Success Improving Voting for Overseas Citizens

Saturday, Dec. 16

10:30 a.m.-Noon

Success Improving Voting for Overseas Citizens

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents have faced obstacles at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. Over the last four years, The CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative orchestrated three advisory working groups comprised of State and local election administrators to research and formulate recommendations that could be adopted universally by States and localities to improve the overseas absentee voting process. The presentation will be a culmination of the Technology, Policy, and Section B EAVS working groups’ recommendations. This session will be The CSG Overseas Voting Initiative’s final presentation to CSG membership as it wraps up a 4-year partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program designed to improve the return rate of overseas absentee ballots from service members and U.S. citizens abroad. 

  • Welcome, Kamanzi Kalisa, Director of CSG Overseas Voting Initiative 
  • Home State Welcome and Introductions, Barbara Cegavske, Nevada Secretary of State 
  • U.S. Military and Overseas Voting Overview, David Beirne, Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program 
  • Policy Working Group Overview, David Stafford, Supervisor of Elections for Escambia County, FL 
  • Technology Working Group Overview, Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters for Orange County, CA
  • EAVS Section B Working Group Overview, Veronica Degraffenreid, Elections Preparation & Support Manager, North Carolina State Board of Elections 



Kamanzi Kalisa

Director, CSG Overseas Voting Initiative

Kalisa directs The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program. The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative convenes and supports working advisory groups that promote best practices and facilitate data standardization policy solutions in an effort to improve the voting process for over 5 million U.S. military and civilian overseas citizens eligible to vote in U.S. elections. Kalisa previously directed a Help America Vote Act program targeting 159 Georgia counties for the Georgia Office of Secretary of State. 


David Beirne

Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program

Beirne serves as director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, or FVAP. He administers the federal responsibilities of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA, for the secretary of defense. The act covers the voting rights of Uniformed Services personnel, their families and U.S. citizens residing abroad. With an extensive background in election administration and voter education, Beirne works with FVAP to ensure that UOCAVA citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools to successfully do so – from anywhere in the world.


Neal Kelley

Registrar of Voters, Orange County, CA

Kelley is registrar of voters for Orange County, California, the fifth largest voting jurisdiction in the United States, serving more than 1.6 million registered voters. Kelley has led the Registrar of Voters’ office through the largest cycle of elections in the county’s 127-year history. He has been the recipient of numerous state and national awards for election administration and was awarded the 2015 “Public Official of the Year” award by the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks.


David Stafford

Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida

Stafford was elected supervisor of elections in November 2004. He is a certified elections/registration administrator and state-certified supervisor of elections. Previously, Stafford served as the Northwest Florida director for U.S. Sen. Connie Mack and chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. He is the recipient of the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies Recognition for Outstanding Achievement for work with international visitors and the ARC Gateway “Lucy Petree Outstanding Service” Award.


Veronica W. Degraffenreid

Election Preparation & Support Manager, North Carolina State Board of Elections 

Degraffenreid is the director of elections for the North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. Her primary responsibilities include managing the Elections Support Division, providing guidance to the state’s 100 county boards of election through various election procedures, serving as business manager for the development of the state’s voter registration and election management system, and supervising the certification of voting systems and electronic poll books that are used in North Carolina. Degraffenreid also serves as the state’s coordinator and agency liaison for the NVRA and UOCAVA absentee voting programs. 

Agenda 63.75 KB