Unions oppose military voting bill .. because it expands private sector workforce

By Soren Dayton Posted in | | Comments (2) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Earlier this week, I wrote about a proposal by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-22) to make it easier for active duty military to vote absentee by accelerating the mail delivery process.

It turns out, surprise, surprise, that the unions are opposed. Why? Because it uses the private sector. Seriously. They are opposing making it easier for our deployed active duty soldiers on the grounds that it expands the private sector. From the letter that they sent to the House Subcommittee on Elections (full text at the end of the post):

NAPUS is deeply concerned about HR 5673, particularly the provision that sanctions private contractor conveyance of overseas and military ballots.

Note that this was the first thing that they said.

Furthermore, the Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA), the Chairman of the House Administration Committee, refused to hold a mark-up on this bill this week after the unions demanded that he pull it from the schedule.

Let's get this straight. Democrats cave to unions who oppose increased military voting if it means using the private sector.

Read on.

The union makes a half-valid point:

We believe, as is borne out in the testimony submitted to the Committee, that the overwhelming majority of the problem rests with State Election authorities who are not able to prepare the necessary election materials and locate eligible overseas and military voters in timely manner. While the elections timeline may be appropriate for state-based absentee voting, it may have the effect of disenfranchising overseas and military voters.

NAPUS correctly identifies that a large part of the problem is that local election bodies have deadlines that make it very difficult. And sometimes, political leaders intervene to make it worse, such as when Pennsylvania's Governor, Ed Rendell, didn't send out the ballots until it was too late.

But is clear that there is a genuine problem. The Army Times write up of the legislation cited an Election Assistance Commission report on the subject:

The report found that only 47.6 percent of absentee ballots requested by members of the military ended up being counted, and that some of the problem appeared to stem from mail delays. Ten percent of ballots arrived too late to be counted under deadlines applied by states, which usually are a combination of the date the ballot is postmarked and the absolute last day for ballots to be counted before election results are certified.

In other words, if they solve the problem, another 1 in 10 military voters get their votes counted.

But not for the unions. Damn those evil private sector jobs.

To be fair to them, the problem about the states (or even counties) being more cooperative is real. But ... that is well out of the scope of the federal government. So let's just help our heroes share in the franchise.

The full text of the letter is below:

The National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. (NAPUS) represents approximately 41,000 active and retired Postmasters from every city, town and hamlet in the country. Many of our members have served in the US military.

NAPUS is deeply concerned about HR 5673, particularly the provision that sanctions private contractor conveyance of overseas and military ballots. We believe, as is borne out in the testimony submitted to the Committee, that the overwhelming majority of the problem rests with State Election authorities who are not able to prepare the necessary election materials and locate eligible overseas and military voters in timely manner. While the elections timeline may be appropriate for state-based absentee voting, it may have the effect of disenfranchising overseas and military voters. If the state boards of election do not have good destinations addresses for overseas and military voters, providing an alternative to the Postal Service for ballot returns will not correct the underlying deficiency. Consequently, the linchpin to alleviate the problem is not creating a parallel "inbound" privatized ballot conveyance mechanism, which could complicate ballot collection; rather, State Boards of Election should enhance communications with the military and State Department to locate and keep track of non-resident voters, so eligible voters may receive their ballots in a timely fashion.

Thanks you for consideration of the views.

Robert M. Levi

Director of Government Relations

National Association of Postmasters of the U.S.

It's unbelievable what a short leash big labor has the Dems on right now.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

but they are correct!! Not counting deliberate interference, 90% of the problem is getting the ballot mailed out to the servicemember in time!

When I was overseas, in peacetime, I had to jump through hoops with the city clerk's office in my home town! That was tough to do from Germany. I don't even want to think what the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have to go through!!

I would think that in this era of instant communication, a secure, verifiable request from a soldier's unit HQ to the appropriate city official would be all that is necessary to get an absentee ballot in the mail 'post-haste'! I can envision secure requests from an HQ generating a paper absentee ballot on site insead of mailing one.

Getting the ballots back in time to be counted is not as much of a problem. Mail from the member back to the US isn't that slow!

If they can solve the problem of getting the ballot out in time they will have solved the major part of the problem!

si vis pacem para bellum

 
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