Monday, March 30, 2015

MOVE: Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act

Changes to US election law with regards to absentee voting have been made pursuant to the MOVE  (Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment) Act.  The following are changes that take effect for the August 2010 Primary elections and all subsequent elections.

(Originally posted by Mrs Raptor on Open Salon, May, 3, 2010, more details below)

The following comes from the Michigan Secretary of State, however it applies to All voters covered  under MOVE.

Voters Covered Under New Laws:  Voters covered under the MOVE Act include:
1)         A member of a uniformed service on active duty who is absent from his or her city or township of residence. (Voter can be inside the United States or outside the United States.)
2)         A member of the Merchant Marine who, by reason of service in the Merchant Marine, is absent from his or her city of township of residence.  (Voter can be inside the United States or outside the United States.)
3)         A spouse or dependent of a member of a uniformed service or a member of the Merchant Marine who, by reason of the active duty or service of the member, is absent from his or her city or township of residence.  (Voter can be inside the United States or outside the United States.)
4)         A civilian voter who is outside the United States and is eligible to vote.
Actions Clerks Must Take to Implement The MOVE Act:  All actions must be taken for the August 3, 2010 primary:
·         Electronic transmission of voter registration application forms and absent voter ballot request forms.
·         Electronic transmission of blank absent voter ballots.
·         Processing voted absent voter ballots issued via the Internet:  Voters who receive an absent voter ballot via the Internet must print the ballot, mark the printed ballot and return the marked ballot by mail; the electronic submission of voted absent voter ballots is not permitted.  The votes on such a ballot must be transferred to a regular optical scan ballot to permit the tabulation of the ballot.  Standard ballot duplication procedures must be employed.  County and local clerks must be prepared to train their election inspectors on the ballot processing steps involved.
·         “Absentee Ballot Tracker” system:  The new federal law requires all states to develop a “free access system” that allows a covered voter to determine whether his or her absentee ballot was received by the city or township clerk. 
Important Notes
·         The new federal law expands the use of the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to include primary elections held to nominate federal offices and special elections held to fill federal offices.  (The FWAB is currently used for regular elections held to fill federal offices.)  The expanded use of the FWAB does not go into effect until December 31, 2010.
·         The new federal law removes the UOCAVA requirement that a single absentee ballot request serve as a request to receive absentee ballots through the subsequent two federal election cycles.  With the removal of this requirement, absentee ballot requests received from UOCAVA voters must be honored for every election held through the end of the calendar year.
Additional Information:  Additional information on the implementation of the federal MOVE Act and the related state level legislation will be provided as it becomes available.  The information will include specific instructions on sending FPCA forms and absentee ballots via the Internet; processing voted absent voter ballots issued via the Internet; and using the QVF AV module to satisfy the new “AV tracking” requirement.

A couple of notes from Me: 
First... "Statewide Lookup" sites are sites available to election officials which allow them to print poll lists, verify voters, print voter registration cards, create voter master cards, etc... in the performance of their job.  These sites are not available to the general public.   
Second...  "Standard ballot duplication" requires 3 election inspectors.  One republican, 1 Democrat and 1 additional election inspector.  
Third...  QVF is short for "Qualified Voter File" and is a listing of every duly registered voter in the state.  Local clerks only have access to information with regards to voters within their jurisdiction.  County clerks only have access to information with regards to voters within their County.   Only state-wide election officials have access to the entirety of the QVF.  
(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

Thanks for the notice! Those who fight for the right to vote should have the right to do it from anywhere we send them!

Andy Heizeler May 03, 2010 12:45 PM

Timely. Thank you.


Jonathan Wolfman May 03, 2010 12:46 PM

Andy, when I was an election official I did everything legally possible to ensure that every voter (regardless of their physical location) was able to and encouraged to vote.

Johnathan... the more informed voters are with regards to both the process and the candidates the more likely they are to participate in the election process.

MrsRaptor May 03, 2010 01:10 PM

I'm with Andy, but not just the people fighting. I was in Germany,and we have outposts everywhere. We all should have our right to post!

scanner May 03, 2010 01:33 PM

Scanner... one of the primary reasons that MOVE was necessary is because, as we have all seen multiple times since the 2000 election, it often takes extra time, and can be difficult, for military, overseas and absentee voters to obtain an absentee ballot and vote.

I must admit that I was rather known to "bend the rules" when it came to allowing (and getting) people to vote. Nothing illegal but definitely bending the rules... Such as maintaining an absent voter list and sending out applications to vote absentee without voters requesting them first.

MrsRaptor May 03, 2010 01:53 PM

Good to know the rules -- I am with Andy here.

gal80 May 23, 2010 11:46 PM

Originally posted at MOVE: Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act although it won't be available there much longer it can be confirmed by those who have access to Google archives or other archives.

Mrs Raptor, is a native American that has spent time in Michigan, the Dakotas and Canada and was a poll worker. She posted this on Open Salon years ago, but Open Salon is closing and I thought it would be a good idea to continue making this available so I saved it and reposted it under fair use. This is some of the things that could be kept in mind when enacting election reform. Even Jimmy Carter has admitted that our system has major problems that should be addressed. I suspect that Mrs. Raptor would agree that it wouldn't hurt to confirm these details with local poll workers, even though I see no reason to doubt her. This is because many polls across the country have different systems and some of them may have changed since she wrote them, so even if you're in the same are she worked that isn't guarantee that they haven't changed since then.

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