Skip to comments.Colorado Wants Waiver For Mailing Military Ballots
Posted on 08/02/2010 3:33:04 PM PDT by BulletBobCo
DENVER (AP) ― Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher is asking the federal government for a waiver of the requirement to mail ballots to military service members overseas 45 days before the November election, a move that means some ballots might not be counted.
Spokesman Rich Coolidge said the ballots will still be mailed, but some soldiers in remote battlefields might not have enough time to mail them back, even though the state will give them an extra seven days after the election. He said they can also send them by e-mail or fax.
Coolidge blamed late primaries and petition deadlines. He said ballots for the Aug. 10 primary also went out under short notice, but the 45-day deadline doesn't apply to those elections.
"Our timelines are very tight with the caucus and the petition process," Coolidge said.
Under a new federal law President Barack Obama signed in October, states without a waiver must deliver ballots to soldiers 45 days before the general election so they have enough time to vote. The only exemptions allowed include a late primary election, a legal challenge or a state constitution ban.
Colorado's Aug. 10 primary leaves 84 days to comply. However, under Colorado law, election officials can wait until 32 days before the election to deliver ballots to election offices.
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich told lawmakers there are exceptions for "undue hardships" that will be considered on a case-by-case basis. He said no decisions have been made for this year's general election. He said the department is prepared to file a lawsuit against states not in compliance.
Bob Carey, federal voting assistance program director for the Department of Defense, said waiver requests have been received from Washington, New York, Hawaii, Alaska, the Virgin Islands, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
The Military Postal Service Agency urges military voters in Iraq and Afghanistan to send ballots back at least 28 days before an election, and voters at other overseas military installations at least 21 days in advance.
"Military and overseas voters face not having their ballots sent from their respective states in time to receive them, vote them, and send them back to their respective state's ballot deadline," Carey said.
Republican lawmakers said Colorado's decision to seek a waiver is unacceptable.
State Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, said ballots for all soldiers should count and the state should protect the privacy of their vote.
Tipton said in a letter to be sent to Buescher that Obama signed the new deadlines in October, as part of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, to address voting challenges for the military.
"Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that Colorado will soon be submitting an application for a waiver from an important provision of the act. This is an important provision that guarantees that military personnel serving our country abroad can cast their votes in time for those votes to be counted, and that the privacy of those votes can be protected," Tipton said.
Buescher warned last year that he probably wouldn't make the deadline, along with other states with late primaries, including Washington.
Coolidge said Buescher is working with the Secretary's Best Practices and Vision Commission to revise the state's election calendar, which may involve moving the primary.
"Obviously, this will require legislation and when the calendar changes it creates a domino effect for all other dates in state election law," Coolidge said.
Nuke Boulder. It would be a civil rights issue if the military was mostly black.
Fascism on the march!
Commies have become much too comfortable in CO. That needs to change.
Here is a link to the new law know as ;
Here in Maine, some of us are working on this matter.
Even if a state gets a waiver on the front end, it must allow the 45 day time frame on the back end.
Also, the new law requires every service member to re-register every year. That’s where you start. Then absentee ballots can be requested via the internet.(Maine’s link will be up later this month I’ve been told. If your town clerk is unaware ro stuborn, call augusta.
Those freedoms you’re dying for, they don’t apply to you.
Thanks for voting Liberal Democrat. :)
And the left always b!tches about voter disenfranchisment from the right...
Don’t they know that there are servicemembers that do vote for liberals???
Geesh...Talk about cutting yourself off at the knees...
I actually like this idea...
Sure does put the burn to get these voting districts acts together...
Colorado has morons running its state government. And they have known they had to do this for years.
Where do they find people to write and sponsor these bills?????
We just started to get involved in this issue in my area of Maine.
This is my first involvement in politics (other than voting), so allot is new to me.
My town clerk isn't even aware of the new law. She believes the ballots will be out 30 days before election,that military personell have to register and request through the town in writing,and can't do it on-line.
Nice person; but very wrong.
I'll be happy to share what I learn. Send me a PM and we can swap E-mail addresses.
I am just getting totally sick of the constant disrespect the government shows for our warriors! Their votes should come first!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.