Republican secretary of state candidate Jim Lagrone today called the Democratic incumbent Charlie Daniels “AWOL” on ensuring that overseas military personnel are able to vote in Arkansas elections.

In a press release, Lagrone said Daniels only turned his attention to the issue this week, which is “too little too late.” Lagrone cited statistics showing Arkansas with “the worst voting record in the United States for overseas military, with a disenfranchisement rate of almost 51 percent.”

According to Lagrone, Daniels is finally saying what Lagrone has said all along, “We must do what we can to assure that ballots reach the troops … on time.” Daniels made the statement in a recent Memo to state county clerks and election commissioners. In addition, Daniels’ office issued a Memo this week saying he would be joining the Department of Defense in observing Armed Forces Voters Week in September, in order to raise awareness of voting among military voters. …

“What about the 51% of military voters who didn’t have their votes counted in the last two elections? And if it weren’t an election year, would Daniels even be working on this issue? Until now, Charlie Daniels didn’t seem to care about military voter disenfranchisement.

“For more than a year one of the main themes in my talks with voters around the state has been the voter disenfranchisement of Arkansas’ military. This is personal with me because my son was serving in Iraq and, through the negligence of Daniels’ office, was not given the right to vote while serving overseas.”

Full press release after the jump.