Analysis

More States Pass Laws to Help Military and Overseas Voters

Nearly five years ago, the Uniform Law Commission approved a model law, the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act, designed to help resolve longstanding, widespread voting problems in federal, state, and local elections for American military personnel and citizens overseas.

This year, New Mexico became the 14th state plus the District of Columbia to pass a version of the law, and legislation has also been introduced in South Carolina.

The act extends provisions of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act of 2009, which covered federal elections, to state and local elections, including:

  • Mandating that absentee ballots be sent at least 45 days before an election.
  • Requiring electronic transmission of voting materials, including blank ballots, upon request.
  • Eliminating the requirement for notarization of military and overseas ballots.
  • Expanding acceptance of the Federal Write‐In Absentee Ballot (a backup measure if official ballots are not received).

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