No, this isn't a metaphor; the actual military is attacking the caucuses.
The Reserve Officers Association, which has been pressing for state parties to make it possible for soldiers abroad to participate in the primary and caucus process, is complaining that the Iowa GOP -- which promised to "study" its concerns -- has instead ignored them.Hillary Clinton had the high ground on this one four years ago and Iowa still doesn't have a good answer. And there's not a good answer; if you're in Afghanistan you're not going to want to hear the real answer: "You can't have an absentee ballot because the New Hampshire Secretary of State doesn't like it."
"I suspect [the promise of a review] was just, 'let's say something to get them off our back,'" Wright said.
Speaking of him, he's got military problems of his own: it's exposing his threat of a December primary as a bluff.
Gardner has already set one firm date, the filing deadline. Candidates who want to run for president must file the appropriate papers with his office by close of business on Friday, October 28 (That is, two weeks from today).
Gardner can't start printing any ballots until that process is complete. In fact, he probably can't start printing ballots until the next business day, Monday, October 31. And thanks to a law Congress passed in 2009, he must allow at least 45 days to pass between the time he sends out absentee ballots and Election Day.
That law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, significantly expanded a 1986 law known as the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The MOVE Act requires state elections officials to send absentee ballots to qualified voters at least 45 days before an election; the goal is to ensure military personnel serving overseas and on Navy ships receive ballots with enough time to vote.
If Gardner schedules his primary on December 6th or 13th, before the 45-day clock ticks down, he's going to get sued by some voter claiming disenfranchisement under the MOVE and UOCAVA Acts. He wouldn't have a great chance at winning the case; many states that have held annual primaries in September, for example, are moving those contests back to August to account for the 45-day requirement.