The U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly opened an investigation into how the Democratic Secretary of State for Illinois somehow forgot to send out thousands of absentee ballots to military personnel serving overseas.
The Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) specifically stipulates that every state must mail their absentee ballots to troops, government workers and other Americans living abroad 45 days prior to the election. However, Illinois' State Board of Elections is reporting that some of the state's voting jurisdictions have failed to meet the federally imposed deadline. As a result, the ballots may not be counted.
Illinois was required to have all of its absentee ballots mailed by Sept. 18, the national deadline. Election officials have until Nov. 15 to count the absentee ballots, which must be postmarked by midnight Nov. 1 to be eligible.
In an e-mail response, Justice Department spokeswoman Xochil Hinojosa confirmed that Illinois is being investigated for the absentee ballot infraction.
"The Department is working with all states, including Illinois, to investigate and remedy any problems that will prevent our men and women serving overseas from having the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted," Hinojosa said. ...
These overseas ballots may prove to be critical in deciding winners in this year's close elections. Recent polls show tight races for the U.S. Senate (Republican Mark Kirk vs. Democrat Alexi Giannoulias), and governor (Republican Bill Brady vs. Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn).
The Justice Department has also taken recent action against the state of New York over a similar case of delinquent absentee ballots for overseas Americans: