Fears rise as service men and women abroad face difficulties registering to vote and acquiring absentee ballots for November's elections. The number of military voters from Virginia who have requested absentee ballots is down 75% from what it was four years ago. In 2008, over 20,000 absentee ballots had been requested at this point in time, but in 2012 that figure has dropped to just over 5,000. The Military Voter Protection Project blames the Pentagon for this drop, saying "bureaucratic inertia" has bogged down the process and left military members without any real mechanism to encourage or facilitate voting. October is full of deadlines in many states for casting military votes. However, since the votes are cast overseas, they must often be sent back well in advance of the deadlines in order to arrive in time for the election. But there is simply too much bureaucratic red tape within the Pentagon to facilitate this kind of efficiency. Pentagon officials have defended their efforts, claiming they have followed the law regarding military voting and absentee ballots. But Military Voter Protection Project founder Eric Eversole sees it otherwise and claims the Pentagon has posed a problem for military voters for quite some time.