The Department of Justice has responded to claims made by Fox News, J. Christian Adams and Republican Sen. John Cornyn that it’s intentionally trying to disenfranchise military voters.
The rumor began when Cornyn accused the department of trying to undermine the MOVE Act, which requires states to send absentee ballots to servicemembers at least 45 days before an election. In his letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Cornyn claimed that the DOJ was going out of its way to help states apply for waivers in an effort to disenfranchise the troops.
J. Christian Adams, the former DOJ lawyer who’s accused the administration of reverse racism in the New Black Panthers case, soon piled on, providing quotes to Fox News, which ran an “exclusive” story last week.
A couple days later, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich responded to Cornyn.
“The Department of Justice is firmly committed to ensuring that our men and women serving in the uniformed services and living overseas have the opportunity to vote and to have their votes counted. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply untrue,” Weich wrote, adding that Cornyn took statements from a DOJ official “out of context.”
“There should be no misunderstanding: we fully enforce the law,” he said.
Weich went on to explain that the opportunity to seek waivers is required by the MOVE Act, which Cornyn sponsored along with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He noted that some states — mostly those whose primaries are too late for it to send ballots 45 days ahead of the general — have applied for a waiver, but the DOJ has not yet made any decisions. It has until Aug. 29 to decide.
Weich also invited Cornyn to an in-person meeting to discuss the law further.
A spokesman for Cornyn could not immediately comment, but we’ll let you know when they do.