The men and women overseas, in the armed forces or merely staying abroad, are still American citizens and get to vote -- providing they get their ballots on time. Which didn't happen to residents of 11 California counties, according to the Bay Citizen.
Local elections officials in those counties failed to send out 8,250 absentee ballots to overseas and military voters by a deadline for next week's June 5 presidential primary, the web site reported.
Despite repeated reminders from officials, Contra Costa, Fresno, Modoc, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama, Trinity and Ventura counties all failed to send their ballots to voters by April 21. Most -- about 5,450 ballots -- were sent out two days late. But some were a week late, the web site reported.
That led the U.S. Department of Justice to file suit against the state, although Secretary of State Debra Bowen stepped in quickly to resolve the lawsuit, according to reports. Under the settlement, the secretary of state needs to host training sessions with elections officials to ensure it doesn't happen again.
At least in San Mateo County, there's an excuse: At the last minute, a candidate needed to be removed from the ballot, which forced a last-minute reprinting and a subsequent delay, the Bay Citizen reported.
Most of San Mateo County's 2,266 overseas voters requested electronic ballots, the web site reported. The mail ballots arrived late.