FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ellen Moorhouse
On Thursday, November 5th, Count Every Hero held a press conference with top retired military brass discussing what recent attempts to stop the vote count means for military voters and the impact of military ballots in the still undecided 2020 Presidential race.
Count Every Hero spokespersons included General Anthony Zinni, United States Marine Corps (Retired), Admiral Steve Abbott, United States Navy (Retired), General George Casey, United States Navy (Retired), General John Jumper, United States Air Force (Retired), and distinguished veterans Secretary Louis Caldera, United States Army (Retired) and Secretary Debbie Lee James, United States Air Force (Retired).
“We ask a lot of our military. On a volunteer basis, to make sacrifices, separate from their family, risk life and limb—what is the message we’re sending by not counting their lawful votes?,” said Secretary Debbie Lee James. “The 99 percent of Americans who do not or have not served owe it to the 1 percent that do to make sure that their voices are heard.”
“Razor thin margins in the 5 remaining battleground states mean overseas ballots from military members and their families could be the deciding votes at the end of the count,” said Research Manager Jack Noland. “Any attempts to stop vote counts, or disqualify mail-in ballots, will disproportionately affect military voters. Every vote must be counted to protect the military and gain the trust of all Americans, regardless of their preferred presidential candidate.”
The discussion opened with an overview from General Anthony Zinni. A lay of the land from Research Manager Jack Noland, co-author of the Military Voting in 50 States research report, noted that all 5 remaining battleground states—except for Arizona—are still counting military ballots, with 4,200 outstanding in North Carolina as of Wednesday morning, and around 10,000 military and overseas civilian ballots in Pennsylvania. Admiral Steve Abbot, Secretary Louis Caldera, General George Casey, Secretary Debbie Lee James, and General John Jumper gave powerful statements about the importance of military voting, stressing that the strength of our democracy depends on conducting a safe and peaceful election and allowing the vote count to continue. Highlights include:
- Hundreds of thousands of military personnel are stationed away from home or deployed overseas, often in combat zones. Mail-in voting is essential for our military and they have used this process to cast their ballots for over 150 years, without any allegations of widespread fraud.
- As the Commander-in-chief, it is President Trump’s duty to protect our service members’ right to vote by allowing the procedures of the states to play out and ensure their ballots are counted.
- Military members are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our rights, so we need to uphold their right to vote and participate in our democracy. Declaring a winner before their votes are counted undermines the legitimacy of our election process.
Count Every Hero is a cross-partisan coalition endorsed by top military brass, active and retired service members, and personnel from all military branches that is committed to ensuring every service member’s right to vote is protected and that no election winner is declared until all military ballots are counted—especially as these ballots could decide the election.
The Count Every Hero campaign is committed to two major principles:
- Every service member’s right to vote must be protected and their votes must be counted.
- Military voters must have an opportunity to register, request an absentee ballot, and cast a vote regardless of their location in the world.
Count Every Hero is a member of the Military Vote Coalition, a group of military family and veteran support organizations whose mission is to increase voter participation. The coalition promotes policies that increase awareness and voting accessibility for veterans and military families.
If you’re interested in learning more about Count Every Hero or speaking with a campaign spokesperson, please contact us at [email protected].
Count Every Hero is a cross-partisan campaign to ensure all service members’ votes are counted before election winners are declared.