Challenge of soldier’s vote is an insult

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 25, 2007

Politics in Louisiana has reached an all-time low. When a soldier’s vote is challenged, then you challenge the very basis of our American heritage and the core of our Constitution!

My son, Michael P. Stevens, is presently in a full-time, active duty military status and is on active duty orders to deploy to Iraq in January 2008 along with his brother, Brian M. Stevens. He has been on active duty orders for many, many months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In the lawsuit filed by Glenn Lipsey, Michael’s mail-in ballot was challenged, with Mr. Lipsey hoping to throw it out.

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As a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, a retired military officer and member of the American Legion, I can’t begin to describe the outrage that I feel over this political maneuver. And, to add insult to injury, the challenge was made the very week that we honor our nation’s veterans during the commemoration of Veterans Day.

I can’t think of a greater insult to the American soldier than to take away his right to vote!

I know that Mr. Lipsey and his attorneys are not veterans and can’t possibly understand how veterans will feel about this challenge, but, I ask them: “Is this election worth challenging a soldier’s vote?” This is a soldier who grew up here and has voted here his entire life.

American veterans across our nation should rise up in anger over this insult. If it was not for their service and sacrifice, there would not be elections in Concordia Parish, the State of Louisiana or any city in this entire nation.

If Mr. Lipsey and his attorneys are so eager to challenge a soldier’s right to vote, maybe they should pick up a weapon and put their lives on the line defending our country instead of slapping veterans in the face.

By the way, Mr. Lipsey, the plane to Baghdad leaves on Jan. 10, 2008. Do you want a ticket?

Vernon Stevens Jr.

Vidalia resident