Thursday, May 7, 2009

Overseas Voting to Get Easier in Kansas and Oregon

Kansas and Oregon both took steps this week to make voting for military voters overseas easier.

The Kansas House of Representatives recently approved a bill that would allow soldiers and diplomats to vote by e-mail. In Oregon, a House committee advanced a bill in early May that would allow military and overseas voters to cast their ballot via fax. Instead of requiring an original signature, the bill would allow election officials to compare the signature on a fax with the signature on a voter registration card to verify an identity.

Voting for overseas/military voters involves unique logistical issues due to the difficulty in obtaining and returning an absentee ballot from abroad. As Doug Chapin of the Pew Center cited at a recent House Administration Committee hearing on voter registration, "22 percent of overseas voters did not receive their ballots for the 2008 general election, and nearly 40 percent of those who did receive them after the middle of October, making it very difficult for them to return their ballot in time to be counted."

Thanks to Electionline weekly for this update.

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