It always has been difficult for those serving in the military to participate in elections. Usually based far from their homes, often in foreign countries, they find the normal absentee ballot process may not work well for them. Too often, the ballots they mail in miss deadlines and are not counted.
The Military and Overseas Voter Enforcement Act, made law in 2009, was intended to ease the process of voting by those in the armed services. One of its provisions is that states must mail absentee ballots to voters living abroad no less than 45 days before an election.
Some states have not complied with the law. They have obtained waivers from the Justice Department, allowing them to miss the 45-day deadline. Reportedly, as many as eight states are not in full compliance with the law - and Attorney General Eric Holder does not seem eager to penalize them.
States should be required to comply with the law - and should be penalized if they do not, without showing good reason for failure. Those who serve us in the military safeguard our right to vote. They ought to be able to exercise it, too.