DOJ Releases A U.S. Military and Overseas Voting Legislative Package to the States

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 the presidential elections. If passed, registration with the Federal Post Card Application will be permanent rather than temporary. The other suggested improvements include:

• Requiring pre-election reports (55 and 43 days before a federal election) by state and local officials on delivery of ballots to military and overseas voters;

• Moving the ballot transmission deadline from 45 days pre-election (which always falls on Saturday) to 46 days;

• Requiring any ballots sent after the 46-day deadline to go by express delivery – and allowing voters to return by express delivery if ballots are not sent by 41 days pre-election;

• Eliminating the hardship waiver for states;

• Clarifying that Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots can be used in all federal elections, not just general elections;

• Extending the validity of a ballot request by Federal Post Card Application to include special elections up to year after the general election (and amending the FPCA as well);

• Requiring that voters who register via FPCA cannot be treated as “temporary” voters and can only be removed from the rolls pursuant to other federal laws; and

• Changing the UOCAVA reporting requirement from March 31 annually to September 30 in odd-numbered years in order to improve the quality of reporting.

For more information from the original source of this post, view the article here

To view the legislative package text, click here