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April 13, 2009


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What I don't understand about this whole thing is this. This is not the first election, or even the first special election, in American history held with troops in combat zones. This is not the first election to have a razor thin margin. So why is this issue of votes from combat zones suddenly an issue? What is different about this time?

No snark from the partisan peanut gallery, please. This is a serious question.


A commenter to my own blog wondered... If Tedisco had his way, the March 30 deadline for ballots to be postmarked would not be changed. So essentially what he's saying is that two weeks is sufficient time for absentee ballots to arrive TO combat zones but not sufficient for them to arrive FROM the same combat zones.

Bob, when you talk to his people, perhaps you can ask them to comment on it.


I find it interesting, but not entirely convincing, that Tedisco's "team" is assuming the military ballots will break heavily in their favor. As I recall, nationally Obama was competitive with McCain or even did better among military voters. In this district, it may be the case that Tedisco might gain a small advantage among these voters, but I doubt it will be as decisive as his team seems to imagine.

Bob Conner

I don't think Obama carried the military vote.

Bob Conner

Brian: You raise good questions. Here are the best answers I have from the top of my head. As a practical matter, these issues are never seriously considered except in the context of very close elections, when they may become decisive. I think there are obvious flaws in the current system that should be addressed legislatively, but as for the context of this campaign: It may be that some soldiers overseas did not get their ballots in time, in which case they are disenfranchised. But it's also likely that mail service is erratic and inconsistent for front-line soldiers in the Hindu Kush, and that some may have gotten their ballots in time but may need more than two weeks to get them back.


Like I said, Tedisco might gain a *small* advantage among these voters, but I doubt it will be much.

Note also, if donations are any measure of support:

"According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul."


1. 100%, thats right, 100% of the military ballots opened so far are for Jim Tedisco.
2. Why isn't Kirsten raising a stinkfest about her military being disenfranchised from the lack of postal immediacy? The answer is, refer to point #1.
3. For a US Senator to expect and demand special privileges is upsetting - to say the least. Kirsten, I voted for you because I thought you were one of us.
4. Finally, if a US Senator with all her peeps can't get it right, how do the rest of us schmucks have a chance?


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This blog is by Bob (Robert C.) Conner, a longtime journalist and author of the 2018 novel "The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant" published by Square Circle Press, and a 2013 biography "General Gordon Granger" published by Casemate. He is currently writing a biography of the Kansas abolitionist Col. James Montgomery. His Civil War blog can be found at robertcconnerauthor.blogspot.com
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