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Lawsuit over missing military absentee ballots
Posted By Jon Dougherty On 11/16/2000 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
A San Antonio, Texas-based law firm said it will file suit in federal court
in the western district of Texas next week on behalf of military personnel who claim
they requested absentee ballots for local and national elections but did not receive them.
According to Mathew Finch, an attorney with the firm Campbell & Jones, the
suit is aimed at “protecting [military members'] fundamental right to vote.”
“It is our position that denial of the right to vote constitutes not only a
violation of one’s fundamental constitutional rights, but taxation without
representation,” Finch said in a statement. “Our clients can be made whole
by flying their ballots to them immediately so that their voices may be
heard,” action that would form the basis for “injunctive relief.”
Or, Finch said, members would settle for “pecuniary relief in the form of
their not having to pay taxes for their period of disenfranchisement from
the voting process, which would amount to four years” — or the period of
time before the next presidential election.
“Since we’re filing this Monday,” Finch said, “we need any other military
members experiencing the same problem to
contact us immediately.”
Finch, who said his firm will be handling the suit pro bono, said the cost of the case “could be extremely high since it will likely go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.” The firm is asking for donations to help cover litigation costs.
At issue is a series of complaints made by military personnel — some overseas and others stationed stateside — who have said they requested absentee ballots but never received them.
WorldNetDaily broke this
story on Nov. 4.
Most affected military personnel have pointedly maintained that they followed standard procedure in requesting the ballots themselves and many added that this year’s presidential election was the first time they had not received ballots in time.
Some have complained, however, that they never received them at all — which is the focus of Finch’s suit.
The firm said any parties to the suit must
fax a notarized statement attesting to the fact that they applied for ballots “through the appropriate channel and did not receive the ballot in time to vote or did not receive it at all,” the statement said.
“Also, if any orderly room records annotating service members’ requests for ballots exist,” Finch said, “we could use copies of those — or sworn affidavits from the appropriate supervisor.”
The Pentagon has denied any culpability in delayed or missing military personnel absentee ballots, though officials have acknowledged that at some point in transit, the military is responsible for actually delivering ballots — and other mail — to overseas personnel stationed on land and at sea.
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