02/10/2009 - More than 1 in 5 American voters living overseas, including those serving in the military, did not receive their official ballots for the 2008 U.S. election, a year in which nearly half of local election jurisdictions reported significant rises in ballot requests from abroad, according to a new survey.
The survey indicated that the situation was worse for highly mobile military voters: More than one-quarter failed to receive ballots, though that was an improvement over the 36 percent that did not receive them for the 2006 election.
The survey of 24,000 voters in 186 countries was carried out by the nonpartisan Overseas Vote Foundation.
''We have serious data which once again confirm how much of a problem military and overseas voting really is,'' said Bryan O'Leary, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot who works with the National Defense Committee to help military voters.
A major problem, according to a separate survey by the Pew Center on the States, is that 16 states and the District of Columbia send out absentee ballots after the date necessary for military voters to meet required deadlines; three others allow a minimal five-day cushion.
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