A President’s Opportunity: Making Military Voting a Priority

July 19, 2011

The MOVE Act, like previous voting rights laws, was supposed to help military members exercise their right to vote. The MOVE Act, however, cannot succeed in delivering on its promise until it is fully implemented and enforced. President Obama has a clear opportunity to help deliver the promise of the MOVE Act, but his Administration must be willing to make the issue a priority. It must address the shortcomings from the 2010 election and ensure a top-down commitment from the President’s agencies to promote and protect U.S. service members’ voting rights. At a time when members of America’s military are in harm’s way in remote parts of the world, this nation should spare no expense or effort in making sure that the MOVE Act’s promise is realized.

The difficulties associated with military voting, especially during periods of prolonged conflict, have long existed. From the Civil War to World War II to America’s current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the logistical challenges associated with delivering absentee ballots to a war zone have been significant and undeniable. They are not, however, insurmountable.
President Obama has a clear opportunity to help deliver on the promise of the MOVE Act, but his Administration must be willing to make the issue a priority. It must address the shortcomings from the 2010 election and ensure a top-down commitment from the President’s agencies to promote and protect U.S. service members’ voting rights. At a time when members of America’s military are in harm’s way in remote parts of the world, this nation should spare no expense or effort in making sure that the MOVE Act’s promise is realized.

The full memorandum is available HERE.

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