Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant says members of our military are defending our sacred right to vote, and it is up to her office to make sure these voters have easy access to the General Election ballot this fall.
“We can never thank them enough for their service, but what we can do is make sure that there are as few obstacles as possible between these dedicated West Virginians and voting,” Secretary Tennant said.
National Military Voter Readiness day is September 15, and Secretary Tennant is urging all military voters to contact their unit’s Voting Assistance Officer, their county clerk, or the Secretary of State’s Office for more information.
Deployed military and overseas citizens covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986 have the option of having their absentee ballot delivered to them through a secure internet connection. While these voters cannot vote their ballot online, the online ballot delivery still eliminates the days or weeks it would have normally taken to mail an absentee ballot to a location that could be half the world away. This system also gives the voter the option of marking the ballot online to protect against overvoting or undervoting. A voter would print their ballot, vote it, and then either mail it back to their county clerk or scan it and send it back to their county clerk attached to an email or by fax. Emailing and faxing a ballot require the voter to waive their privacy, meaning an election worker at the county clerk’s office will be able to see their ballot.
The online ballot delivery is funded through an Electronic Absentee Systems for Elections grant from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).
West Virginia is one of 15 states selected by the Military Voter Project (MVP) as an “All Star State” for efforts making it easier for military members to vote. Recently, the MVP released a web video featuring retired Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey that urges all military members to make sure they are registered to vote and to request their absentee ballot. That video can be seen at www.heroesvote.org (This ad contains some language that may be offensive to some viewers; discretion is advised).
Secretary Tennant also pointed out that veterans who might be in a VA hospital or other facility and unable to travel to an early voting location or to their polling place on Election Day can vote absentee. These voters may also qualify to be placed on the special absentee list in their county and receive an absentee ballot every election.
In addition to online ballot delivery, UOCAVA voters can request their absentee ballot be sent to them by mail and return it either by mail or by fax.
DISCLAIMER: This effort is funded through by a grant from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). The content of this information does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Government, and no official Government endorsement should be inferred.