WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2012
Running Out the Military Voting Clock
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wants to know if the military’s voter assistance offices are working–and he’s asking for an immediate answer. More from Air Force Times:
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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has directed military officials to provide him a report by Oct. 19 verifying that each of the 221 installation voting assistance offices is appropriately staffed to meet the needs of troops.
He gave officials three days to get it done; the memo was issued Oct. 16 to the service secretaries, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and chiefs of the combatant commands.
“We must do all we can to ensure that service members know the steps necessary to vote, particularly those service members deployed or based away from home. This issue must be addressed immediately,” he wrote.
Mr. Panetta issued his directive after the DoD Inspector General reported it could not reach about half of the voting assistance offices by phone, despite repeated attempts. Members of Congress have expressed similar concerns.
At first blush, the SecDef’s actions seem to be a model of bureaucratic urgency and concern. A three-day suspense for this sort of survey is virtually unheard of along the E-ring. So, a lot of action officers will be burning the midnight oil for the next few days to give Secretary Panetta the information he requested.
But in reality, Mr. Panetta’s demand is little more than a farce. The IG report was issued in late August–almost two months ago. Why did the Defense Secretary wait so long to issue that last-minute tasker?
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Sorry, but this is “cheating”. All’s fair in love ‘n’ war.
At least in Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, soldiers couldn’t vote until they became a vet.
As a vet, I find this disgusting.