WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has failed to fix a problem with the military's voting system — one that may keep American soldiers from voting for who they want as commander in chief, Fox News has learned.
And some members of Congress have had enough.
"I'm extremely frustrated that we've known about this problem, a serious problem for morale and for voting ... and the bureaucracy just doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency," said Sen. Kit Bond (search), R-Mo., whose son is in the military and likely to be in Iraq during the November elections.
One of the problems is that 29 states require absentee ballots to be sent and returned by mail, whether it's from a war zone or some other far-flung post. Critics say military mail doesn't move fast enough to get ballots there and back in time to be counted.
The dilemma leapt into the headlines four years ago when former Vice President Al Gore's campaign tried to disqualify 2,500 absentee ballots from armed forces serving overseas. Gore was the Democratic nominee who won more popular votes nationally than George W. Bush but who lost the Electoral College vote.
"Al Gore would have carried Florida by 202 votes and would be president of the United States today," if those ballots weren't counted, said Sam Wright of the Military Voting Rights Project (search).
A new report obtained by Fox News says the General Accounting Office (search) has found that too little has been done to fix those problems. Another new report by the Pentagon's own inspector general found too few improvements have been made to ensure American soldiers will be able to vote.
But the Pentagon says it's confident the military mail system will allow service members to send in absentee ballots in a timely fashion.
Click here to watch a report by Fox News Channel's Jim Angle.