Military Ballots Being Rejected in Virginia

Fairfax County Registrar Rokey Suleman is disqualifying an overwhelming majority of the military federal write-in absentee ballots received in his county on the basis that no address had been given for those witnessing the voter signatures on the ballots. According to Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and four former members of the military who held a press conference on Thursday, over 98 percent of these military absentee ballots in Fairfax County are being rejected.

“The federal write-in absentee ballot is a federally mandated ballot that allows military service members and their dependents to cast an absentee ballot when they haven’t received a [state] ballot before the election,” Herrity said. “For them it’s a safety net. It allows them to vote if the mail truck hasn’t reached his or her remote base in Iran or Afghanistan in time to cast a regular absentee ballot.”

When asked how many ballots had been rejected, Herrity responded, “Out of the 260 military federal write-in ballots received to date, only five included an address for the witness. The other 255 have been set aside for rejection.”

On page two of the Voters’ Declaration/Affirmation-Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) at the very bottom of the form is the signature block for the “Witness/Notary and Address (if required)”. Note the instructions given to Virginia service members, “Block 7: Sign and date in the presence of a witness. The witness must sign and date the form.”

That’s it. No instruction given on any requirement for the witness to give an address. This has resulted in only 2 percent of the military ballots received to date including an address for the witness.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) released a written statement, “The Fairfax County registrar is going to great lengths to register voters in the county jail. It is shameful he is going to even greater lengths to disenfranchise our men and women in uniform.”

Davis is referring to a voter registration drive conducted by Suleman in county detention centers. Calls to Suleman’s Fairfax office resulted in automatically being put on hold. I stayed on the line at one point out of curiosity and was kept on hold for over an hour before hanging up.

Calls to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s office were returned immediately. Spokesman David Clemenson said, “We are aware of this situation and are working to ensure all proper votes cast are counted. We are concerned about all eligible voters but can’t comment further at this time.”

Actress Janine Turner and America’s First Million Woman Town Hall Meeting

Team Sarah goes Cyber

Team Sarah has exploded into cyberspace. The grassroots group of women across the country is supporting vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a big way. A project of the Susan B. Anthony List, Team Sarah is hosting a million woman town hall meeting via conference call on Saturday. Panel guests include Actress Janine Turner, pollster Kellyanne Conway, policy expert Barbara Comstock, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser and Susan B. Anthony List General Chairman Jane Abraham as moderator. Senator Fred Thompson’s iconic voice will invite women in battleground states to participate over the phone on Saturday. The panelists will answer questions about the McCain-Palin ticket and encourage women to support John McCain and Governor Palin by bringing three friends with them to vote on Election Day.

Janine Turner, star of NBC’s critically acclaimed “Friday Night Lights” answered questions on her involvement as spokesperson for Team Sarah.

Connie Hair: How did you get involved with Team Sarah?

Janine Turner: I have always supported Senator McCain, and I am sure I would have supported his vice-presidential candidate, but Governor Palin has really motivated me. I am making public and press appearances to rally support for her, including Mike Huckabee’s show this Saturday. I am also sporting a McCain/Palin bumper sticker on my car — which I am driving onto the "Friday Night Lights" set — and wearing my McCain-Palin hat around town. So when my good friend Cathy Gillespie [wife of Ed Gillespie] called and asked me to join the “Team Sarah” efforts, I was thrilled to do so.

Q: What attracts you to Sarah Palin as a candidate?

A: I am supporting Governor Palin with pride. I actually cried when I heard she was nominated and heard her acceptance speech via Fox News XM radio. (I was driving to Austin to film "Friday Night Lights"). I am supporting and applauding her character, moral fiber, intellect, feistiness, and spunk. She is the essence of the independent spirit of America — the pioneer spirit — the type of spirit that made and makes America great.

Q: Why do you think the news media is so vicious to Sarah Palin?

A: Because they consider her a threat. There is no doubt that she is a political star. She is the best thing since Ronald Reagan. They are threatened by her, so I think they are going to do everything they can to destroy her image. But she is one tough cookie, and I know she won’t let it get her down.

Q: Tell us about your new role on "Friday Night Lights"!

A: I am portraying the character of Katie McCoy, and she is nouveau-riche from Dallas, but has a heart of gold. And her son, of course, is a football star. "Friday Night Lights" is a very, very creative experience. They don’t rehearse or block, so you just walk on set and the cameras just follow you around. It allows for improvisation, and is really a fantastic experience.

You can sign up for Saturday’s Team Sarah conference call on their website www.TeamSarah.org.

Q. Tell us about this unprecedented phone conference call and what you hope the call accomplishes

A. I hope the Million Woman Townhall ensures a McCain-Palin victory and raises awareness of the struggles we’re going to be enduring if Obama and Biden win. I hope the call creates an enlightenment about critical issues among women voters. The Million Woman Townhall is more than a call – it is an all-encompassing opportunity for all types of women to join together, skip the partisanship, and put our country first. I heard a great saying, “America is like an eagle. It takes a left wing and a right wing to fly.” I want to see Americans unite behind McCain and Palin, who will stop all of the intolerable rancor that only polarizes the good of our country and put country first.

Sign Up