New report raises concerns over helping troops overseas vote
Concerned Veterans for America CEO Pete Hegseth weighs in
- Duration 4:59
- Date Sep 21, 2012
Concerned Veterans for America CEO Pete Hegseth weighs in
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A new report by the defense department's inspector general slams the Pentagon for failing to help our soldiers overseas.
A -- -- three years ago was supposed to make it easier for our overseas personnel to cast their ballots in these elections.
But one day before the deadline to get those ballots in the mail overseas that's tomorrow.
The military's watch dog finds that many installations are completely failing to comply with this law.
Joining me now it has except the CEO of concerned veterans for America -- I mean.
So the most disenfranchised group in America will wind up being the military if this turns out to be true why aren't they complying with the law that requires them to make it easier for our guys and gals.
If it's a matter priority it's a matter of leadership.
I I just deployed to Afghanistan and that happened to be right before.
Right after Don't Ask Don't Tell was passed.
Within months I got a full briefing about what I couldn't couldn't do because that was a priority.
Of the leadership to get that done.
If they want -- military voting to be emphasized.
From 2009 when -- when the move act was passed that mandated all these changes to today in 2012 with what our military can accomplish in three years they've gotten it done.
But instead you've got 220.
Voter assistance offices in military complexes around the world only half of which they can actually find when they went and checked.
If if DO -- this administration wanted.
More military members overseas to be voting they could be mandating they can be briefings they could be pushing this out.
Instead we're waiting to the last minute and we see it in the numbers the percentages of military members overseas requesting ballots is down.
Is down from 2008 after the move back being passed in 2009 it's a travesty and they are disenfranchised.
The numbers are really low for military service personnel requesting ballot that ballots to vote which is.
It's not consistent with that what what we know to be true and these are patriots they care they're invested they -- people have -- have a vested interest in seeing.
-- the commander in chief is.
And yet the military says -- well.
We know we didn't establish a lot of these offices over and you know Afghanistan and elsewhere to help our military members get ballots and then send ballots back and but we did have a resources.
Not true not true they had 46 million dollars.
We released a video on this this week -- concerned that's for America 46 million dollars allocated to the Defense Department in fiscal year 2011 alone.
The money isn't there they've had it they've had the ability to open these offices instead to say you know these young kids they don't go to offices -- -- on Twitter and FaceBook sort of pushed out -- put.
Twitter and FaceBook is the answer the Defense Department on military vote.
It is it is not its -- They're not out there and I made it is and I -- at me but how does that work for a guy.
Our -- serving in Afghanistan didn't really like to go to Twitter and his downtime and get a ballot and send it back in even though there's no office for him to do that.
-- be making it as easy as humanly possible for these guys that.
Absolutely and -- organizations out there trying to do that one of them is the military voter protection project.
I if anyone is listening right now we serving overseas or -- someone serving over TC's heroes vote dot org heroes vote dot org before tomorrow.
You could fill out your federal post card which both registers you and registers in absentee ballot to be sent out the question is.
Megan is are these counties and states get him up.
Apply the law properly.
Which tomorrow is the 45 day mark when ballots need to go back historically that's how much time the process takes because -- bureaucracy.
For ballots to make it over there and it's not the first thing a service -- gonna do -- quick -- fighting the Taliban let me go fill -- my absentee ballot perhaps it may take awhile -- to finish it.
They send it back it needs to get back advance for to be counted.
I live in Minnesota we election in 2008.
That went one direction by a couple hundred votes have been counted military votes would had a different outcome this stuff has real implications on elections just like -- -- and this year.
And we need all of our military members overseas to vote.
I want to say that that the they believe that it's congress' fault that -- the report.
The -- that the lack of resources says that congress failed authorize additional funding to help implement this law.
And bit pentagon officials estimate the cost of doing so could exceed twenty million dollars a year.
So that's why they say it's sort of been a good faith effort do you believe is something political going on here because the military.
To some extent that seems to favor the Republican candidate.
Yeah I think there's there is something political in the sense that there is not an emphasis on this particular demographic because it does happen to cut one way or the other.
But ultimately a lot of fault here lies on DOD and I know a lot of -- -- he's -- dear -- political.
But the money's there 46 million for one -- so they need money they got twice as much as they needed in order to actually make it happen.
It stinks it's of reeks of political just like another -- the VA backlog right the the backlog has doubled under this administration yet unit -- general -- second the secretary of the VA says.
This is a good thing they've -- they're actually improving things because of more access it smokescreen it smoking mirrors it's not solutions and that's -- we're pounding the table -- he will continue to follow it thanks so much.
-- expect -- as we see.