Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Military outrage - Obama silent

Rafe called today and we were able to talk for quite some time about everything. Normal things... like the playdate we had today at our house and how we ended it with praying for our country and our future president (whomever it may be) and God's will, the kids cooking class I did yesterday, making pizza when he comes home, and voting, among other things. It's one of the things I miss most. We are both passionate about the same things, and as much as our temperments are different, the way we think is very similar. He's a lot better at expressing himself than I am, especially in written form.

At the time he called, there was a ruling that Virginia wasn't going to count military votes that were from overseas. McCain's campaign had requested a change and to hold and count ballots up until November 14th. Rafe was really and truly outraged and disgusted that the country wouldn't support the very military that was created to protect them enough to even count their votes. Virginia has a large military presence, so the votes could be significant in the outcome of the presidential race. By the way, he's also outraged that Obama can't get a security clearance but might run the country. As an Intel guy, he knows that you can do some pretty crazy things and still get clearance. You don't have to be perfect. So he's pretty sure that the security investigation uncovered some major violations for him to not get a clearance.

My question is - If Obama wins, what do they tell the military personnel who are denied clearance for far less grievous offenses? "Sorry, there's one standard for the Commander in Chief and another one for you. He doesn't have security clearance but he will be allowed access to the most important documents in the United States, and we're hoping you don't notice the whole ethics and integrity violation thing. And don't even bother asking us about that whole leadership thing they teach you in boot camp. ITS THE CHANGE YOU VOTED FOR - double standards!"

I would bet that if it becomes the deciding factor (as in Obama wins now, but the extra votes give it to McCain) we will never hear the end of conspiracy theories, charges of racism and vote rigging. Sometimes I feel sorry for McCain, even if he wins he will face a lot of opposition from people who just want to be contrary to prove their candidate should have won.

That's ok. He's faced worse and lived to do bigger and better things.
But where is obama? Isn't Michelle Obama's supposed "cause" the military family and spouse? Why aren't they helping these ballots get counted?

What? You don't see them?

That's because they aren't doing anything. That's because most military families are voting McCain. So out of SELF PRESERVATION, they are quiet on this issue.


But now, I have good news for him... at least they are delaying that decision to give enough time to review it.
"Breaking right now is a decision from a federal judge in Virginia that absentee military ballots in the Old Dominion must be preserved until a court hearing on the ballots' legitimacy can be held on November 10th. The campaign of Sen. John McCain filed suit in federal district court in Virginia yesterday seeking to compel county boards of election across the state to count absentee ballots from military members serving overseas. At least one Virginia county, Fairfax County in Northern Virginia, has been refusing to count military absentee ballots, claiming that the ballots required an address of a witness to be considered valid.

But the ballots in question are federally mandated ballots provided for by the Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Rights Act of 1986. The federal ballot does not require a witness address on the form. A separate Virginia statute requires residents of the state to provide a witness address when using a federal absentee ballot form.

The judge's ruling could throw the whole election into doubt, if the results tonight are close. Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama have been battling hard to win Virginia, and the state could come down to a few thousand votes on either side. Virginia's large military population makes those absentee military ballots potentially significant. In the event that the election outcome turns on a single state, the results may not be known until the hearing in federal court next week.

Update: The McCain campaign issued the following statement in the wake of the court's ruling.
"We are pleased that the judge has ruled to preserve the ballots cast by our men and women in uniform currently serving overseas. This will help to ensure that local election officials do not destroy or dispose of these ballots before the court has had an opportunity to rule on our complaint. The McCain-Palin campaign strongly believes that no military ballot should be discarded as a result of a failure on the part of several counties and independent cities to mail ballots to service members in a timely manner. We believe without exception that the servicemen and women on the front lines protecting our freedoms deserve every opportunity to make sure their vote counts."

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