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Overseas Military Votes Could Decide Election

A new study by Count Every Hero is highlighting the importance of ensuring all overseas US military personnel have their ballot counted in the 2020 Election

Published on October 15, 2020

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A new study, titled 'Military Voting in 50 States' and published by Count Every Hero, which describes itself as "a cross-partisan campaign to ensure all service members' votes are counted before election winners are declared", has found that military ballots including those sent by personnel stationed overseas, could have "substantial electoral implications".

According to the report, more than "75 percent of the available votes in the Electoral College will come from states counting overseas military ballots after Election Day", with states accepting ballots that arrive a week after Election Day accounting for "a majority of the electoral votes". The study also says that most overseas service members vote by mail, and reports that "Hundreds of thousands of military votes are expected to be cast this election via overseas absentee ballot. Turnout is expected to be higher than the 216,000 service members abroad who voted by mail in 2016."

Explaining the importance of votes from American military personnel serving overseas, Retired Navy Admiral Jon Greenert said that "There is no question that active-duty troops and other overseas voters could make the difference in the 2020 election ... It is crucial we count the votes from our service members and resist any calls to stop the count or declare a winner before these legal ballots have a chance to arrive".

As part of its advocacy efforts, the Count Every Hero organization has released its first campaign video ahead of November 3rd, as part of an effort to raise awareness of military ballots, and why they are important to the election.

Discussing the importance of the military vote, Charlynda Scales, United States Air Force and Air Force Reserves Veteran, said that "Members of the military have been voting by mail in large numbers since the Civil War. We must honor their service - and their votes ... As a fourth generation service member, it's so important to me that service members participate in this election. In a year when more people than ever will be voting by mail and it will take longer to get results, we must make sure every vote gets counted."

According to Count Every Hero, its campaign is committed to two principles, that "Every service member's right to vote must be protected and their votes must be counted", and that "Military voters must have an opportunity to register, request an absentee ballot, and cast a vote regardless of their location in the world."

Responding to the study, Herb Thompson, United States Army, Special Forces Veteran, Retired, described counting every vote of service personnel as the country's duty, saying that "With only 20 days left before the election, it's time to put principle and country over party. We need every American to join in and play their role as members of this democratic republic to ensure that our voices are heard. We don't leave our brothers and sisters in uniform behind on the battlefield. We won't do it at the ballot box."

To read the full report, and to find out more about the Count Every Hero campaign, go to counteveryhero.org/research-report/

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