Military families from Nevada casting valid absentee ballots have been blindsided by the revelation that Trump officials have accused them of "criminal voter fraud" in the 2020 election.
On Nov. 5, the Nevada Republican Party filed a criminal complaint with Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice alleging that 3,062 voters outside of Nevada "improperly cast" absentee ballots in the election.
"Thousands of individuals have been identified who appear to have violated the law by casting ballots after they moved from NV," Republicans claimed in the letter.
But more than 1,000 of the addresses on the list were clearly located on military posts and bases, and hundreds more were overseas military post office boxes.
Amy Rose, a former ACLU attorney and a military spouse from Henderson, Nevada, stationed in Davis, California, said she was shocked and appalled to find her name and address on the GOP's list.
"To see my integrity challenged, along with other members of the military to be challenged in this way, it is a shock. And to be potentially disenfranchised because of these actions, that's not OK," Rose told Military.com.
She told another outlet that the accusations were baseless.
"My husband and I have both been accused of fraud," Rose said. "We take our duties as citizens very seriously, and it's just a shock to see that this accusation has been made without any basis in fact."
She said that military families "are not really able to set down roots in one place" that often, and that military families "secure with the county registrar" the right to vote in the jurisdiction they consider home.
According to the Washington Post, it's perfectly legal in the state of Nevada for certain groups residing outside of the state to vote in elections via absentee ballot. These groups include active-duty military members and their families, as well as college students.
Jon Ralston, editor of the Nevada Independent, said it was quite obvious that many of the addresses on the list were those of service members.
"Many on list sent to the DOJ have these postal codes: AE, AA and AP: Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Americas and Armed Forces Pacific. That is, Nevadans in the military who sent absentees," he wrote in a tweet. "Incompetence or fraud, gentlemen? Why does Team Trump hate NV military personnel?"
But these blatant attempts by Donald Trump's reelection campaign to disenfranchise military voters is emblematic of Trump's term in office, which has been characterized by vicious attacks on veterans and their families.
For instance, it was clear Trump didn't want military absentee ballots to be counted in the 2020 election in the first place.
Days before the election, he said a "winner" in the presidential race should be named on Election Day.
"It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3," Trump said to the press. "Instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don't believe that's by our laws. I don't believe that."
But 22 states and the District of Columbia allow for ballots postmarked before Election Day to be counted if arriving after Election Day, and many of these ballots are those of military voters stationed domestically or overseas.
Back in early October, Trump blamed the "military" as well as police for giving his aide Hope Hicks coronavirus, resulting in a White House outbreak that sickened dozens in Trump's circle and ultimately hospitalized him after he contracted the virus himself.
But in reality, it was Trump who endangered service members and not the other way around.
On Sept. 27, Trump officials contacted the Greatest Generation Foundation after exposing veterans and their families to coronavirus at a Gold Star event held at the White House.
Earlier that month, The Atlantic published a report that in 2018, Trump had refused to visit a Paris cemetery for fallen American soldiers, referring to the veterans as "suckers" and asking why he should visit a cemetery "filled with losers."
The same report alleged that at a White House planning meeting for a military parade, Trump specifically requested that amputee and other wounded veterans not be included in the event, saying, "Nobody wants to see that."
In 2019, Trump announced he planned to take half a billion dollars away from schools for military children in order to build his proposed wall between Mexico and the United States. He planned to divert $3.6 billion total away from military projects intended to serve veterans and their families — and put it towards his xenophobic wall.
He also insulted a newly widowed military spouse in 2017, telling her that her husband "knew what he signed up for" when he joined the military. Trump slammed the widow for speaking to the press about the conversation.
And, of course, he famously insulted the late Sen. John McCain, a former Vietnam prisoner of war.
"He's not a war hero," Trump said of McCain in 2015, while the senator was still alive. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
According to The Atlantic's September report, upon McCain's death in 2018, Trump said, "We're not going to support that loser's funeral," and was infuriated when flags were flown at half-mast.
In 2019, he said, "I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be."
Unsurprisingly, President-elect Joe Biden did exceedingly well among active-duty troops in the 2020 election. A Military Times poll taken days before the election found that 43.1 percent of active service members said they supported Biden for president, and only 37.4 percent said they were voting for Trump.
But Trump is, apparently, trying to rectify his many wrongs toward veterans.
On Tuesday, he announced that veterans could enjoy free admission to all national parks and other public lands starting on Veterans Day.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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