The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) is commonly referred to as UOCAVA. UOCAVA Citizens are: U.S. Citizens who are Active Members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marine, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, their Eligible Family Members, and U.S. Citizens residing outside the United States. This Act provides the Legal Basis for these Citizens' Absentee Voting Requirements for Federal Offices.
The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE) amended UOCAVA and other Statutes by providing Greater Protections for Service Members, their Eligible Family Members, and other Overseas Citizens. Among other Provisions, the MOVE Act requires States to send Absentee Ballots to UOCAVA Voters at least 45 Days before Federal Elections.
Jurisdictions with Runoff Elections require Election Administer to Send and Receive Ballots Multiple Times. Once for the First Election and then again for the Second Run-Off Election. International Mail takes time, so the Deployed Military and Overseas Voters of these Jurisdictions may not have time to Receive, Complete, and Return a Runoff Ballot before the Day of the Runoff Election. This time crunch is why Federal Law requires at least 45 Days between Rounds of Voting in Federal Elections. Still, many State and Local Runoff Elections occur as little as One Week after the First Round, effectively Disenfranchising Overseas and Military Voters.
With Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) Ballots, a Military or Overseas Voter can Vote in the First Round and Rank their Candidates. When a Runoff occurs, the RCV Ballot is Counted.
Overseas Voters in Runoff States:
Arkansas: Adopted in 2005, first used 2006, and was extended to all Local Runoffs in 2007.
Alabama: By Agreement with a Federal Court, used in Special Election for U.S. House, 2013; became Law for All Federal Primary Runoffs in 2015.
Louisiana: Adopted and Used since the 1990s for State and Federal General Election Runoffs includes Out-of-State Military Voters.
Mississippi: Adopted in 2014 for use in Federal Runoffs.
South Carolina: Adopted and First used in 2006 for State and Federal Runoffs.
Springfield, Illinois: Adopted in 2007 and used since 2011.
"We consider it an unqualified success. We've heard nothing but good things from voters about it. In the past, UOCAVA voters had a very difficult time participating in runoffs due to the two-week turnaround time. In the June 2012 primary, 92.5% of UOCACVA primary voters also participated in the runoff [with ranked ballots]. That is exceptional, and doesn't take into account those voters who may not have had a runoff. The real participation rate could be closer to 100%." Chris Whitmire, Director of Public Information of the South Carolina State Election Commission said.
It's time we add this Option for all UOCAVA Voters.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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