Absentee Ballot Request and Voter Registration Services for All U.S. Voters in All States at Home and Abroad

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Demystifying Disability

Creating better outreach and access for voters with disabilities

By Genya Coulter, Twitter Goddess and Guest Blogger for U.S. Vote Foundation

According to the American Association of Persons With Disabilities (AADP), 35.4 million people living with a disability were eligible to vote in 2016. That’s about one sixth of all eligible voters. If you add in those of us who are family members or caregivers, that total jumps to 62.7 million eligible voters. Organizations created for and by the disabled have done a spectacular job fighting against discrimination, barriers to physical  access, and plain old stigma and patronizing attitudes. In honor of their hard work and National Disability Voter Registration Week, here’s a practical guide for the election community to better serve a diverse and growing population of voters.

From the Battlefield to the Voting Booth

Ideas on how best to serve disabled veterans

By Genya Coulter, Twitter Goddess and Guest Blogger for U.S. Vote Foundation

Members of the Armed Forces understand that putting duty and country before all else requires sacrifice. For those returning from service with some form of disability, their sacrifices and that of their families follow them daily. Some have lost limbs, some are paralyzed, and many have experienced traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. Others experience hearing or vision loss. Even if a service member has voted overseas with the help of Overseas Vote or the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), sometimes voter registration and voting get put on the back burner during the process of creating a new normal stateside.

While the provisions set forth in the Help America Vote Act of 2002 ushered in many new voting accomodations for veterans living with disabilities, there is still room for improvement. Where can the election community make a positive and lasting difference for disabled American vets, present and future?

Identity Crisis: What happens when nobody knows who you are anymore?

By Genya Coulter, Twitter Goddess and Guest Blogger for U.S. Vote Foundation

Voter ID has elbowed its way into the forefront of many a conversation about voting rights. Whether for or against, there is no shortage of opinions about how it should be implemented, and how best to get an ID into the hands of voters who may not have an “acceptable ID” to vote with at the polls on Election Day.

Mediating this discussion on the US Vote Twitter account has been a wake up call to just how disconnected many people are from the various realities that many Americans face in the pursuit of their right to vote. Yes, the vast majority of people have no trouble obtaining a government ID. However, there are few demographic groups that experience great difficulty getting one: namely, the elderly, disabled, minorities, refugees, and people not born in a hospital.

When Local Goes National: A brief overview of Georgia-06, South Carolina-05, and the joy of high voter turnout

By Genya Coulter, Twitter Goddess and Social Media Liaison for U.S. Vote Foundation

Local elections are now the subject of intense national focus. The Congressional race for Georgia’s District 6 was being hotly debated by people who weren’t even residents of Fulton, DeKalb, and Cobb counties. Financially, GA-06 is now the most expensive House race in U.S. History…before AND after adjustment for inflation.

As of this writing, Republican Karen Handel, former Georgia Secretary of State, has been declared the newest Congressional representative for Georgia’s District 6, defeating Democrat Jason Ossoff 53% to 47%. Well over 259,000 ballots were cast in the runoff election, when the final mail ballots are tallied; the number is expected to top 260,000.

Official State Voter Turnout Rankings for 2016 Show Pathway to Increased Voter Turnout

Guest Blog from Nonprofit VOTE

We do not have to accept low voter turnout as an inescapable reality of American politics. States across the nation – with voter-friendly policies and meaningful competition – are providing a blueprint for the nation on how to achieve voter turnout in the 70 to 75% range. That’s the key message of a new report, “America Goes to the Polls,” from Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project.

Discover "My Voter Account" - Your Personal Democracy App

NEW! Discover integrated news content from America's most respected non-partisan political fact-checking site, Factcheck.org.

 

 

Get your voting and election information all in one place. Your Voter Account moves with you, stays with you and informs you. It is your personal democracy app.

 

Create your Voter Account and begin experiencing the MVA service today! Create Voter Account

Can I Vote Absentee? - Get the Widget Today!

 

Are you wondering: "Can I Vote Absentee?"

Instantly access the answer in one click from U.S. Vote Foundation!

Your voice matters - your vote counts. Don't let the fact that you might not be able to get to the polls stop you from voting. Make it easy with absentee voting! Get your ballot sent to your mailbox and access the convenience of 'vote-by-mail' starting today.

Use the CIVA widget to answer to the question – Can I Vote Absentee? and then access your state's absentee ballot request form. Try it now with the live widget on this page - select your state and you're on your way!

Embed the widget in your own site, post a link to the widget on your social media pages, or read more: www.usvotefoundation.org/can-i-vote-absentee

Press Releases

Christopher M. Thomas Joins U.S. Vote Foundation Executive Board

WASHINGTON D.C., May 30, 2017 – U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) proudly announces Christopher M. Thomas as a new member of its Executive Board. The announcement is in anticipation of Mr. Thomas’ retirement from his post as Director of Elections for the Michigan Secretary of State at the end of June 2017.

“With the insights and expertise I have gained in my work at the Michigan Bureau of Elections and with the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, I fully intend to continue to contribute to initiatives that foster increased participation in elections at every level of government in the United States”, stated Mr. Thomas.

Donald J. Morrison Elected as U.S. Vote Foundation Board Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2017 – U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) welcomes a new board chair, Donald J. Morrison, elected today. Mr. Morrison will steer the organization through a vital year during which US Vote expands its civic data project to include local election data.   The effort will seek to bring the resources of Silicon Valley together with the civic world to increase voter information and participation.

Mr. Morrison brings a wealth of software industry, civic engagement, and funding experience to US Vote. He has grown four technology startups, taken several companies public and led numerous M&A and integration investments.

U.S. Vote Foundation Announces Kevin J. Kennedy as New Board Member

WASHINGTON DC, March 1, 2017  -- U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) announced today that Kevin J. Kennedy, former Director and General Counsel for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, has joined its board of directors.

Mr. Kennedy served for 33 years as Wisconsin’s Chief Election Official, 1983 to 2016. No other individual served longer in that capacity. Under his leadership, Wisconsin was consistently recognized as a leader and innovator in the administration of elections, lobbying and campaign finance.

“My first priority with US Vote will be to support its expansion into the arena of local elections data across the country. It’s exciting to be part of an organization that has spearheaded so many positive innovations in elections and I look forward to working toward its mission,” stated Mr. Kennedy.

U.S. Vote Foundation to Tackle a Nationwide Data Problem

New Local Elections Data Resource and API

NEW YORK, NY, January 18, 2017 – U.S. Vote Foundation’s (US Vote) twelve year investment in development of its election data and API technology will be used to address a vast and unmanaged data challenge: Local Election Dates and Deadlines. The announcement was released at the Knight-Civic Hall Symposium on Tech, Politics and the Media.

“Ask anyone if they know the date of their next local election and what it is about, or how to find out? They cannot tell you. People are not participating in the elections that direct affect the quality of their lives. We are poised to unlock this data and fix that problem,” states Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, US Vote’s President and CEO.

A Knight Foundation Prototype Fund grant for “Local Election Dates and Deadlines (LEDD) Data Resource and API” served to kick-start the program.

US Vote Announces 2016 Election Day Voter Experience Survey Highlights

January 16, 2017 - The 2016 Election Day Voter Experience Survey, conducted by U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) together with its Overseas Vote initiative from Nov 8-11, 2016, provides new insights into approximately 12,000 voters’ actual experiences of casting a ballot (or not) through six different voting methods, both domestic and overseas.

Highlights / Key Findings

Among the many new insights, certain findings stood out:

  • Satisfaction and Motivation – 76% of all respondents indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the voting process; and in a rating from 1 to 5, with 5 highest, overall voter motivation was 4.6%
  • Online Ballot Delivery Dominates for Overseas Voters – For the first time ever in a general election, overseas absentee voters in the 2016 election were more likely to receive their blank ballots through an electronic method (72%) than through postal mail

Consensus Reached on Recommendations Toward the Future of Internet Voting

 U.S. Vote Foundation Releases New System Requirements, Specifications, Architecture and
Cryptographic Foundations for End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting 

July 10, 2015 – Today’s release of The Future of Voting: End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting Specification and Feasibility Assessment Study by U.S. Vote Foundation establishes a new reference for the security, usability and transparency requirements essential to the U.S. in any consideration of Internet voting for public elections. The announcement was made at the Annual Summer Conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State, hosted this year in Portland, Maine.

Developed by a team of the nation’s leading experts in election integrity, election administration, high-assurance systems engineering, and cryptography, the report starts from the premise that public elections in the U.S. are a matter of national security. The authors assert that Internet voting systems must be transparent and designed to run in a manner that embraces the constructs of end-to-end verifiability – a property missing from existing Internet voting systems.

An end-to-end verifiable (E2E-V) voting system allows voters to 1) check that the system recorded their votes correctly; 2) check that the system included their votes in the final tally; 3) count the recorded votes and double-check the announced outcome of the election.  An Internet voting system that is end-to-end verifiable is an E2E-VIV system. The new set of system specifications that could eventually lead to a model E2E-VIV system includes an ideal cryptographic foundation, security, audit, and usability considerations, as well as technical approaches to the system architecture.

View Your State Voting Requirements & Election Deadlines