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Jordan Candler / February 14, 2018

Center for American Progress Eyes Quashing Military Vote

To put our military members — the ones who fight to protect our freedoms — in the crosshairs is an insult to injury.

On the Center for American Progress (CAP) website is a May 12, 2017, article that discusses the “Five Truths About Voter Suppression.” It begins by noting how America “has a troubled history of voter suppression.” But even though the U.S. is past its mid-20th-century Jim Crow epoch, “some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.” The organization takes issue with things like voter ID requirements and early voting scale-backs. Ominously, it warns, “The right to vote is a fundamental pillar of American democracy, but if the new administration succeeds, countless Americans could face barriers to voting ahead of the next election.”

Trump’s targeting Americans’ ability to fairly cast a vote is baloney, of course. In contrast, however, if CAP succeeds in its sinister plan, the military will find it exceedingly more difficult to take part in what CAP rightly calls “a fundamental pillar of American democracy.” Sadly, in addition to its supposed devotion to anti-voter-suppression methods, CAP also believes that efforts to thwart voter suppression should pertain only to select groups and constituents and be contingent on their voting records.

According to The Washington Times: “After years of accusing states of voter suppression, the Center for American Progress, citing election security, wants to make voting tougher for Americans serving overseas in the military. The left-wing public policy group issued a report Monday, ‘Election Security in All 50 States,’ that called for stricter standards to prevent cybermeddling in elections by foreign governments, including banning military stationed abroad from submitting ballots via email or fax. One state that allows such vote casting is Colorado. The center called on the state to ‘prohibit voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically.’”

In other words, CAP is calling for actual voter suppression by virtue of advocating prohibitions on the already limited voting abilities of soldiers. What would prompt such a turnaround? After all, the Times notes, “The report is something of a departure for the center, given its record of fighting for greater ballot access.” Here’s how: To the organization’s chagrin, the Armed Forces are a different breed. Responding to the report, Public Interest Legal Foundation’s J. Christian Adams hit the nail on the head. He rightly points out that the organization doesn’t “like that the military votes against their interests nearly all of the time.” Moreover, “CAP wants to make it easier for felons and criminals to vote, but wants to make it harder for fighting men and women overseas.”

In 1797, John Adams cautioned, “We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” The Center for American Progress would probably claim that it agrees wholeheartedly with that statement. But the way in which it wants to discriminate against its political opponents tells us something very different. In this instance, those “political opponents” are the ones who fight to protect our freedoms — like voting. To put our military members in the crosshairs is adding insult to injury.

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