Milblogging the Election
January 23, 2008 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Are there deployed soldiers blogging about the US elections?

I'm interested in seeing what currently deployed soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan have to say on blogs about the United States elections. While I'm specifically interested in reading about the current state primaries and the upcoming national election, I'd also like to read about previous elections as well, if possible. Are there any military blogs that mention the elections in a post or two? I did a cursory exploration of some popular milblogs and didn't come up with anything.
I'd also like to see if anyone talks about the experience of voting absentee when deployed.
I'm not looking for specific endorsements of candidates -- I know that's probably not out there -- just general thoughts on the electoral process in the United States.
posted by k8lin to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
US Military personnel don't have the same free speech rights as ordinary citizens. I doubt any of them will be "blogging" freely about their political opinions.

Retired soldiers have full free speech rights, and many of them have been speaking out. It would be interesting to know if one of these individuals has stepped up to writing their own blog.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 11:19 AM on January 23, 2008

Here's a link to the guidance for Federal Employees:

Hatch Act for Federal Employees

Federal Employees permitted to engage in partisan activites may not:

* use official authority or influence to interfere with an election
* solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency
* solicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by
federal labor or other employee organizations)
* be candidates for public office in partisan elections
* wear partisan political buttons on duty
* engage in political activity while:
>> on duty
>> in a government office
>> wearing an official uniform
>> using a government vehicle

The item prohibiting political activity in certain locations/situations is the tricky one. It could easily be argued that troops, while in combat status, are:
* on duty at all times
* wearing an official uniform at all times
* in a government office at all times.
The deployed soldiers are probably also using government-provided internet access to do their blogging.

Perception is everything.
posted by Cordelya at 1:13 PM on January 23, 2008

Response by poster: I guess my question isn't clear. I'm not interested in opinions about candidates or in anything partisan. I'm interested in what currently deployed soldiers have to say about the electoral process and about elections in general in the United States.

There are many military blogs written by soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere. There are also blogs written by veterans, which are very interesting, but not what I'm looking for.
I have located a few posts from active-duty soldiers that specifically mention the US elections, so I know it is being done. I was hoping that there were readers of military blogs that knew of something that I hadn't been able to find.
posted by k8lin at 2:07 PM on January 23, 2008

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