Defense Department Brushes Off Absentee Ballot Issue
Reports that a majority of the nation's overseas soldiers and sailors won't be able to cast votes in this election because the Department of Defense hasn't made the effort to implement an effective absentee ballot process were brushed off by DOD brass.
Secretary Leon Panetta said he “regrets that some of our valiant warriors will be disenfranchised,” but attributed the problem to “the need to set priorities.”
“Among the lengthy enumeration of 'things to do' that are on my plate, ensuring that the troops get to vote is pretty far down the list,” Panetta said. “I have to meet with the President on a weekly basis to decide who we'll be targeting for elimination. I have to argue with Secretary Napolitano over who gets first dibs on ammo. I have to ensure that our troops are trained to respect Muslim religious sensitivities. I have to work out our troop withdrawal schedule. So, you see I have more to do than I have time to do it in.”
Panetta argued that “losing the chance to vote is a sacrifice that I think most of our forces find more tolerable than losing an arm or leg to an IED. Realistically, the chance that anyone's vote will be decisive is infinitesimal. So, I don't think we should get bent out of shape over our inability to muster the resources needed to put a ballot in the hand of every deployed trooper.”
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