Overseas Voting Initiative

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders shared their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They also discussed the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session also explained how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative.

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders shared their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They also discussed the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session also explained how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative.

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders shared their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They also discussed the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session also explained how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative.

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders shared their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They also discussed the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session also explained how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative.

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents living abroad experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. These voters face unique voting obstacles due to their mobility, the time required to transmit ballots, and the patchwork of rules and regulations required by the 55 sets of election laws of the states and territories. What’s more, state and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world.

On November 10, 2015 the Department of Justice released a legislative package meant to benefit state election administrators as well as members of the military, veterans and their families. Specific amendments have been proposed to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) that will make the voting process for absentee voting citizens more convenient. The amendments are designed to increase the number of valid absentee ballots received as well as encourage voter participation in state elections and not just...

With the 2016 primary election approaching, voting procedures are taking center stage again. CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative recently had its fifth working group meeting in Newport Beach, Calif., and finalized policy recommendations intended to improve voting processes for U.S. military and civilians overseas. Policy group members will present the recommendations at the 2015 CSG National Conference, Dec. 10-13, in Nashville.

During a recent eCademy webcast, “Policy Recommendations to Improve Military and Overseas Voting,” members of The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative Policy Working Group discussed tools that improve the voting process for U.S. military members and civilians who are overseas.

U.S. military and civilian overseas voters are often located in remote areas abroad, lacking access to the voting information and technology used by stateside voters in their home voting precincts, making it challenging for Americans overseas to cast their ballots. Variations in how states conduct elections and, in particular, how absentee ballots are provided, returned and counted can make voting even more complex. In this FREE CSG eCademy webcast, members of The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative Policy Working Group explore policy recommendations that can help states improve the U.S. military and civilian overseas voting process.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman takes her commitment to U.S. overseas voters very personally. When asked about it, she looks back to the 1980s, when she and her husband were stationed in Germany during his service as a U.S. Army Ranger. During their deployment, their absentee ballots arrived the day after the election. It was the first time she had missed voting in an election since her 18th birthday. “I have made advocacy of our military families a signature issue. It’s a part of how we demonstrate our respect and admiration for our service members who serve the cause of freedom,” said Wyman.

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