Overseas Vote Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2012
Overseas Vote Foundation Summit Will Debut New Research
Regarding U.S. Military and Overseas Citizen Voters
Cyberthreats, Voter Privacy, and Grassroots Participation Among Other Discussions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the 2012 U.S. Presidential election cycle heats up, Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) is positioning its Friday Summit to ensure two key constituencies are not forgotten – overseas and military voters. These hundreds of thousands of potential voters continue to be a wildcard in close elections.
“Imagine how the outcome of the Iowa caucuses might have changed, had overseas and military voters been able to participate. The margin of eight votes helps Americans understand that their vote really matters. It’s a great motivator,” said OVF President and CEO Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat. “Our overseas and military voters can have an impact on this Presidential election. We need to assure they have timely access to absentee ballots and can exercise their right to vote.”
According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, more than 989,000 ballots were requested by overseas and military voters for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election; only 680,000 were returned for counting.
OVF’s Sixth Annual OVF UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) Summit 2012 takes place on Friday, January 27 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Highlights of the one-day effort include new OVF development and expansion initiatives, highly sought-after expert speakers on voting issues, and the release of groundbreaking research on military and overseas voters from Pew’s Center on the States and the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
Summit 2012 will be webcast and can be viewed live EST at
Follow us on Twitter (@overseasvote) and be part of the conversation - #ovfsummit
OVF is known for its ability to reach overseas and military voters, making sure they have access to voter registration and absentee ballot request services, as well as the information they need about election officials and candidates to vote responsibly.
At this Summit, OVF will announce several important development initiatives at a noon press conference that exemplify its continued leadership in voter-centric tools and services for civic participation.
OVF’s Summit 2012 also provides the platform for the release of new overseas and military voter research from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).
Pew’s newest report, “Democracy from Afar: States Show Progress on Military and Overseas Voting,” highlights the many recent improvements in state military and absentee voting laws, which are expected to have an impact in 2012 and beyond. Well respected for its research, Pew’s landmark 2009 "No Time to Vote” report highlighted the difficulties military members experienced with voting access. The report propelled the creation of the MOVE (Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment) Act to resolve these issues; it passed Congress in October 2009.
(Pew will make a separate release on this report.)
FVAP will discuss its Overseas Citizens Count (OCC) Project. This study is the first solid attempt to quantify this hard-to-reach population. OVF was part of the project team. The preliminary findings will reveal the geographic clustering of U.S. citizens abroad. FVAP will share details on these population centers, discuss what implications this research can have on future voter outreach efforts, and lead a panel discussion on the study methodology.
Three keynote speakers throughout the day will highlight some of the election world’s toughest issues and challenges:
- Cyberthreats: Tom Reilly, Vice President and General Manager of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Security Products, will address today’s cyber threats and make recommendations on the steps federal agencies and organizations supporting elections and protecting election integrity can take to manage risk more effectively.
- A Third Candidate?:Elliot Ackerman, Chief Operating Officer of Americans Elect, will talk about his group’s effort to nominate a third candidate for the 2012 Presidential race and get that name on the ballot in all 50 states.
- Voter Privacy and Technology: Kim Alexander, President and Founder of The California Voter Foundation, will reflect on how states can take advantage of technology to expand participation while minimizing risks to voter privacy.
An additional series of roundtables of voting experts will complete the day’s agenda.
- Looking Under the Hood: Military Voting in 2012 – Continued examination of UOCAVA policies and research has not lessened since the MOVE Act’s passage. This panel will discuss MOVE Act enforcement and expected 2012 results.
- Inside Scoops: Using Technology to Build Civic Participation – Recent reports on 2010 election participation by military and overseas voters reveal alarmingly low turnout rates. Will technology ultimately transform this lack of participation?
- State of the States: New Projects in Overseas and Military Voting – The FVAP recently awarded $20+ million in funding for its Electronic Absentee Systems for Elections (EASE) grants. Hear from Secretaries of State and election officials who are putting their plans in place in Alabama, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia.
The OVF Summit 2012 is made possible by the generous support of its sponsors. BIPAC is the Summit’s Lead Sponsor. The Pew Charitable Trusts is the Reception Sponsor. Sustaining Sponsors are Global Touch Inc. and FedEx. Bear Code LLC is a Supporting Sponsor. Targeted Sponsors include Democracy Live, Inc., eVoter, Microsoft, and Open Source Digital Voting Foundation.
The OVF Summit is open to the public. Information and registration can be accessed here: https://www.overseasvotefoundation.org/initiatives-UOCAVAsummit-summit2012.
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About Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF)
Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) helps overseas and military voters participate in federal elections by providing public access to innovative voter registration tools and services. It is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More information is available at www.overseasvotefoundation.org, Twitter (@overseasvote), Facebook (Overseas Vote Foundation), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/overseasvote).