Reader Richard Davis sent me an email regarding allegations by Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum that Democratic Governor Ed Rendell is trying to limit the vote of absentee military personnel while maximizing the vote of criminals.
[I] heard Sen. Rick Santorum on a radio interview last night on 1210 AM with Dom Giordano. He said that Gov. Ed Rendell will not extend the deadline for absentee ballots sent in by Pennsylvania soldiers. These ballots were sent only a day or two ago (maybe even Oct 20th), they are a month late (should have been sent no later than 9/22) and are due by Nov 1st. The [stated] reason they were sent late was because [of uncertainty as to whether Nader’s name would be included]. There are 16,000 troops from PA, and more than 3/4 of them will probably vote for Bush. At the same time, Rendell is making sure that prisoners are assisted and hand-held so that they can send in absentee ballots from prison.
It seems clear that if the absentee ballots were sent out late, the deadline for return receipt should be extended as far out as reasonably possible.
UPDATE: Reader Robert Saye points me to an AP report that the Pentagon will post on its Web site a federal write-in ballot for civilian and military voters overseas who do not get their regular absentee ballot in time. This was done, a Pentagon spokesman says, at the request of both Republicans and Democrats. I’m glad that the Pentagon is doing this, but it is only a partial solution. Rendell should extend the deadline for receiving the ballots that were sent out a month late.