Judicial Watch Sues DoD to Obtain Documents Regarding Voting Process for Overseas Military Personnel and Their Families
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Defense to obtain documents detailing the voting process for active duty military and their families stationed overseas [Judicial Watch, Inc. v U.S. Department of Defense, Civil Action No. 08-01748]. As reported by columnist Bob Novak, the federal Election Assistance Commission, estimated overseas and absentee military voting rates were only 5.5% for the 2006 mid-term elections and questions have arisen as to whether the Defense Department is adequately ensuring that overseas U.S. military personnel will be able to cast votes for Election Day.
On August 7, 2008, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with the Department of Defense as part of its investigation of the voting process for overseas military personnel. The Department of Defense failed to respond within legally mandated 20-day period, forcing Judicial Watch to file its lawsuit. Among the documents sought by Judicial Watch:
- All documents concerning or relating to the Department’s procedure of providing members of the Armed Forces with Federal Post Card Applications;
- All documents concerning or relating to how the Department informs members of the Armed Forces of their right and ability to vote in the 2008 Federal Election;
- All documents concerning or relating to how the votes of members of the Armed Forces will be collected and counted for the 2008 Federal Election;
- All documents concerning or relating to the January 15, 2008, deadline for providing members of the Armed Forces with post card applications;
- All documents concerning or relating to Armed Forces Voter Week 2008
- All documents concerning or relating to the Department’s implementation of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act with respect to the 2008 Federal Election.
"We’re less than three weeks out from the 2008 elections and we still do not know whether military personnel and their families stationed overseas will be able to exercise their basic right to vote," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The Defense Department should stop stonewalling and release these documents so the American people can know with confidence that the voting rights of the American Armed Forces are protected. It is the least we can do for those who pay the price for our freedoms, which includes the right to vote. What a scandal it will be if large numbers of our overseas military do not have their votes counted this Election Day."