February 10th, 2009
And the hits just keep on rolling for military voting reform and the National Defense Committee! In summary, National Defense Committee was elected to the leadership of the newly formed Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights, served as the a lead observer and contributor to the first legislative Drafting Committee meeting of a uniform state law on military voting procedures, and spoke at the Overseas Vote Foundation’s annual summit in Washington, DC.
Last month we informed you about the new Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights, of which National Defense Committee is a member. At the very first meeting of the Alliance held January 29th, Bryan O’Leary, Senior Fellow with NDC, was unanimously elected Vice Chair. Chip Levengood, Chairman of the Board of our strategic partner, The Overseas Vote Foundation, was elected Co-Chair. Further, at that first meeting, the Alliance set out its principals and goals for 2009, in whose development NDC was heavily involved. Specific goals for 2009 include:
- Supporting the work of the Uniform Law Commission to draft a model state law that will modernize and standardize the performance of state election systems, including mandatory online blank ballot delivery to military voters;
- Each chamber of Congress holds at least one hearing on UOCAVA reform in the 111th Congress.
- Comprehensive UOCAVA voter reform and standardization legislation is introduced in each chamber of Congress, with bipartisan legislative champions also identified in each chamber.
- At least six additional states adopt laws mandating online delivery of blank ballots at the UOCAVA voter’s discretion.
- The new Administration takes immediate action to improve federal oversight and support for UOCAVA voting.
- Specific improvements in voting assistance are implemented for military families.
As also discussed in last month’s newsletter, we need to start building the state-by-state network of concerned citizens, veterans, and military- and veteran-service organizations mostly to protect military ballots on election day, but also to ensure the States enact the uniform laws developed, modernize their military voting procedures, and encourage Members of Congress to reform federal laws and regulations as well. You are that network, and this will not be effective without your active involvement. This is not like starting a complete State chapter of a national organization. We simply need to start identifying those folks in each State that are interested in protecting military ballots in the election process, and get folks up to speed as to what their State’s military balloting laws are. So, if you can help on this critical effort, please contact me at Bob.Carey@NationalDefenseCommittee.org<, or call me at 917-273-4262.<