|In a repeat of Florida 2000:
Virginia County Registrar Blocks Overseas Military Absentee Ballots
200 military absentee votes in jeopardy in Va.
By the Associated Press
October 23, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Va. - A Republican Fairfax County supervisor is warning that more than 200 absentee ballots from members of the military could go uncounted because of a technicality.
County Registrar Rokey Suleman II has set aside 255 federal write-in absentee ballots because they were submitted without a witness address, supervisor Patrick Herrity said Thursday at a press conference.
A witness address is not required on a normal absentee ballot. But it is required on the federal write-in absentee ballots typically used by military members, Suleman said.
"We're following the letter of Virginia law," Suleman said.
Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., in a statement circulated by GOP presidential candidate John McCain, chided Suleman for excluding the ballots at a time when some county officials have been making efforts to register inmates at the county jail.
"The Fairfax County registrar is going to great lengths to register voters in the county jail," Davis said. "It is shameful he is going to even greater lengths to disenfranchise our men and women in uniform."
Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in Virginia, a battleground in the presidential race.
"When the canvassing board announced that the ballots of 149 soldiers, sailors and airmen had been disqualified, a pair of jubilant Gore lawyers exchanged high-fives. A Republican, visibly shaken by this sight, demanded to know how they could celebrate the disenfranchisement of U.S. military personnel risking their lives around the world. One of the Gore lawyers glibly replied: "A win's a win." Florida 2000