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Weekend Update on Impeded Military Votes

follow-up report from Angel Shamaya
Director, KeepAndBearArms.com

11 Nov 2000

This scope of the problem surrounding members of the U.S. armed forces not being provided access to this Presidential election continues to expand.

This just came in from Florida:

The Navy's Officer Candidate School is in Pensacola, Florida.  My friend -- currently an Officer Candidate there -- could not vote.  His division officer did not order the absentee ballots for the Entire Division.  This may perhaps be a case of fraud.  What my friend told me is that everybody was eager to vote for Bush/Cheney.  Maybe the division officer caught wind of this and was not a supporter of the idea.  Being in a position of control, he did not order the absentee ballots in time.

Entire Division not being able to vote sounds like a stretch to any sane person, but read on.

We have another confirmed report, this one from a Staff Sergeant who lives in Florida, of having requested but not having received his absentee ballot. No extra verbiage, just a filled out questionnaire and his name, rank, current station and a question mark.

We also have our first reports in from a both Missouri and Montana residents serving abroad. No ballot after asking for it, would have voted for Bush, not happy campers.

Then there comes the issue of counting military members' preliminary ballots as their votes for their candidate of choice. Have you ever heard of a primary vote counting toward the final vote, as well? Me either, and I don't know how that could even be logistically possible, but I learn something new every day.  Listen to what this Lieutenant with the U.S. Navy has to say:

Sir/Ma'am, [I'm a man, for those who still haven't heard my voice or seen me.]

I'm a LT in the USN currently stationed in Misawa, Japan.  My wife and I are registered Republican voters in Escambia Co., FL, and we did vote for Gov. Bush via absentee ballots we received at the beginning of October.  However, our ballots stated that they were only "preliminary ballots" and not "official ballots."  In the instructional letter we received we were told that official ballots would be mailed in two weeks.  The letter also stated that if we did not return the official ballots postmarked by the Nov 07 deadline, our preliminary ballots would stand as our vote in the election.  Although we did later receive the official ballots in time to return them, we did not.  I was deployed at that time, therefore I instructed my wife not to return the second ballots as she would have been forced to forge my signature. 

Given current vote counting problems in the state, I can now only hope that our preliminary votes did in fact get officially counted by the county election officials.  Obviously, as Florida residents, this is a great matter of concern at this time.  In addition, being from Escambia County (a county with several major military bases, and thousands of absentee military residents), I am fearful that many of my brethren may have had similar issues, or may not have received the second, official ballot in the mail at all.  I respectfully request that you investigate this issue of the preliminary ballots vs. official ballots.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. 

Anyone know about a primary vote counting for a final vote, as well? If so, please send information to LostMilitaryVote@KeepAndBearArms.com.

And we have another Navyman from Broward County who was told two weeks BEFORE the election that it was too late to send in his absentee ballot.  In his own words:

I am currently stationed in Connecticut. When I inquired about my absentee ballot 2 weeks before the election, it was reported to me that it was too late to submit my absentee ballot. I was, of course, a BIT distressed by this. I found out (too late it seems) that as long as the ballot is POSTMARKED by Election day, my vote would still count. My voting officer, it seems, had some of what we folks call Bad gouge. My voting district is Broward County Florida. I have been a registered voter there for 10 years.

And yet another registered Republican from California who was denied his vote.  He says a mouthful and likely speaks for many, many military members living abroad:

On October 23, 2000 I faxed my application for an Absentee Ballot, requesting that my ballot be sent to Germany, to the San Mateo County Registrar. I have confirmation that the fax went through. I also surfed to the county's website.

I never got a response from that office. My suspicion has grown in the past few days that there was really never an intention to send me a ballot, knowing I am a registered Republican. I also know for a fact that many county public offices throughout California are filled with minorities, especially Filipinos (I am a Filipino-American), who are mostly Democrats. Did someone set aside my request and ignore it? I hate to think that someone, who is strongly a liberal, would have purposely done it.

I strongly believe that I was simply disenfranchised. I find this a perverse molestation of the integrity of the ballot; of democracy. I know dirty politics in the old country, and I regret it very much that such bad habits and practices seem to have been brought over to America. I feel bad about it, because I have always considered elections as the only way an ordinary citizen can express his voice - practice democracy. Even if I am most of the time abroad, casting my vote is one civic duty I do not forget to perform.

I am sad that I was denied to exercise my duty, like the thousands of military personnel abroad similarly denied, as reported in the KABA (KeepAndBearArms.com). Something is really wrong. This election has definitely divided Americans. I would hate to see another "civil war."

So would we. But the snowball may already be moving too fast. If the Socialists force Gore on us after he lost, whether it be blamed on people not being able to use a ballot little kids can use, or blame it on whatever else you please, Gore Means War for a lot of people -- armed people. I have already received one invitation to a meeting in one of the States Bush won -- a Provisional Government meeting. I'm considering going, and I have already discussed with leaders in three other states about similar movements in their states, as well. Back to the Military Vote issue...

How does one track and identify responsible parties regarding the postal screw-ups?  Intentional or not, these two take the cake. First:

I am an active duty Air Force Officer serving in California.  I registered to vote in Pennsylvania, (Montgomery County) and sent my absentee request via certified mail.  I received notification of receipt at my California address, but never a ballot.  I called the election board in Norristown on the 2nd of November and was told one had been sent.  Upon further investigation, it was found that the ballot was sent to another address because the address was 1 number off.  The other address doesn't exist.  I called the post office to see if the ballot was in a dead letter bin etc., and they where less then useless. I was told I had no recourse if the ballot was not received by Tues the 7th of November. I never got to vote for Gov. Bush.

If someone receives confirmation for a certified letter, the postal service has the correct address. Who changed the number?

And as an added bonus, we have a military serviceman and resident of Ohio who sent in his ballot on time, but that ballot wasn't counted. This came directly from a man who works at a post office in Cincinnati:

On 11-09-2000 at the Cincinnati Main Post Office I found a absentee ballot from a Airman stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah that had been missent to greater Cincinnati's Norwood Branch 45212-9998. The ballot was addressed to Supervisor of Elections, Elections Department, P.O. Box 012241. Miami, Florida 33101-2241.  Some Democratic at the station hand stamped it, (Not Deliverable as Addressed, No Forwarding Order on File, From Norwood Branch 45212.) At the USPS I am surrounded by extremely verbal liberal democrats. They know that the 17th is the deadline for these ballots to be counted. They also know that the military  mostly votes Republican. This was a stupid mistake, or, a deliberate attempt at election fraud. Do to the fact that these ballots are large and obviously clear because of the one inch printing on the front saying Official Election Mail I do believe it is a attempt by a democrat to deny one of our service members his right to vote. Democrats will do anything they can at all walks of life to win a election. Deliberately delaying the mail is a federal offense.

One gentleman urged us to change our Lost Military Votes Questionnaire by adding one question: are you a registered Republican?

His thinking is that this would help determine whether or not Republicans have been targeted. Considering the fact that Demoncrats have been signing up illegal aliens and convicts and using cigarettes to lure people into voting, and considering the fact that thousands of Demoncrats in just one city can tell us that it is somehow someone else's fault that they can't tell the difference between the word "Gore" and the word "Buchanan," it's a fair question.

Finally, a letter from an American who serves abroad in the armed forces, directed to the general public, as a way of punctuating the fact that Gore wouldn't have had a chance to engage legal antics -- if all military members had been given a chance to vote:

There has been a problem arising within the military about the fact that military members have not been able to vote! Some have been told that during basic training they can't have anything to do with the outside world (including voting). Others have not been given an absentee ballot after being told they would definitely receive one. Many others have not been able to vote as well, when that's all they wanted to do. If the military was given ample time and information to vote in this presidential election between Bush and Gore, the election wouldn't be as close as it is right now. Gore would be in the background of this election. I can't even stress how many military members desired to vote, but did not get the chance. Some military members on the other hand did get to vote, but the majority was not given a chance. It boggles my mind when the military can support and defend the constitution, but it's members aren't given the chance to vote! Don't we have a say in who we think should be the next leader of our country? I'm not the only one that feels this way. There are thousands of military members that feel the same way about this matter as I do. It's very discouraging when we sacrifice our lives for this country, and we don't even get the privilege or respect to vote for our president.

Amen, friend. Consider yourself saluted.


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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46

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