Blogger Template by Blogcrowds

Veterans Right to Vote

Well, I think it's time for the Friday post, and I have given today's subject a lot of thought, and today's subject is the VA, and voter registration. So sit tight while I sort through this mess.

On April 5th, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Directive 2008-023 allowing voter registration drives in VA hospitals. On May 5th, they issued Directive 2008-025 reversing itself and disallowing voter registration drives, prompting an immediate response for Senators John Kerry, (D-MA), and Diane Feinstein, (D-Ca) in a letter dated May 6th to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs James B, Peake was very skeptical of the The action taken the DVA.

The position fo the DVA is that voter registration drives in VA hospitals will disrupt it's employees from its primary mission, which is the welfare, well being, and treatment of wounded, and disabled veterans of our current, and past military conflicts. And that due to the Hatch Act, voter rigistration drives are not permitted, as federal employees may not engage in political partisan activities. They also feel, that being designated a voter registration agency would divert substantial resources from their primary mission if they were given the designation under the Voter Registration Act. Under the current directive, patients would have to request help to register individually.

The above mentioned senators, in their letter to the Mr. Peake, asked him to explain what sort of disruptions he felt might occur, if voter registration drives were held in the VA hospitals, since these kind of functions were operated by organizations such as The League of Women Voters, or veterans organizations, and why any potential disruption's couldn't be handled by a less restrictive means It is also clear from many policy statements from the Office of Special Counsel, that federal employees can participate in non partisan voter registration drives on federal property. It was also noted, that the veterans the VA should support, are not subject to the Hatch Act, because they are not federal employees.

In a letter similar to the one sent by the senator's, California Secreatary of State Mary Bowen asked Mr. Peake, to register the DVA, as a Voter Registration Agency. She wrote that offering to register, or re-register is very important for veterans who change their addresses as a result of accepting federal benefits, such as entering a VA nursing home, emergency housing, or rehabilitative care center.

Now I don't know what all of you might think about all of this, but I will tell you what I think. I think, that regardless of wether or not it took two democrats to jump to the defense of our wounded vets, Mr. Peake, and company better come up with the right answer for this very serious disinfranchisement of our wounded and disabled veterans who are in their care, or there will be serious problems for both Mr. Peake, and the DVA. And mark this on your calenders as a day where I actually agree with two democrats on a subject pertaining to our military personnel. I will see all of you on Monday, have a great weekend.


wow another great blog tim..VA issues are more on going than you can imagine..these ppl fought for out countries and look how they get treated..great issue at hand..wish they would do something about it...have a great weekend!

July 26, 2008 at 5:01 PM  

Newer Post Older Post Home