Iowa reworks overseas voting rules to help members of military

Under a new law that received unanimous approval in the state Legislature, Iowa is making it easier for members of the military and other overseas residents to vote. HF 2147 gives overseas voters an extra 30 days to request and return special absentee ballots. (The period of time was extended from 90 days to 120.) Statutory language also was changed to prevent overseas ballots from being rejected by county auditors.

Across the country, through a four-year partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, The Council of State Governments has been working to improve the voting process for members of the military and other citizens living overseas. Late last year, a working group of state officials (brought together by CSG) made recommendations for improving the absentee voting process, including:

  • designating a portion of elections websites and social media/online platforms to content for citizens living overseas; 
  • providing notice for both the acceptance and the rejection of an overseas absentee ballot; and 
  • providing information to an overseas voter detailing why a ballot was rejected and how to correct the problem.
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Stateline Midwest: May 20162.42 MB