Chicago – West Virginia and Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant were recognized at a national election conference today for efforts to help deployed military members regain normalcy and easily cast their ballot, no matter where their deployment takes them.
“Blueprint to Implementation: Election Administration Reform for 2014, 2016 and Beyond” brought together election experts from across the country.
Secretary Tennant detailed her office’s nationally recognized and successful efforts, including a secure online voting pilot project in 2010 and continued programs to ensure voting rights for voters covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). The continued programs include an electronic ballot delivery option, absentee ballot tracking, and special sections of the Secretary of State’s website dedicated to helping military members find important voting information.
She detailed high ballot return rates in the 2010 and 2012 elections from voters utilizing online ballot delivery. She also highlighted West Virginia’s efforts to help National Guard members vote if they were deployed in-state following Hurricane Sandy just days before the 2012 General Election.
“It is extremely important to me that we make voting as easy as possible for these men and women who are overseas fighting for our right to vote back home,” Secretary Tennant said. “As the daughter of a Korean War veteran and the wife of a Navy Reservist who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011, it is very personal for me. And something else that is important to me is having West Virginia lead the way in this, because we have such a high percentage of people who have served or are serving in the military. We owe it to them.”
Secretary Tennant detailed higher participation rates among those voters who utilize online ballot delivery. She said voter participation has been over 80 percent among overseas voters from several counties.
An audio feed of Secretary Tennant’s presentation can be heard below.