The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act was signed into law in October 2009. It was landmark election reform legislation for which AARO and its partner organizations advocated actively, and represented great progress for overseas voters, among others. MOVE modernized voting methods and ensured greater reliability and security in the overseas voting process while vastly expanding the use of electronic voter information and ballot delivery.
Nonetheless, improvements still need to be made. Despite guaranteed deadlines for mailing out ballots and increased options for online blank ballot delivery, the Federal Voting Assistance Program reports that voter participation abroad remains unacceptably low.
AARO’s longstanding partner US Vote and its Overseas Vote initiative (formerly Overseas Vote Foundation) are calling for a new round of overseas and military voting reforms which AARO is proud to support. In particular, “Act II of the Move Act” would provide for:
- Automatic registration for military voters
- “Permanent” status option for Qualified Overseas Voters
- Single, Simultaneous, Uniform, Federal Overseas Voter Registration + Ballot Request + Ballot Package
- State Department to Inform Overseas Citizens of Voting Rights
- Uniform election dates and deadlines
These points will form the basis of the “Voting reform” position paper that AARO will take to Washington in March and April of this year, urging legislators to enact these further, much-needed reforms.