Start A Petition


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, elections, government, military, republicans, troops, usa )

- 2018 days ago -
During one of the most hotly contested elections in recent U.S. history, the number of military absentee ballot requests is strangely down by staggering numbers compared to the 2008 election.

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Carol D (346)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 1:57 am
During one of the most hotly contested elections in recent U.S. history, the number of military absentee ballot requests is strangely down by staggering numbers compared to the 2008 election.

The information comes as WND confirmed today that SCYTL, an international firm headquartered in Spain, has been contracted by seven states to provide secure online ballot delivery for overseas military and civilian voters for the upcoming presidential election.

Michelle M. Shafer, SCYTL’s director of communications and government affairs, told WND that her company has been contracted by New York, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Mississippi to provide the overseas ballots.

She said the ballots will be delivered via online PDF files by SCYTL and not by the company’s U.S. subsidiary, SOE Software. In January, SCYTL purchased SOE Software, the leading U.S. electronic voting firm.

Purchase a copy of “Fool Me Twice” by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott and receive a FREE copy of their New York Times bestseller “The Manchurian President.”

Next month’s election marks the second time SCYTL will provide overseas balloting. During the 2010 midterm elections, the company was contracted by the Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program to support overseas military and civilian voting in nine of the 20 States that agreed to participate in the program. SCYTL was the provider with the highest number of participating states during that election.

The Defense Department has been coming under fire after reports of an exponentially low number of requests for military absentee ballots this year compared to the 2008 election.

The Military Voter Protection Project last week released the results of a study listing the number of requests in key states such as Virginia, where military absentee ballot requests are down 92 percent compared to 2008. In Ohio, only 9,700 absentee ballots have been requested as of late September compared to more than 32,000 in 2008.

Florida so far has 37,953 requested ballots as of last month as opposed to 86,926 in 2008 – a difference of 48,973. North Carolina only has 1,859 requests listed compared to 13,508 in 2008.

Just this week, a Military Times survey of military forces showed Republican nominee Mitt Romney with a 26-percent lead over the president. The Times survey follows an earlier Rasmussen poll that showed a 59 to 35 percent lead for Romney among military service voters.

The low number of military requests perplex Republican lawmakers who in 2009 pushed and passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which was supposed to make it easier for overseas military personnel to vote.

The law required a voter assistance office at every military installation. It also automatically provides military voters with an opportunity to update their voter information during the check-in process at their duty stations.

However, last month the Defense Department’s Inspector General reported that the Pentagon was not complying with the 2009 law, citing information that only about half of overseas locations had functioning voter assistance offices.

Pam Mitchell, acting director of the Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, the same program that contracted SCYTL in 2010, said at a briefing last month that voting assistance “has never been better.”

She further claimed the Inspector General may have had trouble reaching voting assistance offices because “in a military environment, times change.”

National security concerns

In January, SCYTL, based in Barcelona, acquired 100 percent of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States.

The press release announcing the acquisition noted that SCYTL is a portfolio company of leading international venture capital funds Nauta Capital, Balderton Capital and Spinnaker.

With the purchase of SOE Software, SCYTL has increased its involvement in the U.S. elections process. SOE Software boasts a strong U.S. presence, providing results in over 900 jurisdictions.

In 2009, SCYTL formally registered with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission as the first Internet voting manufacturer in the U.S. under the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program.

Also that year, SCYTL entered into an agreement with another firm, Hart InterCivic, to jointly market a flexible and secure electronic pollbook purportedly to allow U.S. election officials and poll workers to easily manage the electoral roll on Election Day in an efficient and convenient manner.

SCYTL’s ePollBookTM already replaced the paper precinct roster in Washington, D.C.

During the midterm elections in November 2010, SCYTL successfully carried out electoral modernization projects in 14 states. The company boasted that a “great variety” of SCYTL’s technologies were involved in the projects, including an online platform for the delivery of blank ballots to overseas voters, an Internet voting platform and e-pollbook software to manage the electoral roll at the polling stations.

The states that used SCYTL’s technologies during the 2010 midterms were New York, Texas, Washington, California, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Just prior to the midterms, Washington, D.C., tested its own new electronic-voting system and discovered it had been hacked.

As a program security trial, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics reportedly encouraged outside parties to hack and find flaws in its new online balloting system. A group of University of Michigan students then hacked into the site and commanded it to play the school’s fight song upon casting a vote.

This is not the first time SCYTL’s systems have been called into question.

Voter Action, an advocacy group that seeks elections integrity in the U.S., sent a lengthy complaint to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in April 2010 charging the integration of SCYTL systems “raises national security concerns.”

“Foreign governments may also seek to undermine the national security interests of the United States, either directly or through other organizations,” Voter Action charged.

The document notes that SCYTL was founded in 2001 as a spinoff from a research group at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, which was partially funded by the Spanish government’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

SCYTL’s headquarters are in Barcelona with offices in Washington, D.C., Singapore, Bratislava and Athens.

Project Vote noted that in 2008, the Florida Department of State commissioned a review of SCYTL’s remote voting software and concluded, in part, that:

The system is vulnerable to attack from insiders.
In a worst case scenario, the software could lead to (1) voters being unable to cast votes; (2) an election that does not accurately reflect the will of the voters; and (3) possible disclosure of confidential information, such as the votes cast by individual voters.
The system may be subject to attacks that could compromise the integrity of the votes cast.
Still, the Florida Department of State provided SCYTL with a Provisional Certification valid for two years certifying the company was “deemed compliant with the functional and security requirements.” SCYTL’s voting system was used during the 2008 presidential election.

Voting through Google, Apple?

As WND reported, in May announced the successful implementation of technology that allows ballots to be cast using Google and Apple smart phones and tablet computers.

SCYTL unveiled a platform that it says encrypts each individual ballot on a voter’s Google or Apple mobile device before the ballot is then transmitted to an electronic voting system.

Using this technology “Scytl is now able to guarantee end-to-end security – from the voter to the final tally – not only for computer-based online voting but also for mobile voting,” stated a press release by the company.

“By leveraging its pioneering security technology with Google and Apple’s mobile device platforms, Scytl has become the premier election technology provider to offer an online voting system that guarantees the highest standards in terms of both voter privacy and ballot integrity both on personal computers and mobile devices,” said Gabriel Dos Santos, Scytl’s vice president of software engineering.

The U.S. currently does not utilize voting platforms using mobile devices. SCYTL sees such methods as the future of electronic voting.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 3:50 am
Being an American abroad I can say that this is the first year we have been given every opportunity to cast our votes in time. Still, one Embassy in Europe sent special emails to warn Americans abroad to insure they were casting their ballots this week. I hope that service men and women will be on time to vote. We all have this right and we all should use it - by fax, by email and by post!

Jae A (316)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 8:07 am
All very simple as to why request are down ..that is due to thousands of them are back at home...just as Obama promised they would be!..........DUH !!!!

Carol D (346)
Wednesday October 10, 2012, 12:35 pm
Well I guess that would be easy to check then Jae...all that has to be done is compare the amount of ballots requested or not with the amount of people who have been transfered home and if they don't match up then quite possibly this is not the problem!? I am sure that those who are transfered home the info is forwarded to those who will be caring for the amount of ballots requested and the counting dept. I doubt that the info of those who have come home is not forwarded to everyone involved in the voting process! Thus they would automatically know how many ballot requests to be expected!

sandra clayton@windstream.n (0)
Friday October 12, 2012, 9:26 am
I agree with John... Obama is the cause of delayed ballots..

Past Member (0)
Friday October 12, 2012, 12:17 pm
This just in. military over seas have received their ballots. Right wing, xtian news source is bogus.

"I agree with John... Obama is the cause of delayed ballots.. "

Good little sheep.

Past Member (0)
Friday October 12, 2012, 1:20 pm
I agree, the reason is OBAMA

Esther S (45)
Friday October 12, 2012, 2:49 pm
I think that Jae is right! Look at how many of them were in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008 and how many less are there now!

Joanne Dixon (38)
Friday October 12, 2012, 2:51 pm
Perhaps Federal Elections SHOULD be run by the Federal Government, but in fact they ARE NOT, but are run by the states, more specifically by the counties within the states. Perhaps someone could explain to me how our President could simultaneously hypnotize the election officials of (just what is mentioned in the story) 691 counties, 25 boroughs (in Alaska) and Puerto Rico? Some of those states have Republican governors - a couple are actively trying to cut down on voters; surely our President is not responsible for that.

Incidentally, as a veteran who served from 1966 to 1976, I never had a problem woth absentee ballots. Of course we were not in austerity mode then and election commissions had enough staff to handle the requests. That may have had something to do with it.

Janet R (38)
Friday October 12, 2012, 7:23 pm
It's raining outside, must be Obama's fault. It's snowing outside, must be Obama's fault. I just felt an earthquake, it's because of Obama. I have constipation, must be Obama's fault. All of you blaming Obama for this and that, you are all off your rockers. Everything is a conspiracy. Get real.

Jae A (316)
Friday October 12, 2012, 7:38 pm
Not what the article says who knows what was taken into account on this....but without that data it still stands to reason there would be a lot less 'request' with so many thousands back home...which no doubt they are pleased that Obama did keep that promise.....and those troops are home, alive, and able to vote without a 'request'.

Jae A (316)
Friday October 12, 2012, 7:53 pm
We are also seeing the GOP/Republican/Teabagger Klan supporting voter ID laws to keep many seniors and legal immagants / minorities from voting...those are deliberate attemps right here at home to stop people from voting without just cause what so ever...but being a teabagger I imagine those types of things are fine with you Carol....

Robert K (31)
Friday October 12, 2012, 9:42 pm
Okay morons, Obama IS the one who supports the troops. It's the Republicans who talk a big game, but deny everything that can help the troops, and who want to throw away billions on things the Pentagon doesn't want. But Bush slashed VA to the bone at the same time he was starting wars based on lies.

And as far as the article and it's veracity, consider the source, wingnut extremist rag, WND, formerly World Net Daily. It has even less authenticity than Breitbart or Bill O'Reilly

Lloyd H (46)
Friday October 12, 2012, 11:43 pm
Damn I hate intentional ignorance use to promote ginned up conspiracy theories from reich-wing ass-hats. Aside from the fact that World Net Daily has even less contact with truth and facts than Cluster Faux News. Here is one fact that that of course Weird Nut Dementia is evidently just too f'ing stupid or to f'ing biased to even mention. NOW LISTEN UP! Since the 2008 election THE WAR IN IRAQ HAS ENDED AND 90% OF THE TROOPS ARE NO LONGER THERE. Since the 2008 election a DRAW DOWN OF US TROOPS, AND I AM NOT INCLUDING THE SURGE, IN AFGHANISTAN HAS TAKEN PLACE. Since the 2008 election WITH THE END OF THE IRAQ WAR AND REDUCTION OF FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN AND COMMENSURATE REDUCTION IN SUPPORT STAFF AND PRIVATE CONTRACTORS HAS OCCURRED. No I realize that most of you use the alternate reality math that Romney and Ryan use to make their Tax and Budget lies work, but if you compare the numbers of removed of US Forces and support staff to the supposedly scary drop in numbers of requests for absentee ballots OH MY GOD THERE IS NO DAMN MYSTERY AT ALL. I live just miles from Joint Base Lewis McCord, Army and Air Force, and just south of Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Naval Station Everett and Whidbey Island NAS, and our local news has for more than a year been full of tens of thousands of returning US Military personal. Hell they are having to increase the size of JBLM just to accommodate the influx of personnel. This is the biggest piece of ignorance based crap I have heard since Ryan spewed his 27 lies during the debate last night and got smacked down by Vice-President of the United States of America Biden on all of them.

Carol D (346)
Friday October 12, 2012, 11:50 pm
Jae..It stands to reason that any military member who has been sent home would have all of his information forwarded to his home base...just like those going to Afghanistan get their orders. All of their mail and etc; is given their new duty post. My guess is the amount of ballots that should have been requested is somewhere in between what was and the amount from 2008 when there were more service people in the war. JMO

As far as the voter ID laws..yes I agree with it! It is no different than anything else in this country that one needs to show an ID for and the main purpose of it is to prevent fraud as we have already seen the Democrats doing! What do you have Jae against stopping fraud!? And this BS about it stopping the elderly from voting is just that!! Nobody is stopping anybody from voting so those lame ass excuses are just not cutting the mustard!

Carol D (346)
Friday October 12, 2012, 11:52 pm
Lloyd...after reading about the first sentence of yours I find it not worthy to read...maybe if you cna learn how to speak with out a foul mouth you may get more takers!

Carol D (346)
Friday October 12, 2012, 11:59 pm
Thanks to all of you who replied and Noted! it's very much appreciated!

jan b (5)
Saturday October 13, 2012, 6:04 am
The request for ballots are down (so I read)
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in US Politics & Gov't

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.