The Soldier Vote

This post is from an article, Should Soldiers' votes get counted? That's not as easy as you think., written by Donald S. Inbody, which appeared in The Washington Post on Veteran's Day.

Americans want their soldiers to vote. But often they can’t. Despite absentee balloting, military personnel deployed overseas often just cannot participate in elections.

For most of U.S. history, military personnel have not been able to vote. State laws and constitutions often specifically restricted military personnel from participating in the franchise....

....States are working on solutions. Marked ballots can be returned by fax in most states, but 19 still require the ballot to be returned by mail. Some states are experimenting with e-mailed votes, but security issues with Internet voting remain a serious problem.

In the 2012 presidential election, some 250,000 overseas and military voters who apparently wanted to vote were unable to navigate the system. While overall the military population will vote at a higher rate than the general population, those stationed overseas vote at a significantly lower rate. The voting rate among overseas military personnel for that election was probably less than 20 percent, a sure sign that there’s more work needed to ensure the full enfranchisement of Americans serving their country abroad.

Go to the original article in The Washington Post.

Please visit Amazon to order Mr. Inbody's new book, The Soldier Vote.