October 27, 2012

But We Know Where The Absentee Ballots Aren't Going

A plane crash has possibly destroyed thousands of absentee ballots headed to our troops overseas.
Federal officials say that absentee ballots being sent to U.S. military serving in Afghanistan may have been burned in a plane crash.

A top official in the Federal Voting Assistance Program this week notified election officials across the nation that a transport plane crashed at Shindad Air Base on Oct. 19.

The crash resulted in the destruction of 4,700 pounds of mail inbound to troops serving in the area.

Federal officials in their email to state election offices said they did not know if any ballots were destroyed. They also said the lost mail was limited to one zip code.
Of course the very next question is, "Which zip code?" Bet it's one from a hotly contested swing state.

Northern Virginia anyone? Michigan? Colorado?


LL said...

There is still time to redistribute ballots to service members living in that area (you're right, it will be a swing state) and allow them to re-cast their vote and ship it out.

sig94 said...

LL - Pray for the pilots. The next time it will be a mid-air explosion.

Anam Cara said...

No, no, you don't understand.

The one zip code is the zip code for the location in Afghanistan. Some poor base has lost all it's incoming mail. That means those people won't have ballots to send BACK to their home states. One base is NOT populated by all soldiers from only one state in the US. So there may be some VA, MI, and CO votes lost, but there will also be FL, CA, NV, MO, OK lost because the APO sorts the mail from all over and puts what is going to one base together. Sort of like the mailman at the "main" post office in your city sorts the mail by the receiving zip code and then delivers the bundles to you local post office.

Each military installation overseas has its own zip code. So people stationed just a few miles appart would have different zip codes.

sig94 said...

Anam - That certainly might could be, no argument there. But since the county is the government entity that sends out absentee ballots (not every town and village) they are mailed from a single post office therefore one zip code.

It just seemed funny to me that Shindad Air Base would not serve more than outpost for mail. You'd think that a base as large as that would serve a good part of the Herat Province.

Anam Cara said...

Trust me. Absentee ballots come from the individual states. I've voted absentee overseas many time, having lived on foreign military bases for 15 of 30 years with the army. They don't come from a central office. That's really one of the problems of absentee ballots. Each state can make its own rules about when they are sent and when they have to be back to them. They are returned to the state which counts them with their other votes (we certainly hoped all those years).

It may be that only one zip code was on the plane at the time. Or that in Afghanistan they have one zip code that several units share.

But one thing I am certain about is that all the mail coming in did not come from only one stateside zipcode.

Anam Cara said...

And actually, when I was a resident of NH my ballots DID come from the tiny town of Alstead, not the county, not the state, but the place I was registered to vote. 03602.

sig94 said...

Anam - that's god enough for me. Thanks!