CSG, U.S. Department of Defense Partner on Overseas Voting Initiative
LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Council of State Governments is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense to educate state policymakers about an effort to help uniformed services personnel and other U.S. citizens overseas vote in federal elections.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program covers more than 6 million potential voters, including active duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the Merchant Marine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and their voting age dependents. It also covers U.S. citizens living outside the U.S.
"Promoting the right of uniformed services personnel, their voting-age dependents and overseas civilians to vote in federal elections is of paramount importance to the American system of democracy," saidJohn Mountjoy, CSG's director of policy, research and strategic initiatives. "U.S. citizens who are located overseas should be able to register to vote, request and receive absentee ballots in a timely manner, and successfully cast those ballots in their state of legal residence."
CSG is working with the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness through a four-year, $2.9 million cooperative agreement. CSG will conduct outreach and provide assistance to state policymakers in better understanding the mission of the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
CSG will work closely with DOD and the Federal Voting Assistance Program to:
Conduct research and policy analysis of electronic absentee voting systems for military voters for federal elections.
Help educate state and local leaders through programs and publications focusing on electronic systems to support military and overseas voters, including electronic voter registration and write-in absentee ballot systems for federal candidates, and other online absentee balloting delivery and information portals.
Develop other programs, publications, initiatives and meetings in support of the agreement.
"Honoring the men and women that protect and ensure our right to vote by guaranteeing their ability to vote in federal and state elections in a timely and secure manner is simply the right thing to do," said Mountjoy.
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.