Magazine article Insight on the News

AWOL Military Ballots Cause Controversy

Magazine article Insight on the News

AWOL Military Ballots Cause Controversy

Article excerpt

In Florida, the Democrats are bewailing spoiled ballots and demanding that such votes should count. But in farflung regions of the world, as well as on the high seas, the lament of military personnel is about missing ballots -- ballots completed and others that were never received although they were requested.

After at first pooh-poohing a WorldNetDaily report that hundreds of overseas military ballots hadn't been delivered, the U.S. Navy did an about-face on Nov. 14 and confirmed that bundles of completed ballots had been left behind to languish on three ships in the Persian Gulf.

According to naval spokesman Cmdr. Greg Smith, the ballots of about 3,000 sailors and Marines on the USS Tarawa, USS Duluth and USS Anchorage hadn't been delivered. He said that the ballots -- many of which would be counted in Florida-- were going to be flown back to the United States "expeditiously," although it wasn't clear if all would make it back in time to meet a Nov. 17 deadline for absentee votes in the Sunshine State.

Smith conceded that time could be a problem. "All we're trying to do is see if there's a way to get the mail there," he said. He added that the mail was forgotten because the ships were tasked with assisting the bomb-stricken USS Cole. …

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