Making Voting Work: An Analysis of Military and Overseas Citzen Voting

September 15, 2008

The most recent effort by Making Voting Work looks into perhaps the most tragic of uncounted voting demographics--troops overseas. Many states have offered excuses again and again about not being able to make the absentee ballot process work for due to failures in the military postal system. The most recent report of Military Overseas Voting Project.

This 9-page analysis of the widespread disenfranchisement of military personnel and other overseas citizens provides some very interesting information. Among the recommendations for reform is the creation of uniform state laws regarding military and overseas voting along the lines of the Uniform Commercial Code. They also propound a federal initiative to allow soldiers to request federal write-in absentee ballots through an online program. This would make it so that even if states are not able to make sufficient reforms to guarantee votes to service members, the votes for federal offices, at least, will be ensured.

The recommendations calling for greater consistency of policies from state-to-state and bringing the absentee ballot process to more user-friendly state are familiar in tone to the recommendations on various issues of disenfranchisement not including soldiers.