Novak is a pompous ass (some would say I have special insight into such people). Today's paper has two stories in which he is featured, one in which he was cited in DC for striking a pedestrian with his, get this, convertible Corvette.
The other is this editorial. Novak, along with many Republicans in Congress, seem to think that there is some kind of great conspiracy out there to deprive men and women serving overseas of their right to vote. Obviously, Novak is interested because there is a common misconception that the military is conservative--and if conservatives are being deprived of their vote, well then, this can't be acceptable.
Novak simply doesn't know what he is talking about.
The officer corps is right of center, certainly more right of center than the general public. But officers make up probably less than 20% of the total number of people in uniform. Our enlisted ranks are far more likely to be centrist or left of center than the officer corps, sort of like you would see in the classic 1950's business model (management conservative and Republican, labor unionized and Democrat).
If there were in fact, a problem for military people to vote, solving such a problem would not necessarily be a benefit to Republicans.
That said, there simply is no systemic problem here. Anyone who has served in a leadership position in the Armed Services DREADS the election season, as we know that we will be subject to admonitions, exhortations, and direct orders all designed to make sure that we find some way for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines to exercise their right to vote. Getting appointed as Voting Assistance Officer is one of the worst collateral duties a young officer can get, as no matter how well you do the job, there is no measurement designed to let you know you've done good enough.
Military absentee ballots don't get posted because the military is dominated by the same people who choose to sit out elections in the civilian world: young people. They simply have other things on their minds.
As for Novak, I propose that we conservatives work with liberals to make a deal; we'll see if we can get Novak to go away if they get Maureen Dowd to shut up.....