Capitol Comments

When Utah's GOP-dominated legislature didn’t foot the bill for a state-run presidential primary in 2016, it was left to the state parties to administer and fund Utah’s presidential caucuses. On March 22, the Utah Republican Party conducted one of the biggest online elections in the history of the United States by allowing eligible Utah Republicans the option of casting ballots online in the state’s closed presidential primary using desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. 

On Monday, March 21st, the House approved a measure which provides a short-term extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs through July 15, 2016. The current authorization was scheduled to expire on March 31, and this will give lawmakers more time to enact long-term, comprehensive legislation.

A growing number of U.S. military members stationed overseas have seized the opportunity to cast their votes in the 2016 presidential primary.  A recent study suggests that spouses of active duty military (ADM) stationed overseas could be influencing their partners to participate in the election process. The study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program found that overseas married service members were more likely to vote than their unmarried counterparts. This correlation between spouses and voting participation could be particularly useful during a time when efforts are being made to streamline the voting process and encourage more overseas military personnel to vote.

Multiple States have begun the process of sending out absentee ballots to voters, officially kicking off the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary season. In 2010, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment, or MOVE Act, was passed by the U.S. Congress, requiring states to transmit validly-requested absentee ballots to Uniformed Services, their family members and U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. no later than 45 days before a federal election. To date, 11 states have sent their absentee ballots abroad: New Hampshire, South...