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Pa. soldiers file ballot action ( my blood is boiling - Rendell IS personally repugnant)
Philly News ^ | Oct. 28, 2004 | Mario F. Cattabiani and Stephan Salisbury

Posted on 10/28/2004 3:20:51 AM PDT by Former Military Chick

The two seek a federal court order extending the deadline for overseas tallies to be received, counted.

HARRISBURG - Two soldiers from Pennsylvania serving abroad filed a motion in federal court yesterday to force the state to accept overseas absentee ballots received after Tuesday's election.

Without an extension, U.S. Army Specs. Matthew J. Schramm of Schwenksville, Montgomery County, and Steven J. Reitz of Venango County, probably won't have their votes counted, according to the court petition filed by lawyers with the Republican State Committee.

"With the war in Iraq a major issue in this election, it is especially imperative that the members of the military actually waging that war have their votes counted," according to the motion, which asks the court to extend the absentee ballot deadline until Nov. 17.

Schramm and Reitz, who are serving in Kuwait and Iraq, respectively, become the first faces put on the controversial ballot issue that until now has dealt in the abstract realm of potentially disenfranchised voters.

State election law requires that each county send out its overseas absentee ballots by Sept. 20. They must be returned by Oct. 29 for votes to be counted for all offices on the ballot, or by Election Day for only the Presidential vote. The delays in getting ballots out have been blamed on uncertainty over whether Ralph Nader's name would be on the ballot.

Yesterday's court motion also gave Republicans fresh cause to ratchet even higher the political rhetoric against Democratic Gov. Rendell.

U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.) yesterday threatened to "use my power" to withhold National Guard funds from coming into the state "to support this governor" if any overseas military votes go uncounted. And, at a separate news conference, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) accused Rendell of using "heavy-handed partisanship" in opposing the extension.

Rendell was not available for comment yesterday, but last week he said he finds them "personally repugnant."

He has said he would not support a deadline extension unless he saw evidence to suggest that voters indeed being disenfranchised. John Estey, Rendell's chief of staff, said yesterday that no such evidence has surfaced yet.

The controversy was sparked by the governor's opposition to a federal court motion the U.S. Justice Department filed three weeks ago in Harrisburg to force an extension of the deadlines to receive the completed ballots.

Some overseas voters received absentee ballots from county election officials with Nader listed as a presidential candidate, while others received ballots without the independent's name.

The state Supreme Court removed Nader from the ballot Oct. 19, citing an insufficient amount of legitimate nominating signatures.

As a result, Justice Department lawyers argued that thousands of voters could be picking from an incorrect slate and, therefore, would be treated differently from other voters.

On Oct. 20, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane sided with the Rendell administration, which argued that extending the deadline and sending to overseas voters new, corrected absentee ballots - as the federal government also requested - could do more harm than good and only serve to confuse the situation further.

Kane also noted that Justice Department lawyers failed to make the case that a single voter would be harmed if the court did not intervene.

According to the court motion yesterday, Schramm and Reitz still have not received their absentee ballots. Without an extension, they fear that they won't get them in time to return them to their home counties by Election Day.

Republican officials have also wondered publicly why Rendell supported a court motion last spring to allow a similar extension but is opposing this one.

There's a big difference between then and now, Rendell has said. For the primary elections, 10 counties had failed to send absentee ballots overseas on time. That, the governor said, amounted to "overwhelming evidence that counties had not lived up to their obligation."

Of the state's 67 counties, only one - Venango - failed to mail overseas absentee ballots on time for the general election. That rural county was more than two weeks late in sending out its 70 ballots but compensated for the delay by using expedited mail, said Kate Philips, Rendell's press secretary.

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Contact staff writer Mario F. Cattabiani at 717-787-5990 or mcattabiani@phillynews.com.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: iraq; militaryvote; votingfrontpage
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U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.) yesterday threatened to "use my power" to withhold National Guard funds from coming into the state "to support this governor" if any overseas military votes go uncounted. And, at a separate news conference, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) accused Rendell of using "heavy-handed partisanship" in opposing the extension.

Rendell was not available for comment yesterday, but last week he said he finds them "personally repugnant."

He has said he would not support a deadline extension unless he saw evidence to suggest that voters indeed being disenfranchised. John Estey, Rendell's chief of staff, said yesterday that no such evidence has surfaced yet.

Who the hell put this man in office. Total contempt for this man.

1 posted on 10/28/2004 3:20:51 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
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To: Chieftain; Ragtime Cowgirl; gatorbait; GreyFriar; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; americanmother; ...

early morning outrage **ping**

I will anyone who needs help getting Rendell out of office.


2 posted on 10/28/2004 3:22:06 AM PDT by Former Military Chick (-"There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.")
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To: Former Military Chick

Rendell's stunt just might backfire on the Dems.

I noticed that the LA Times has PA numbers tied this morning, and I think Kerry has been ahead for a week or two.

Maybe Dems (not rabid ABB's, but normal everyday Dems) will get fed up with Rendell's shenanigans and vote Bush.

They say that McGreevey is part of the reason that NJ is in play for Bush, maybe Rendell will put PA into the Bush column.


3 posted on 10/28/2004 3:23:20 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Former Military Chick

Does the state constitution in PA have a recall provision?


4 posted on 10/28/2004 3:23:51 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: Former Military Chick
So right, yet fast eddie is making sure that all felons, murders, rapist, child molesters, thieves and bank robbers are assured that they are allowed to vote.

You sir are a discrace and are not performing you duties.

When you get in bed with the sewer rats, you begin to smell like a sewer rat.

5 posted on 10/28/2004 3:26:29 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Former Military Chick

This is OUTRAGEOUS!!! The Democrats "disenfranchised" thousands of military voters in 2000 and now they are doing it again.


6 posted on 10/28/2004 3:28:14 AM PDT by MisterRepublican
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To: Former Military Chick

Earth to Karl Rove... This is worth a campaign commercial in Pennsylvania. Show the faces of our brave troops. Then show the French face of traitor Kerry. Then remind voters what Gore's lawyers did in Florida to military voters in 2000.

I guess I won't hold my breath for the Bush campaign to capitalize on this latest Democrat corruption. If it took Bush a full 48 hours to fight back on the weapons story that dominated news cycles for two days nationally, I doubt the GOP suits will get off their lazy fat asses to cash in on a potential gold mine of Pennsylvania votes.


7 posted on 10/28/2004 3:29:01 AM PDT by billclintonwillrotinhell
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Former Military Chick
Two soldiers from Pennsylvania serving abroad filed a motion in federal court yesterday to force the state to accept overseas absentee ballots received after Tuesday's election.

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so glad to see this. Keeping my fingers crossed this will not get tossed and will draw attention to the attempted disenfrachisment of the military. Hope others follow suit.

9 posted on 10/28/2004 3:30:54 AM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights (Truth is not Partisan)
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To: dawn53
Rendell's stunt just might backfire on the Dems. That's exactly what I'm thinking. Surely the good people of PA will be outraged over this. Can some of you PA Freepers give us a heads-up on the pulse of this thing in your state?
10 posted on 10/28/2004 3:32:06 AM PDT by no dems (NICE GUYS FINISH LAST. GET RADICAL !!!)
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To: no dems

But you know how this will be spun. They'll say the government...aka George Bush...didn't get them the ballots when they were supposed to so they could submit them on time. Kerry will make it look like Bush is trying to suppress the military vote, when we all know they vote for Bush hands down!


11 posted on 10/28/2004 3:34:43 AM PDT by xuberalles
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To: Former Military Chick

"With the war in Iraq a major issue in this election, it is especially imperative that the members of the military actually waging that war have their votes counted"

BTTT!

What Gore did in Florida was outrageous.

These PA soldiers putting their lives on the line must have their votes counted.


12 posted on 10/28/2004 3:37:08 AM PDT by proud American in Canada (To the "undecideds": Want some wood? Vote for GW November 2. You'll feel better.)
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To: Former Military Chick

I'm in the York area and voted for Schweicker in '00, but the liberal-demokkkRAT filth in Philly and Pitts put him in. He's a subhuman POS.

Santorum, Platts, Weldon etc better get some balls and "use their power" to thwart the Rendell garbage, or they'll be outta here next election.

I'm searching a copy of the Commonweath's Constitution, online, to see about a recall provision.

http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Constitution.html

I want that crooked bastard out of here, asap.


13 posted on 10/28/2004 3:37:45 AM PDT by 7.62 x 51mm ( veni vidi vino visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: Former Military Chick

Why are our military treated like 2nd class citizens, I've put up with this all my life....Im sick of it!


14 posted on 10/28/2004 3:38:45 AM PDT by mystery-ak (Go Cards)
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To: xuberalles

Welcome to Free Republic!

It won't be spun against Bush. It's a state issue, and Pennsylvanians know that the reason the ballots went out late was because the Democrats were trying to keep Nader off the ballot...they won that one and Nader is not on the official ballot.

They also know Rendell extended the deadline during the primary in order to accomodate a more liberal candidate.

Hope you have a nice trip back over to DU!


15 posted on 10/28/2004 3:38:47 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: mewzilla

I don't know. I currently live in Kansas. But would help with any efforts to rid the state of a man, with no respect for the military. I just get angrier thinking about it.


16 posted on 10/28/2004 3:40:05 AM PDT by Former Military Chick (-"There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.")
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To: dawn53

Im not a damn democrat. I think you need to read all my posts. I'm being dead serious when I say how they try to spin it. After what their party pulled with Gore in 2000, nothing is beyond the realm of possible with such scum.


17 posted on 10/28/2004 3:41:42 AM PDT by xuberalles
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To: billclintonwillrotinhell; MisterRepublican; chiefqc; Protect the Bill of Rights; ...

First it is great that are folks up at this hour that share in my outrage. thanks for the posts

Also "billclintonwillrotinhell" did have a good idea, why not get this news item, with the suggestion to perhaps work this into their campaign, video or on their website. I think that is a terrific idea.


18 posted on 10/28/2004 3:44:50 AM PDT by Former Military Chick (-"There's no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.")
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To: xuberalles

Well you signed up yesterday, and believe disenfranchisement in PA by a Dem governor will be spun against Bush.

Come on, even in Florida they didn't blame disenfranchisement on GW, they blamed it on Jeb.


19 posted on 10/28/2004 3:45:29 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Former Military Chick

I don't suppose Sen. Miller is going to go to PA? This would torque him off royally. And I can't think of anyone better suited to dealing with Fast Eddie.


20 posted on 10/28/2004 3:45:38 AM PDT by mewzilla
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