The Soldier Vote tells the story of how American citizens in the armed forces gained the right to vote while away from home. Beginning with the American Revolution, through the Civil War, and World War II, the ability for deployed military personnel to cast a ballot in elections was difficult and often vociferously resisted by politicians of both political parties. Finally, during the Cold War, Congress managed to pass the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).
That Act, along with further improvements in the early twenty-first century, began to make it easier for military personnel and American citizens living abroad to participate in elections at home. Using newly obtained data about the military voter, The Soldier Vote challenges some widely held views about the nature of the military vote and how service personnel vote.
“The Soldier Vote fills a key gap in our knowledge of the workings of American democracy. Both historical and contemporary, it examines the changing and imperfect fit between a national army and voting laws that are largely shaped by the states. There is much of value here for anyone wishing to know more about the political rights, views, and participation of the men and women in our uniformed services.” Alexander Keyssar, Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy, Harvard University, and author of The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States
"This is a thoughtful study of the American military's experience with voting. I learned a great deal from it, and anyone seeking to understand this important dimension of civil-military relations will find this an invaluable reference." Peter Feaver, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Duke University
Author of Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations
The Soldier Vote is available from most booksellers.
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