Suppressing the votes of troops, too?

Dear Friend,

Republican voter suppression efforts across the country are threatening the voting rights of thousands of eligible voters and disproportionally targeting minorities, the poor and the elderly.

This effort will even deprive men and women serving our country of the rights they are fighting to protect for all of us.

Please join our friends at VoteVets in urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to investigate. Read the message below and sign the petition now.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action

Dear Supporter,
The rights of our men and women in uniform are under attack, and something must be done.  This is a very urgent situation, and we need your help.

There are dozens of efforts to restrict ballot access, both under consideration and already enacted, which may disenfranchise troops from a number of states, from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. Citizens, lawmakers, and judges who may consider any legal action against these measures should know how many troops each of these efforts would disenfranchise.  Yet, no comprehensive review of all of these proposed and enacted laws has been done.  It must be.


Today, we are launching a petition, calling on Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to order a comprehensive review of each of these voter suppression laws and proposals.  We are doing so, because we already know that some of these efforts would, indeed, keep troops from voting.

For example, we know in Colorado that many troops would be disenfranchised by the decision of Secretary of State Scott Gessler to order no ballots be sent to so-called “inactive voters” — those voters who did not vote in 2010.  We know from news reports that this would disenfranchise 64 active duty troops in one county in Colorado. But, there has been no review done on how many troops would be disenfranchised state-wide.

We know that in Missouri, legislation passed through the State House that would eliminate mail-in absentee ballots for all members of the military, who are unable to cast their vote in person. For those in combat zones, the legislation allows them to submit their ballot via fax or email, which can make it nearly impossible for many who are in the field.  There is no such provision for those who are stationed at overseas bases, such as in Germany or Korea, or at US bases far away from the state.  We know that about 11,000 troops from Missouri voted by absentee ballot in 2008, but there has been no review to determine how many troops potentially would be disenfranchised in 2012.

And in Florida, as the Center for American Progress discovered, we know of at least one case where a veteran was wrongly booted from the voter rolls, in a purge that supposedly was supposed to target non-citizens who are registered.  We have no idea how many troops may have been affected by the purge, or if the state has been able to contact any deployed troops who were, to allow them to appeal.


Our men and women in uniform swear to uphold our Constitution — the core of which is our right to vote.  Any effort which would impede their ability to vote is not just un-American, but a violation of the law. Yet, until a real review of these efforts is done by the Department of Defense, citizens, lawmakers, and judges will not know how many troops may not be able to vote in 2012.  Getting that information out is critical.
Help us make that happen.  Sign our petition above, and spread the word to everyone you know.
Jon Soltz
Iraq War Veteran


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