The president's home state gets a pass from the Justice Department on ensuring its soldiers overseas can vote. An administration obsessed with gays in the military doesn't care about voting rights for GIs.How convenient of the Obama Justice Department to decide not to do more to enforce federal law. We can all imagine what their reaction would be if those being disfranchised weren't soldiers, but minorities. Or imagine how they would respond of soldiers were known to be a reliable Democrat voting bloc.
You can call it a tragedy of errors, a perfect storm of incompetent and uncaring bureaucrats, or you can call it a deliberate attempt to steal what looks to be a close race for both governor and U.S. senator in President Obama's home state by disenfranchising its servicemen overseas, votes likely to tilt Republican.
Consider that the Illinois primary was in February and that the deadline to print and mail ballots to soldiers fighting for democracy in places like Iraq and Afghanistan was Sept. 18 — long enough, one would think, for even the slowest bureaucracy to do the job mandated under the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) act.
A seven-month lead time apparently wasn't enough for the incompetent administration of Gov. Pat Quinn, successor to the walking reality TV show, Rod Blagojevich, to ensure that all counties get their ducks in a row. Quinn is coincidentally locked in a tough battle with Illinois state Sen. Bill Brady where military votes could be decisive.
The Justice Department, which has been woefully lax in enforcing MOVE and ensuring compliance among a number of states that have missed their deadlines, reached an agreement in court last Friday with 35 Illinois counties that didn't get their ballots out on time. Six counties got an extension by two or three days to receive and count overseas ballots by Nov. 16.
The other 29 counties essentially got a pass. Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said these counties already have 14 extra days after the election to count soldiers' ballots. But if any votes aren't counted in a timely manner, she said, "we can file a lawsuit." This is not how soldiers who may get killed not knowing if their votes counted should be treated.
But those Illinois election officials who can't get ballots to the military are working hard to get ballots into the hands of...felons.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Board of Elections hand-delivers ballots to inmates in Cook County Jail. The board doesn't even wait for the inmates to apply — it brings the applications with the ballots! More than 2,600 inmates have cast ballots — strikingly similar to the 2,600 soldiers who will likely not receive a ballot for Tuesday's election.Isn't that sweet? The felons don't even have to ask for their ballots, Cook County officials will hand deliver the ballots to them while they sit in jail.
Hmmmm. Any guess how those felons will vote?
Such is the way in which Illinois officials conduct elections when there are close races throughout the state. They take care to get out the vote for their base even if their base is sitting in jail.