Vermont Sued by U.S. Over Unsent Absentee Military Ballots

Vermont and its chief election official were sued by the U.S. over the state’s alleged failure to send more than 20 percent of the absentee ballots requested by Vermont’s military and overseas voters.

The complaint, filed today by the U.S. Justice Department in federal court in Vermont, seeks an order to ensure military voters can cast their ballots in time to have their votes counted, the department said in an e-mailed statement.

“The U.S. seeks an order requiring the state of Vermont to ensure that military and overseas voters will have sufficient opportunity to receive, cast and return their ballots in time to be counted by extending the deadline until Nov. 16, 2012, for the receipt of ballots,” the Justice Department said in the statement.

The lawsuit was filed under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which requires states to allow uniformed service voters and their families as well as overseas citizens to register to vote and to vote absentee for all elections for federal office, according to the statement.

Vermont Secretary of State James C. Condos, who is named as a defendant, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment on the lawsuit after regular business hours.

The case is U.S. v. Vermont, 12-cv-00236, U.S. District Court, District of Vermont.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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