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Now Available: A Fully Online Registration and Ballot Request Process for Overseas and Military Voters

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Introducing US Vote’s New Photo-Signature-Email (PSE) Form Functionality

We are pleased to announce a solution to the printing requirement in the overseas and military voter registration absentee ballot request process. For all states that allow signed registration and ballot request forms to be delivered by email, we have implemented new technology. 

The Photo-Sign-Email functionality allows voters to apply a photo of their handwritten signature to a ballot request online and directly email it to their election office through our system.

The new PSE process is available for voters now - in all but five states. The handful of exceptions include the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, and New York. These states do not accept email voter registration and ballot requests from overseas and military voters.

Other states, such as Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin, may have limited their acceptance of emailed forms through this system in certain counties, or added additional requirements to first time voters. These exceptions are noted in the process. 

How to send in your form using the PSE technology through the U.S. Vote Foundation website

  • Go to the Overseas Registration and Ballot Request Form, or if you have a Voter Account, login to your account and then choose the Registration and Request option on your dashboard. 
  • Enter the requested data in the question flow. 
  • You will be provided with a preview of your form. 
  • Next, you will be provided with a choice to download your form or to Sign and Email your form. Choose the option to apply your signature and emailing your form through our system.
  • To apply your signature, you can either upload a photo of your signature or take a photo through your device. 
  • Use a dark pen and sign a piece of white paper as you normally would sign your name. Be aware: your signature is crucial to your identity authentication. Keep your signature consistent.
  • After your signature is uploaded, you can adjust it. It can be flipped in every direction from backwards to forward, or left to right and resized to fit properly in the signature box.
  • A second form preview will appear with the email to be sent to your election office. You will then see your signature on the form.
  • A copy of the email that is sent to your election office will also be sent to you. Please look for a confirmation that your form was received and processed. Contact them pro-actively, if necessary.

The new PSE functionality should help many overseas and military voters to register and request their absentee ballots and participate in the upcoming election, and all those following. 

Background Story:

Transforming Overseas Voting Processes Using Online Technology 

Over the past two decades, many aspects of the overseas and military voting process have been moving online. Transforming from a fully paper-based process to an online process takes time, and it is often done in stages. One piece of the process, the actual vote-casting action cannot be executed securely online and we do not advocate that balloting should be online, but other aspects like voter registration, ballot request, and ballot delivery to voters, can be transformed to be more accessible and convenient when moved online.

Modernization of the overseas and military voting program received a boost when, in 2009, Congress passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act; a reform that our organization strongly supported. MOVE mandated that all states must provide online access to both the overseas and military Registration and Ballot Request form, and the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. That did not mean that the process was "automated", nor that they had to provide it directly. And many states simply put up a link to another site that offered the forms online. 

Putting a form online, however, can be as basic as putting a static PDF file online for download and printing. It doesn't mean that there is any guidance on how to complete the form, per se. It also does not mean that voters can instantly, interactively register and request their ballot through an online system. The form had to be printed, filled out and posted back to the election office. 

Over time, U.S. Vote Foundation's research revealed that the biggest hurdle in that process turned out to be printing. We are excited to announce that we have alleviated that burden for voters in all states that allow online ballot request submission.

Automation of the Entire Registration and Ballot Request Process

Overseas Vote has deep expertise in the absentee ballot request process. Our overseas voter services cover the full range of voter needs.  

Early on, we tackled the challenge of helping voters generate their overseas and military Registration and Ballot Request forms according to their states requirements through an online "wizard" system. This system assists voters to avoid errors and omissions and provides full instructions for ballot submission including the address for the election office that should receive the form.

While many states have transformed their options for sending and receiving voting materials to included online options, the form still needed to be printed, then posted or scanned and emailed for submission. It was a two part process no matter how you cut it. Often voters couldn't print or get to a post office and the application was never filed. What was missing was the ability to complete the entire process online.

The new PSE technology fills in the missing piece to a fully online registration and ballot request process.

People Registration US Vote

Overseas Vote is redirecting you to our parent site, U.S. Vote Foundation.

U.S. Vote Foundation offers complete voter services to all voter types including voters abroad and uniformed services voters and their families.

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