Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, issued
harsh words Sunday for those attempting to invalidate the votes
of overseas military servicemen and women.
"For the past twelve days, Vice President Al Gore has been
conducting a shameless campaign to steal the presidential
election by means of obviously suspect manual recounts.
Now the vice president is allowing military voters serving
overseas to be denied, through no fault of their own, the right
to have their vote counted.
Donnelly continued, "On Meet the Press this morning,
running mate Joseph Lieberman insisted that every vote should
count. He declined the opportunity, however, to disavow
the activities of campaign lawyers and political functionaries
who are treating military ballots like nothing more than junk
The Center for Military Readiness, an independent 501(c)(3)
educational organization is not alone in its view. General
Norman Schwartzkoph who now lives in Florida, has similar words
for Democrat attempts to throw out overseas military ballots.
Schwartzkoph said, "It is a very sad day in our country
when the men and women of the armed forces are serving abroad
and facing danger of a daily basis . . . and are denied the
right to vote for the president of the United States who will be
their commander in chief."
According to the latest reports 1,527 of the overseas ballots
were rejected, most after fierce challenges from Democratic
workers. Broward County discarded 77% of military ballots
(304 of 396) and in Dade County, only 3 ballots were accepted
out of 110.
Republicans as well as Elaine Donnelly with the Center for
Military Readiness are extremely upset about the apparent double
standard used by the Democrats when counting ballots.
Donnelly explains, "In heavily-Democratic counties, Gore
operatives have demanded the acceptance of questionable votes on
the slightest pretext. Some officials have
"divined" and counted "dimpled chads,"
sometimes on cards punched only for candidates running for other
"By contrast, as many as 1,400 absentee ballots reportedly
have been thrown out for flimsy, inconsequential
reasons-sometimes without the envelope being opened. This
is a double standard, reportedly incited by "talking
points" issued to lawyers associated with the Gore
campaign. The attempt to disqualify valid absentee votes,
most of which are from servicemen and women, is disgraceful and
unworthy of a man who aspires to become Commander in
Navy Capt. E.M. DuCom, the Deputy Director of the Military Post
Service, on MSNBC Saturday even explained that time constraints
on military mail sometimes makes it impossible to apply external
So which side is right? Which side is playing fair? The
only thing we all know for sure is that both sides are digging
in and the battle for the White House is far from over.
by David McCullough
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