- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Democrats, led by Joe Biden, have been making a campaign case that it’s crucial to “count every vote,” to keep on counting until “every ballot is counted,” until “every vote is counted” — even if those counts take us into Thursday, Friday, the weekend, and beyond.

So, does that include military ballots, too?

“In the mid-2000s, the ability of military members to vote successfully from abroad was called into question,” FVAP.gov wrote. “Of the one million ballots sent to military and overseas voters in 2006, only one-third were cast or counted. Many overseas military members lacked sufficient time to vote — enough to request, receive and return a ballot in time for it to be counted.”

That’s a travesty.

That’s a disenfranchised travesty. And it hasn’t changed much over the years.

“As Election Day arrives, a fight about military ballots takes center stage,” The Washington Post reported, in the lead-up to Election Day.

“Potential for uncounted military votes looms large in swing stages,” Roll Call reported, in the hours around Election Day.

And coincidentally enough, several states at the crux of determining a Joe Biden versus Donald Trump win, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, as well as Minnesota, only allow for very limited time to count military ballots before — well, before not counting them.

As the Democrats like to say: Count every ballot. Every ballot counts.

“These military ballots could indeed be pivotal,” said the CEO of Overseas Vote in Roll Call. “Even one military ballot not counted is a loss to our nation. I see it as shameful.”

This is true.

If anyone deserves time and more time and yet even more time to have their votes counted, it’s America’s fine military members, serving overseas.

It’s one thing for court justices to rule, last minute, just days before the presidential election, that a state can count ballots that are received three days after Election Day. It’s one thing for the post office to drag and lag on delivering votes. It’s one thing for lazy voters, or uninformed voters, or hasty voters, or impulsive voters, or absent-minded voters, to rush their votes in the mail, last minute — and then have courts come in and save their late ballots from being tossed.

It’s another thing entirely for members of the military serving the country in overseas posts to have their votes tossed to the side because, well, they just didn’t make it in convenient counting time to the election officials’ desks.

It’s another thing entirely for the very individuals who defend our right to vote to be denied their own rights to vote because of ballots delivered too late.

“Why overseas military personnel ballots may not be counted,” Cronkite News reported in August of 2016.

That is unacceptable. This is intolerable.

“There are still tens of thousands of military absentee ballots yet to be counted,” Military Times wrote, in the aftermath of Election Day.

And that includes in Pennsylvania, where military ballots can arrive and still be counted as late as November 10. It could matter; in 2016, Pennsylvania saw 7,788 military ballots.

And, here’s the thing: The military generally votes Republican.

“Trump draws stronger support from veterans than from the public,” PewSocialTrends.org reported.

There’s an interesting survey.

So as Democrats say: Count every vote. Count every ballot. Even if it means waiting, waiting, waiting for all the military ballots to be collected, verified and counted.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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