Military voters must feel like Bill Murray’s character in GroundhogDay. Election after election, certain state and local election officials fail to meet the deadline for sending absentee ballots. The outcome is often the same - thousands of ballots are received too close to the election to be returned or, if they are returned, the ballots arrive after the deadline to be counted. In either case, the military voter is disenfranchised.
Congress attempted to fix this time loop in 2009. The MOVE Act was a new law that created a simple requirement: State and local election officials had to send absentee ballots to military voters at least 45 days before an election. Yet, this simple requirement has been hard to follow.