The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dale Eisman

(202) 736-5788

Voting Advocates Release New Tool to Help Overseas, Military, College Voters Request Absentee Ballots

Voting advocates release new tool to help overseas, military, college voters request absentee ballots


With little more than a month to go before the 2014 midterm elections, voting advocates, including Verified Voting, Common Cause, Rock the Vote and the U.S. and Overseas Vote Foundation, are getting out the word to absentee voters to request a ballot in time to meet election deadlines. Launching their "Mail The Vote" campaign, the groups will announce a new tool designed to help overseas, military, college and other voters who may need to vote absentee to secure, fill out, and mail back their ballot.

"Our democracy works best when every American has the fullest access to the ballot box. And Election Day already is here for Americans serving or living overseas, and those who will be away from home on Nov. 4," said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. "We urge all these citizens to act today. The new tool makes it simple to get your ballot, mark it and mail it back."

"For too many Americans who need to vote absentee--whether they're stationed overseas in the military, a college student, or just someone who will be out of town on Election Day--the process can seem confusing, so they just don't vote," said Pamela Smith, President of Verified Voting. "We're standing together today to say, it's as easy as one, two, three: 1) Request your ballot. 2) Mark it. 3) Mail it back."

The number of Americans voting early or by absentee is large and growing. Roughly one-third of all Americans casting a ballot in the 2012 presidential race did so before Election Day, and in some states, the number for 2014 is even larger. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz noted that the number of requests for absentee ballots in 2014 is nearly double the 2010 requests.

The groups are emphasizing the importance of mailing back ballots. While most other voting related tasks can be done securely online, sending back marked ballots by email or other Internet portals creates a security risk. For this reason the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) of the Department of Defense has advised that postal mail is the most responsible method of ballot return.

In an effort to reach military voters who need to vote absentee, the Department of Defense has declared the week of Sept. 29- Oct. 6 "Absentee Voters Week."

WHAT: Press call to launch "Mail the Vote" campaign, release new tool for absentee voters

WHO: Pamela Smith, President, Verified Voting; Miles Rapoport, President, Common Cause; Ashley Spillane, President, Rock the Vote; Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, Executive Director, U.S. and Overseas Vote Foundation

WHEN: Wednesday, October 1st; 11 AM ET

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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