Solution needed for overseas voters

Published 8:14 pm Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Finally, our state has been ranked near the top of a list instead of at the bottom. Unfortunately and perhaps predictably, this is a dubious honor.

A study by the Pew Center found Alabama was one of 16 states plus the District of Columbia that don’t allow military voters living overseas enough time to cast their ballots, according to The Associated Press.

The study found these states rely on mail to deliver ballots, and some, including Alabama, require voters to have ballots witnessed or notarized.

How embarrassing. Our country was built upon and takes pride in a democratic (or republican, for all you that demand political science correctness) system of government, and about one-third of the states can’t figure out a good way to allow soldiers and their families to vote. These are the very people making the most significant sacrifices for our rights and our freedom.

The study recommended that states send ballots electronically. That’s a novel idea. This is the Digital Age, after all.

Some details would have to be worked out, without a doubt. For example, it does seem important that ballots be witnessed or notarized anytime they are not marked in the presence of election officials. Maybe the people in Washington could send officials to military bases before common election dates so that each individual state wouldn’t have to send its own officials.

Whatever obstacles must be overcome, though, we’re sure our leaders can find the solutions. That’s what we put them in office for.

And they have a responsibility to ensure the men and women sacrificing for our country can have their voices heard just like the rest of us. The list compiled by the Pew Center is one in which Alabama, or any other state, shouldn’t have to worry about its ranking.