Voter turnout among the military serving overseas is expected to reach an all-time low this year, a new report suggests.
The number of absentee ballot requests from America's men and women in uniform is "extremely disappointing," says the report from the Military Voter Protection Project.
Even in the critical swing states which will decide whether President Barack Obama gets a second term or whether Mitt Romney replaces him in the Oval Office, servicemen and women seem apathetic, the report says.
“Election Day 2012 could result in an all-time historic low for military voter participation,” said the project's founder and executive director, Eric Eversole.
The report shows that in Ohio, one of the crucially important states, only 3.3 percent — 1,806 out of 53,963 — eligible military voters have requested ballots.
Other swing states are even worse, Virginia requests stand at just 1.4 percent and North Carolina's rate is 1.7 percent.
Even Florida, which has the highest percentage of requests among nine states surveyed, can only muster a 15.7 percent rate.
“While military voters have long suffered from low participation rates, these numbers are extremely disappointing,” said Eversole.
Of the nine states spotlighted in the report, all “have witnessed an alarming and significant decrease in absentee ballot requests,” the project said. It is unlikely that the decrease can be turned around in the few weeks before the election, the report suggests.
“Hundreds of thousands of military voters once again will have their voices silenced on Election Day,” the project added.
In 2007, the US Election Assistance Commission reported that more than 70 percent of military ballots in 2006 election were not counted. In 2008, thousands of ballots arrived late, were never sent or simply never arrived.
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