Many active duty military personnel are located in remote areas abroad and have limited access to state voting information and, in some cases, their ballot. U.S. citizens living overseas also have unique challenges in exercising their right to vote. These challenges are complicated by extreme variation in how states conduct elections and how absentee ballots are processed.
In September 2013, CSG launched a four-year, $3.2 million initiative with the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) to improve the return rate of overseas absentee ballots from service members and U.S. citizens abroad.
As part of this effort, CSG’s Overseas Voting Initiative maintains three advisory working groups. The CSG Policy Working Group is examining military and overseas voting recommendations from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, as well as other successful programs and practices across the country. The CSG Technology Working Group is exploring issues such as performance metrics and data standardization for incorporation into state and local elections administration policies and practices for overseas ballots. The third working group was born out of our work in the Policy and Technology Working Group, this new group came to be known as the CSG EAVS Section B Working Group Members. Through the initiative, CSG will provide state policymakers and state and local election officials with best practice guides to ensure the men and women of the U.S. military and Americans living overseas are able to enjoy the same right to vote as citizens living in the United States.