WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new study suggested Wednesday that over 25 percent of ballots from voters living overseas, mostly members of the military, were not counted in the 2008 election.
"It is unacceptable that bureaucratic snafus could prevent our troops from exercising the very rights they are fighting to protect," Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement.
The study, unveiled at a Wednesday hearing, surveyed election offices in the seven states with the highest number of troops serving overseas. According to the study, 98,633 of the 441,000 ballots sent to those military personnel and other eligible voters living abroad were never sent back to the election offices and declared "lost" and 13,504 were rejected for a missing signature or a failure to notarize.
"This data provides only a snapshot of the problem, but it is enough to show that the balloting process for service members is clearly in need of an overhaul," said Schumer. "We have an obligation to make it easier, not harder, for our military to cast their ballots when they are away on active-duty."
He said that troops are not given enough time to complete and send back their ballots, and urged the Pentagon to revamp the office that handles military voting.