The UOCAVA Voter - De Facto Disenfranchisement

Ballot Box drawingThis blog post has been written by Donald S. Inbody summarizing his article featured in the 'Election Law Journal'. Mr. Inbody's article discusses the implications of current election law on overseas and military voters and the struggles these demographics face when attempting to vote in elections:

Over a quarter of a million American citizens who lived overseas or were members of the American military attempted to vote in the 2012 General Election but were unable to be counted. The reasons for their failure are many, but antiquated absent voting procedures and arbitrary rules and deadlines are largely to blame. Increased use of modern technology, including the internet, will help.

Take the 2014 Post-Election Voter Survey

Your Voting Experience Matters!

Whether you were able to vote or not in the November 4 Midterm Election, we want to hear from you.

Tell us what happened when you voted – whether early, in-person, or absentee – and help us take action to improve the voting process. You deserve to have your voice and experiences taken into consideration and included!

Please invest in your voting future by responding to this important survey being conducted by U.S. Vote Foundation and Overseas Vote Foundation.

This is our sixth post-election voter survey, and we are pleased to continue this important research. We could not do it without your support.

The survey will take about 10 to 15 minutes and all responses are confidential and anonymous.

Click here to start the survey right now!

News and Outreach from the Field

Fira! That means “celebrate” in Swedish and that is exactly what scores of Americans recently did in Stockholm. To kick off the final stretch run before Election Day, Rock the Vote held an event at the world-famous Hard Rock Café in Stockholm. Also partnering to spread the word to expats in Scandinavia were The American Club of Sweden, American Citizens Abroad, and the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm. The event was promoted as “a fun evening to encourage American citizens to register and vote” in this November’s midterm elections.

Voting Tips for Military Members and Their Families

military voters registeringAs the November midterm general election nears, our friends at the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) have provided helpful absentee voting tips for military members and their families. In an interview with DoD News, FVAP Director Matt Boehmer stated that “The most important thing to remember when dealing with absentee voting is to start the process early.” Service members may face more obstacles in the registering and voting processes than civilians, yet Mr. Boehmer urged that there is plenty of assistance available to them.
 

News on the Voting and Elections Front

US FlagAs summer heats up, we notice a similar heat building in the Congressional Primary Election season. There has been no shortage of unexpected election results, legislative battles, and innovative activity. Here is a recap of recent highlights:

Voters in Ohio will gain valuable extra days to cast their ballots in the upcoming Midterm General Election. A federal judge overturned an Ohio law that eliminated in-person, early voting for most residents for the three days before Election Day.

Tech Innovation Making Registration and Voting Easier

Man using tablet PCAs technology goes, so goes registering and voting. Like technology, voting is now more accessible to more Americans than ever before. Once constituting only occasional upgrades to voting machines at the polls, technological improvements now include websites, apps for smartphones, and the ability to reach Americans living, working, and serving in every corner of the globe. What once required a trip to City Hall or your local polling place may now, in many cases, be done with the click of a mouse.

60% Surge in Total Overseas U.S. Citizen Population

Stamped PassportOur friends at the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recently released a report, A Model for Developing Estimates of U.S. Citizens Abroad: Final Technical Report, that presents a new model for developing estimates of American citizens living overseas. Among the report’s most eye-catching results, “the number of U.S. citizens living overseas has grown steadily from 2000 to 2010, increasing 60% overall during that period,” equaling a robust average annual growth rate of nearly 5%.

Legislation Made Easy - Try the POPVOX Service

POPVOX - Tell Congress what you thinkIf you haven't yet heard of POPVOX, a comprehensive resource on current legislation, then you are missing out on a vital information resource. The site provides the forum for you to communicate your support or opposition to Congress about any particular bill.

As the name suggests, POPVOX is a place where the people can voice their opinions. In their own words, “POPVOX is different from other political sites. It is not a discussion forum. It is a place for action.” Letters to members of Congress are typically delivered within 33 hours, for example.

Pew Releases Updated Election Performance Index

On April 8, The Pew Charitable Trusts released an updated Election Performance Index (EPI), which includes data from the 2012 General Election. The EPI assesses state election administration performance based on 17 indicators. The premise of the study is based on Heather Gerken’s 2012 book, The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It, which proposed a rank-based assessment regarding how well each state runs its elections.

Volunteer for the OVF Voter Help Desk!

Overseas Vote Foundation is seeking qualified volunteers to help staff our Voter Help Desk. Ideal candidates will have an interest in helping overseas and Check boxesmilitary voters participate in federal elections.

If you have a strong interest in voting and elections coupled with skills in technical and creative writing and customer support/service, you will excel in this role and gain invaluable experience. Candidates with experience studying or practicing political science, law, civics, and government are particularly well-suited.

As a Help Desk Volunteer, you will assist your fellow Americans to navigate the changing procedures of registering and voting so they can exercise their right to vote.