Disenfranchised Military Voter – A Rant

Having served in this country’s military for almost 22 years now, I am a firm believer in the rights and responsibilities of the American citizen.  Of utmost importance is exercising the right to vote.

But thanks to an inefficient registrar in a state that shall remain nameless, because it really doesn’t matter, I have been deprived of my right to vote.  Even though I sent my absentee voting registration back in July, it wasn’t entered into the system until late-September and my ballot was not mailed until October 9th (the recommended deadline for us in Iraq to mail in our absentee ballot is October 7th).  It is now October 28th and I’ve just received my ballot.  The election is now seven days away.  Does anyone think my vote will count?

So as I sit here in Iraq, fighting to ensure that the Iraqi people have many of the same opportunities that you and I take for granted, I cannot exercise my most basic freedom.

I don’t care what your views are on being here in Iraq.  You might be surprised to find out that we share many of the same views.  But I also have a viewpoint that you will never get in the media.  I know that these people are getting the opportunity to truly let their voices be heard.  And they will turn out in droves to exercise that freedom.  Will you?

I don’t care who you vote for on November 4th.  I have my opinions and you have yours.  I won’t tell you mine and I don’t care to hear yours.  Make them heard with your ballot.  I don’t have that opportunity.

I don’t care if it’s hot, cold, rainy, snowy, windy or you’ve had a long day at work.  HTFU (definition 1).  Take the 15-minutes to drive over to your voting place and put your marks on paper.  I don’t have that opportunity.

I don’t care if you are undecided.  You’ve now got a week to educate yourself, form an opinion and become decided.  Turn off the insipid TV shows and get to reading.  And don’t do it by reading web sites from any of the major news networks, blowhards and especially not blogs.  Read the candidate’s website; read between the lines.  Read the viewpoints of those with a dissenting opinion.  Don’t fall prey to charisma; it won’t put food on your table or protect your family.  Read, read, read, read read.  Luckily I can do that.  And I’m in a war zone.  What’s your excuse?

I don’t care if you think that one candidate or another shouldn’t be elected based solely on the color of their skin or what dangles (or not) between their legs. You’re clearly ignorant and are incapable of intelligent conversation.

And I don’t care if I made you uncomfortable with this post. Just get off your ass and vote. I can’t.

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14 thoughts on “Disenfranchised Military Voter – A Rant”

  1. Bill – I got mine last Wednesday. As long as it’s postmarked before Nov 4th, it will count. I took it to the post office here and they have a good tracking system in place so that your voting state knows there’s still a ballot inbound to them. If the election should come down to one vote in your state, they’ll know if it’s absentee or not.

    But yes – if you haven’t voted, grow a pair and do it.

  2. Argh!!! I just posted your rant on my Facebook page and forwarded the link to JohnMcCain.com. I hope that’s OK and doesn’t get you into trouble.
    Stay safe!
    Love-Tammy

  3. Hey, you don’t have to tell me to HTFU and vote. I am doing a marathon of voting.
    Started by voting in our national election 2 weeks ago.
    Next up, I am voting tomorrow in our bi-election (I like to call it a buy-election – heh heh).
    Then I am voting next month in our municipal election.

    And I will do it all without Faux News (not sure they know where Canada is. Psst… Look out Sarah Palin’s kitchen window. Not the living room window, thats Russia!)

  4. That is BS, but as always you have managed to take something negative and turned it into something more positive. If you managed to get just one extra person to vote with your rant, then you have achieved something.
    At the same time, I don’t think this should just go away, who knows how many other military memebers are denied the right to vote?!
    STAY SAFE 🙂
    Beate

  5. Good rant Bill, and the point about voting is well made. I’m always appalled at the low turn out in elections. Don’t people realise that exercising their right is more important than whether or not that means they vote with the majority? Rights that aren’t exercised eventually get taken away, and I really, really never want to go there.

  6. Very solid rant Bill. If anyone deserves thier vote to count – it’s you and people like you. That’s pathetic that the state can both mess it up, and get away with messing it up.

    But I agree – perhaps even more sad is folks who don’t vote. If you can vote (and noting that not everyone who lives in this country can) – then one absolutely should.

  7. Hey Bill

    Have you read the book Generation Kill yet? It’s so weird to somehow identify with the Marine unit that was the subject of the Evan Wright tome. It’s almost like I’ve actually worked and lived with some of the troops who were featured.

  8. STANDING OVATION! I had to come here to see why your vote won’t count and it makes me very sad that people serving in the military don’t have a better way to vote. I realize voting is administered by counties but still – can’t you all be declared to be in “Military” county, USA and provided with voting booths for national stuff? ARgghhh!

    Anyhow – stay safe and hopefully your vote will count, somehow.

  9. That is absolutely ridiculous. With everything (and still not enough) that the govt is doing here to get people to vote and to get the votes counted, I cannot believe that you have to go through that crap.

    Have you or Goddess written in to your local paper and newschannels?

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