Six Republican senators are asking Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta personally to intervene to ensure that U.S. troops stationed away from home get the chance to register and vote in the upcoming election.

They say Pentagon officials are ignoring a 2009 law that ordered the military to set up a special voting-assistance office at every U.S. base around the world, to make sure troops can negotiate the confusing patchwork of 50 different sets of state registration and absentee voting requirements, and get their ballots mailed in time.