BushCo To Deny Veterans' Vote
by Jeff Dinelli
Shockingly, the first group of disenfranchised voters of the 2008 election will be wounded and homeless veterans currently occupying VA facilities around the country. "President Bush and Karl Rove are attempting to block voter registration of at least 200,000 and possibly as much as 400,000 veterans," said Paul Sullivan, president of Veterans for Common Sense. "We may have all kinds of hurdles," Sullivan said. "We may have the clock running out on us, but we will not give up. This needs to be shoved in the face of every single elected official in the country. We can fix this in a second We are talking about two or three sentences in legislation. We are talking about the integrity of our democracy."
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been banning voter registration drives from VA facilities. The National Association of Secretaries of State stepped in, and got Congress moving on it. Separate House and Senate bills would force VA facilities to act more like DMV's. Now if a wounded soldier wants to register to vote, he or she has to seek help.
When Sullivan mentions running against the clock, he's talking about the deadline approaching to be eligible to vote in November. Even if a bill is passed, Bush would only have like 2 weeks to sign the thing, which makes mobilizing huge registration drives for vets just about impossible. There's apparently talk of tacking it onto a funding bill, but that's a desperate measure. It will be 2009 before this is all straightened out.
Why is the VA keeping registration drive volunteers, some of them elected officials, out of their hospitals, nursing homes, and shelters? They say it takes attention away from their medical priorities, and some idiocy of having to make sure the facilities remain non-partisan. The interference they're running against signing up these soldiers is mind-boggling.
The GOP has identified its first enemy group for election 2008, and it's the brave men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice in carrying out illegal GOP policies. Disgusting.