Monday, October 18, 2010

3 more states promise to protect voting rights of overseas service members




The Justice Department today announced that it has reached agreements with New York, Kansas and Mississippi officials to help ensure that military service members and other U.S. citizens living overseas have an opportunity to participate fully in the November 2 election. 


“The MOVE (Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment) Act provides critical protections to ensure that members of the uniformed services, their families and other citizens living overseas are able to exercise their right to vote and know their votes will be counted," said Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez.


The law requires states to allow uniformed service workers, their families and other overseas citizens ample time to register and to vote absentee for all federal elections. The deadline for sending the absentee ballots for the November 2 election was September 18 - a deadline counties in the three states  failed to meet. All three states have agreed to extend the deadline for return of the ballots to ensure that they will all be counted.


Similar agreements were previously reached  with Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, North Dakota, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Justice Department has also filed lawsuits against New Mexico, Wisconsin and Guam to ensure compliance with the law. 

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