In election with big military implications, voter turnout among troops seems bleak

October 17, 2012

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – In less than three weeks, Americans will head to the polls to decide between the Democratic incumbent, President Barack Obama, and his challenger, former Republican Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. As is the case every election, however, millions of patriotic Americans will be unable to punch their ballot in the voting booth. Many members of the U.S. military, due to overseas deployments, or simply being stationed far away from home, must vote via absentee ballot in order to be heard.

But this year, in a tight race for the White House that promises to have enormous implications for the Department of Defense, absentee ballot requests among members of the armed forces are down.

According the Military Voting Project, a nonpartisan advocate for military participation in the electoral process, in many states, service member requests for absentee ballots are down at least 50 percent from where they were in the 2008 presidential election.

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