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 Tennant To Testify Before House Committee Regarding Military and Overseas Voting


    Washington, D.C. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant will testify before the Committee on House Administration Tuesday in Washington, D.C. 

    Tennant will deliver testimony about the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act and its effectiveness in the 2010 elections. 

    The MOVE Act was signed into law in 2009, and is designed to make it easier for military members and overseas citizens to cast a ballot. 

    The MOVE Act modified and expanded provisions of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 (UOCAVA). 

    In response to the MOVE Act, West Virginia was one of the first states to implement a safe and secure method for military and overseas citizens to cast their ballot online. Five counties took part in the pilot program during the 2010 primary election, and the program expanded to eight counties for the 2010 general election. 

    “West Virginia met all requirements of the MOVE Act,” Tennant’s testimony includes. “I believe we achieved a high level of success with these efforts. We received positive voter feedback, experienced a significant increase in UOCAVA voter successful vote attempts, and are ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure that this dearest of individual rights, the right to a meaningful opportunity to cast a ballot, is afforded to all voters. We consider this to be our solemn obligation.” 

    Tennant also will tell the committee that West Virginia’s laws are more stringent than federal laws when it comes to when a ballot must be sent to a military or overseas voter. Federal law sets the deadline at 45 days before the election; West Virginia code sets the deadline at 46 days. 

    The House Committee is chaired by Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-California) and the ranking member is Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-Pennsylvania).

    The hearing will be webcast live on the committee's website at www.cha.house.gov beginning at 10:30 AM on February 15, 2011.

    Along with Secretary Tennant the committee will also hear testimony from Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, US Department of Justice; J. Bradley King, the co-director of the Elections Division in the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office; David Stafford, the Supervisor of Elections in Escambia County, Florida; Rick Jones, the co-chair of the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights; and Eric Eversole, the executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project.


Jake Glance
(304) 558-6000