By Wyatt Earp | October 14, 2010
The Illinois Board of Elections is claiming that not all of the state’s overseas absentee ballots were sent out before the deadline. As a result, many of the state’s overseas voters – especially military personnel – may not have their ballots counted. The irony, of course, is that while these brave men and women are overseas fighting for our rights, they may lose this country’s most basic right because of a clerical error.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the state of Illinois missed the deadline for mailing absentee ballots to members of the military and other overseas American voters as part of a new federal overseas voting law.
Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois’ 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE). The law requires every state to mail their absentee ballots 45 days prior to Election Day to overseas troops, government employees and other Americans who want to vote from abroad.
Cray said it’s possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.
Whether this is a grand conspiracy or a terrible mistake, one thing is for sure: the Prairie State’s military personnel deserve much better than this.