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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Retired Military Officers on Mail Ballots

Retired Admiral Bill Owens and retired General James Cartwright are both former vice chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity.  They write at USA Today:
As commissioned officers, we both swore an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. And today, given the circumstances surrounding this election, our continued sense of duty compels us to speak. We urge every American — regardless of their political affiliation — to trust the final results of this election: Democrat Joe Biden will be the next commander-in-chief.


We wish to underscore our steadfast conviction that the vast majority of election officials are honest, hardworking public servants with the best interests of our nation at heart. And though no human endeavor is flawless, there are safeguards in place to protect the integrity of the process.

Every state maintains concrete steps to authenticate absentee ballots, and each has a deadline by which it will verify its results. The process this year has been carried out with the integrity we expect as Americans. To claim otherwise, without evidence, compromises the sanctity of our democracy.

Much has been made about the significant number of absentee ballots cast by mail because of COVID-19. The reality is that members of the armed forces have successfully voted by mail since the Civil War. During our time in the military, we cast ballots from nearly every corner of the world. Indeed, members of the U.S. military vote from every clime and place, including aboard the International Space Station and onboard submarines deployed worldwide. On every occasion, we and our fellow service members have complete confidence that our ballots will be received and counted.

To put it simply: If voting by mail is acceptable for the members of the military, then it should be acceptable for the rest of our population.