The Corner

Count Soldiers’ Votes

For the next two days, GOP officials will debating the rules that govern the party’s nominating process. Whatever they come up with will apply for the next four years. Right now all the focus is on whether the RNC will try to force states to hold their presidential primaries and caucuses later in the year. But there is another important issue that it might take up, either today or tomorrow.

A group of veterans is pushing the RNC to adopt language instructing the state parties to come up with a way to allow members of the military deployed abroad to participate in caucuses. Right now, if you’re fighting overseas and you’re from a state that holds caucuses, you have no way to vote.

The sponsors of this provision tell me it wouldn’t be hard for the states to come up with some sort of absentee-ballot process for soldiers. They also say they’re not trying to impose a uniform system on the states; each caucus state would get to devise its own implementation plan. They’ll be pushing today and tomorrow for a vote. I’m heading over to a rules meeting now, and I’ll have more info once I’m there, but for now you should read this op-ed from John P. Avlon, which explains the issue pretty well. It seems like a no-brainer, but it would cost the caucus states money, so there might be some opposition. We’ll see what happens.

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