The absentee ballot data for 2012 paints a bleak picture for military voters.
While the MOVE Act should have increased opportunities for military members to register and request an absentee ballot, the 2012 pre-election data shows a remarkable decrease in such requests from military voters, especially when that data is compared to data from 2008.
Take, for example, the low number of absentee ballots that have been requested thus far in Virginia, North Carolina,and Ohio. Of the 126,251 active duty military members and spouses in Virginia, only 1,746 have requested absentee ballots for the November election. Similarly, in North Carolina and Ohio, less than 2,000 absentee military ballots have been requested by military members and their spouses in those states. Overall, in these three states, less than 2 percent of eligible military voters (5,411 out of 288,961) have requested absentee ballots.Data from other states, while not as extreme, still raises signiﬁcant concerns.
Thee fact is that an incredibly small percentage of military voters are requesting absentee ballots for the 2012 election, even though a majority of military members (roughly, two-thirds) will need to vote by absentee ballot.The MVPP report appears to have been released in late August, and received only limited media coverage in September.
Is it reasonable to believe a wave of voter apathy has swept through our deployed military?
What other factors may be at work?