Skip to comments.Justice Department Reaches Agreement to Protect Rights of Military and Overseas Vote...(See Comment)
Posted on 09/16/2010 1:22:12 PM PDT by jazusamo
Complete title: Justice Department Reaches Agreement to Protect Rights of Military and Overseas Voters in Alaska
WASHINGTON The Justice Department today announced that it has reached an agreement with Alaska officials to help ensure that military service members and other U.S. citizens living overseas have an opportunity to participate fully in the Nov. 2, 2010, federal general election. The agreement was necessary to ensure Alaskas compliance with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act).
The agreement provides Alaska will expedite the candidate certification procedures for its Aug. 24, 2010, primary election so that it is able to send out an official absentee ballot to all military service members and other U.S. citizens living overseas no later than Sept. 18, 2010. This date for mailing, or faxing if the voter requests, the official ballot is 45 days in advance of the federal general election, thus ensuring that eligible military and overseas voters have sufficient time to receive, cast and return their ballots and to have their votes counted.
"Our uniformed service members and other overseas citizens deserve a meaningful opportunity to participate in the elections of our nations leaders," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "I am extremely pleased that Alaskas officials worked quickly and cooperatively with the department and agreed to measures that will ensure the states military and overseas voters, many of whom are members of our armed forces and their families bravely serving our country around the world, will have the opportunity to have their votes counted in the upcoming election."
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) requires states to allow uniformed service voters (serving both overseas and within the United States) and overseas citizens to register to vote and to vote absentee for all elections for federal office. In 2009, Congress enacted the MOVE Act, which made broad amendments to UOCAVA. Among those changes was a requirement that states transmit absentee ballots to voters covered under UOCAVA no later than 45 days before federal elections. Under the new law, states can apply to the Department of Defense for a hardship waiver of this requirement for a particular Federal election if the states primary election date prohibited it from sending ballots by the 45th day before the election; if a legal contest causes a delay in generating ballots; or if the state s constitution prohibits compliance. To obtain a waiver, states must 1) establish that one or more of these circumstances creates an undue hardship, and 2) present a comprehensive plan that provides UOCAVA voters sufficient time to receive and submit marked absentee ballots in time to have them counted in that election. Waiver determinations are made by the Department of Defense, after consulting with the Department of Justice.
Alaska sought a hardship waiver on grounds that its Aug, 24, 2010, primary election date prohibited it from complying with the 45-day deadline specified by the MOVE Act. On Aug. 27, 2010, the Department of Defense denied Alaskas request, finding that although the state had shown an undue hardship for the Nov. 2, 2010 election, its proposed comprehensive plan did not afford sufficient time for UOCAVA voters to receive and submit absentee ballots in time to have them counted. Immediately following denial of the waiver application, the Department of Justice advised Alaska officials that the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights had authorized litigation to enforce UOCAVA. Discussions with the state were initiated to resolve the matter, which led to the agreement announced today.
Yep, as one of the many soldiers who requested ballots but ever got them for the 2008 election, I can say the system needs work. Heck even a month before the election, our BC sent orders for every single soldier who wanted to vote to please sign up so they knew how many forms to request from higher, then....... nothing. First I blame Texas for not getting me mine, second I blame the Army for misplacing the generic ones meant for outlying bases. I don’t know of a single man on FOB Normandy that got a chance to vote in the last election.
Agreed, and those fiascos are exactly what finally forced the MOVE Act to be passed in 2009.
Now the Holder DOJ is dragging their feet on the few states that are dragging theirs in implementing it fully.
Hopefully all branches of the military are taking voting much more seriously now.
Why is this even an issue? EVER???
Trust me, this isn’t an oversight.
Has this been a chronic problem for our servicemen during election cycles? Or has this been a fairly recent development?
I couldn’t agree more, it should have never been an issue.
I truly believe the fiasco of the 2000 election on the recount in FL brought it to the peoples attention. The Dems tried and did in way too many cases deny the military vote.