Our good friend Stefan over at (un)Sound Politics is obsessing on military ballots again. My daughter’s itching to head to the beach, so I don’t really have the time or inclination to closely examine his “proof” at the moment, but I thought I should take a few minutes to reiterate a few facts.
Overseas military voters received their ballots in time.
Whether ballots were mailed out on the 6th or the 8th or the 10th or whatever, there have been no widespread reports of overseas military personnel who did not receive their ballots from WA state in time to cast their votes. This fact is confirmed by none other than Stars and Stripes:
Joe Hitt, spokesman for Fort Lewis in Washington, said none of the Army Reserve units currently deployed overseas have reported problems over missing or damaged ballots.
“It just seems to be something that’s being blown up in the press,” he said. “We haven’t heard any complaints about ballots.”
Overseas military turnout exactly matched KC turnout
83 percent of overseas military personnel who requested mail-in ballots from King County had their ballots counted in the November, 2004 election. This turn-out rate exactly matches that for King County at large. It is hard to argue that military personnel were disenfranchised when they voted in the same numbers as the rest of the county.
Move the fucking primary!
It’s no secret that due to the unusual lateness of our September primary, all WA counties struggle to get overseas ballots out in time to meet the federal deadline. Indeed, the number one election reform requested by county auditors and Sec. of State Sam Reed was to move the primary to June, or at the very latest, mid-August. And yet, Republican obstructionists like state Sen. Pam Roach have once again blocked just such a move. If Stefan cares more about protecting the franchise of our overseas military personnel than about scoring cheap political points, he should focus his considerable efforts on persuading legislators of both parties to enact this very simple and sensible reform.
Of course, Stefan’s main concern is scoring cheap political points, and his recent posts only reaffirm what I said months ago… that for partisans like him, the whole legally futile election contest was always more about weakening Ron Sims than it ever was about getting Dino Rossi into office. And there’s no question that Sims has been weakened by the constant barrage of attacks. Too bad for Stefan and his GOP buddies that all they could come up with to challenge Sims was a boneheaded candidate like David Irons, so unlikable that even his own mother won’t vote for him.