Duty prevents Virginia serving with National Guard in NY from voting

At least one would-be Virginia voter couldn’t get to the polls -- because he was doing emergency National Guard duty in New York. Henry Perez of Fairfax County was called up to active duty last Friday to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But Friday was too late for him to put in an application for an absentee ballot, and he left town before he was able to apply for an emergency ballot.

Election Day found him in Westchester County, N.Y., guarding downed power lines until the utility’s workers could come repair them. “It’s one of those things,” he said. “I’m helping people out, but because of the laws and rules in place I can’t vote.”

Perez had just started training last Monday for work with a private security firm in Northern Virginia. Asked when he expected to return, he said, “I have no idea.”

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Peter Wallsten · November 6, 2012

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