Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Friday, January 18, 2008

The Clinton Record On Bringing Voting Booths To The Workplace

Vegas casinos set out to host poling places so make it easier for their employees to go out and vote. Lobbyists with Clinton file a lawsuit to block the plan. The lawsuit has been defeated.

Gee, hasn't something a bit similar to this happened once before?

Democrats are clearly nervous about being portrayed as being hostile to the rights of soldiers to vote. Well, they now have another PR challenge. Last year [in 1999], the Clinton Defense Department sent all military commanders a directive ordering that no DOD facility could be used as a polling place, even if it had been planned for use in the 2000 election. The Pentagon eventually retreated, and Congress passed legislation leaving polling places for this year intact, but last month it formally opposed a bill, which the House has already approved, to make clear that polling places are allowed at military facilities. The bill is languishing in the Senate; with the clock ticking on the lame-duck session, the Democratic leadership hasn't responded to Republican requests that they agree to allow it to come to a vote.

The original Pentagon directive, issued by Secretary Bill Cohen's office, warned military commanders "to not allow their installation facilities to be used for polling or voting sites. Locating polling or voting places on a military installation may result in conduct which could inadvertently violate one or more statutory prohibitions."

When commanders asked why they would have to evict voting locations that had been in use for decades, the Pentagon told them it was to prevent the use of the sites for partisan campaigning and to guard against intimidation of voters by military authorities. But laws exist in all 50 states barring electioneering near polling places, and there is no history of voters being dissuaded from voting because men in uniforms are nearby.

(Emphasis added)


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