(IBD) The presidents home state gets a pass from the Justice Department on ensuring its soldiers overseas can vote. An administration obsessed with gays in the military doesnt care about voting rights for GIs. You can call it a tragedy of errors, a perfect storm of incompetent and uncaring bureaucrats, or you can call it a deliberate attempt to steal what looks to be a close race for both governor and U.S. senator in President Obamas home state by disenfranchising its servicemen overseas, votes likely to tilt Republican. Consider that the Illinois primary was in February and that the deadline to print and mail ballots to soldiers fighting for democracy in places like Iraq and Afghanistan was Sept. 18 long enough, one would think, for even the slowest bureaucracy to do the job mandated under the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) act. A seven-month lead time apparently wasnt enough for the incompetent administration of Gov. Pat Quinn, successor to the walking reality TV show, Rod Blagojevich, to ensure that all counties get their ducks in a row. Quinn is coincidentally locked in a tough battle with Illinois state Sen. Bill Brady where military votes could be decisive. The Justice Department, which has been woefully lax in enforcing MOVE and ensuring compliance among a number of states that have missed their deadlines, reached an agreement in court last Friday with 35 Illinois counties that didnt get their ballots out on time. Six counties got an extension by two or three days to receive and count overseas ballots by Nov. 16. The other 29 counties essentially got a pass. Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said these counties already have 14 extra days after the election to count soldiers ballots. But if any votes arent counted in a timely manner, she said, we can file a lawsuit. This is not how soldiers who may get killed not knowing if their votes counted should be treated. The excuse given by at least one county, St. Clair, involved a court case in which the Constitution Party was fighting to get on the ballot. St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney didnt mail out absentee ballots to military service members on time because if the Constitution Party had won its case, I would have had to redo the whole thing again at a cost of $2 per ballot, Delaney said. Meanwhile, the Chicago Board of Elections hand-delivers ballots to inmates in Cook County Jail. The board doesnt even wait for the inmates to apply it brings the applications with the ballots! More than 2,600 inmates have cast ballots strikingly similar to the 2,600 soldiers who will likely not receive a ballot for Tuesdays election.