The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act(opens in new tab) (UOCAVA) of 1986 protects the voting rights of members of the Uniformed Services (on active duty), members of the Merchant Marine and their eligible dependents, Commissioner Corps of the Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.
Active duty members of the military serving overseas could send in their absentee ballots electronically under legislation passed in the Michigan Senate Wednesday.
Senate Bills 117 and 297, sponsored by Senate Elections Chair Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, and Sen. Paul Wojno, D-Warren, would allow electronic absentee ballot returns for military voters serving overseas. The voter would sign their absentee ballot with an electronic signature verified by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Via The Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia voters have already returned more absentee ballots in 2019 than in the November 2015 election — the last time all 140 seats in the General Assembly were up for reelection. In the last few elections there has been an uptick in absentee ballots, but not all returned ballots are counted.
A Virginia Department of Elections 2018 post-election report found that 6,771 absentee votes did not count in the 2018 election because they were returned to the registrar’s office after Election Day. Eleven were returned late in person and 6,760 were mailed late. The VDE lists 2018 official absentee ballot counts as 287,763.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In 2018, 53 percent of the ballots sent to military and overseas voters were successfully counted — compared to only a third in 2006, according to the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) State of the Military Voter data, examining post-election research from the 2018 General Election.
Military members stationed away from their voting residence face unique challenges compared to local voters. The ability to receive and submit an absentee ballot on time remains a central challenge.
The folks over at the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) have reported that many overseas voters are having problems accessing their state’s online voter registration and election systems.
Apparently, many states are blocking web traffic from foreign countries in an effort to increase the cybersecurity of their online systems.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Today the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) released its biennial Overseas Citizen Population Analysis (OCPA) estimating there were 3 million U.S. citizens of voting age living abroad in 2016 who cast approximately 208,000 ballots. The overseas voter turnout of approximately 7 percent compares to a domestic turnout of 72 percent.
The OCPA examined that 65-percentage-point gap between overseas and domestic voting rates, breaking it into the portion attributable to infrastructure obstacles not faced by voters in the U.S., such as mail speed, versus the proportion attributable to other factors, such as motivation or awareness of U.S. elections. Just over 30 points of the gap were due to obstacles faced by overseas voters.
Via The Washington Times
After years of accusing states of voter suppression, the Center for American Progress, citing election security, wants to make voting tougher for Americans serving overseas in the military.
The left-wing public policy group issued a report Monday, “Election Security in All 50 States,” that called for stricter standards to prevent cybermeddling in elections by foreign governments, including banning military stationed abroad from submitting ballots via email or fax.
Via The Military Times
In a new survey of American military personnel, Donald Trump emerged as active-duty service members' preference to become the next U.S. president, topping Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
Via The Washington Post
Americans want their soldiers to vote. But often they can’t. Despite absentee balloting, military personnel deployed overseas often just cannot participate in elections.
For most of U.S. history, military personnel have not been able to vote. State laws and constitutions often specifically restricted military personnel from participating in the franchise. Attitudes about voting soldiers started to change when the Civil War called large numbers of citizens for military service—but action was tempered by partisan politics.