what does surprise me is seeing members of the General Assembly, past and present, make misinformed statements and greatly exaggerate the purpose and effect of the new rule. Despite the fact that my rule actually narrows the application of electronic transmission, the naysayers continue to falsely claim that I’m expanding Internet voting and that I’m ignoring the advice of experts in the field. I have two responses.
Brian Kalt has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Brooklyn Law Review). Here is the abstract:
For decades, eligible voters who have left the U.S. permanently have had the right to vote in federal elections as though they still lived at their last stateside address. The federal law known as UOCAVA forces their former states to let them vote for President, Senate, and House this way. There are several serious constitutional problems with this. Most problematic among them is that UOCAVA sits in uneasy proximity to the continued disenfranchisement of U.S. citizens who live in Washington, D.C., and the territories. Citizens who move from a state to one of these places lose their right to vote in federal elections (other than for President in D.C.). If U.S. citizens who leave the country permanently have voting rights that are so sacrosanct, it is odd that these other U.S. citizens, living on U.S. soil, do not.
This Article provides some history and context on overseas voting, explores the many reasons why UOCAVA’s enfranchisement of permanent expatriates is unconstitutional, and considers why those constitutional arguments have never seen the inside of a courtroom. It concludes with some suggestions for reformulating UOCAVA to avoid constitutional problems while duly respecting the entrenched voting rights of permanent expatriates. While there are multiple options that would be effective, the most plausible solution uses the opportunity for constitutional reform created by the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.