Several years ago, Congress passed a bill designed to ensure that servicemembers stationed overseas had their votes counted, but government officials have seen a number of states fail to comply with the guidelines outlined in the law. Most recently, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Vermont for missing the deadline to send absentee ballots to troops, according to Stars and Stripes.
According to the DOJ, Vermont state officials missed the September 22 benchmark and did not send out approximately 20 percent of ballots on time. Vermont isn't alone, however, as there have also been investigations into Wisconsin, Mississippi and Michigan over whether they did not meet the standards set by 2009's Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.
"Americans owe all of our rights, including the right to vote, to the brave men and women who defend our liberty across the globe," Rep. Dan Lungren wrote in his committee letter to DoD and DOJ, according to Stars and Stripes. "Consequently, we owe it to them to protect fully their right to vote."
The findings are especially troublesome given that researchers have found the number of requests for absentee ballots has dropped since 2008, according to a study from the Military Voter Protection Project.