PERRY/Military votes in peril

Election officials disallowed nearly 800 over-seas military ballots in Florida’s controversial 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Gore’s campaign mantra was “count every vote” yet armed with a legal memo prepared by a Florida operative at campaign’s request, Democratic lawyers sought to suppress military ballots they expected would favor Bush. It was working until the campaign sent Gore’s running mate, Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, on “Meet The Press” to defend the tactic. Lieberman did not figuratively or literally “get the memo.”

“If I was there, I would give the benefit of the doubt to ballots coming in from military personnel generally. Al Gore and I don’t want to ever be part of anything that would put an extra burden on the military personnel abroad who want to vote,” Lieberman said, destroying the strategy.

Federal law requires absentee ballots be ready by Sept. 22 and mailed to overseas and military voters. Former U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, on behalf of the Mitt Romney Campaign, mailed letters to election officials in Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont and Mississippi alleging ballots were not ready and asking for relief to ensure military ballots would be counted.

Madison Conty Journal
Brian Perry
10/10/12