Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad
Earlier this year, we here at Vote Smart re-launched our award-winning voter-to-candidate matching tool, VoteEasy, to our website VoteSmart.org. Often times, voters are simply not exposed to their candidates’ true beliefs. Data such as voting records or interest group ratings are buried underneath webs of political rhetoric. Vote Smart, and particularly VoteEasy, exists to counter that rhetoric.
"Should Soldiers' votes get counted? That's not as easy as you think", is an article written by Donald Inbody, which appeared in The Washington Post on Veteran's Day.
Americans want their soldiers to vote. But often they can’t. Despite absentee balloting, military personnel deployed overseas often just cannot participate in elections.
For most of U.S. history, military personnel have not been able to vote. State laws and constitutions often specifically restricted military personnel from participating in the franchise. Attitudes about voting soldiers started to change when the Civil War called large numbers of citizens for military service—but action was tempered by partisan politics.
- The quality of Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) has gotten better over time, and more organizations and individuals are pressing for data-driven election policy than ever before, which bodes well for the role election data plays. We hope to see in the near future wider access to election data and greater public understanding of what it tells us about how we pick our leaders. One great way to accomplish both these objectives is through data visualization, which a number of election offices across the country have started to practice. We've included an example here, a visualization of the 2014 EAVS data on overseas civilian and military voters.
The three-day Ruby for Good hack-a-thon is “dedicated to making the world gooder”. This year the Ruby for Good beneficiaries includes US Vote. The Ruby for Good event brings skilled Ruby programmers from all over the world together and forms teams that take on software projects that will help communities.
US Vote is pleased to announce Ms. Marcia Blanco-Johnson, Ms. Dana Chisnell and Ms. Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro as new members of our Advisory Board. These three seasoned voting and elections professionals will contribute strongly to US Vote’s mission and direction as we aim to further solidify our brand, conquer new ground, and make voting important and accessible to all US citizens. All are experts in their respective areas and have played important roles in areas of voting and public advocacy.
Here is a bit about our new members:
The Paper Chase Is Over: Our Plan for Online Voter Registration
The Knight Foundation News Challenge has long fostered innovation in the fields of media and journalism by supporting breakthrough ideas that better inform communities. This year, in partnership with Democracy Fund, Hewlett Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation, the News Challenge has taken a new turn with an open call for ideas to better inform the electorate and amplify the role of civic life before, during, and after elections.
The Future of Voting interactive presentation and workshop will be a 4-city roadshow that takes place starting 28 May - 3 June, 2015. Each event will be a 3-hour session designed to engage local and state election officials and legislators in a discussion about End-to-End verifiable internet voting.
Over a quarter of a million American citizens who lived overseas or were members of the American military attempted to vote in the 2012 General Election but were unable to be counted. The reasons for their failure are many, but antiquated absent voting procedures and arbitrary rules and deadlines are largely to blame. Increased use of modern technology, including the internet, will help.
Just 36.6% of eligible citizens voted in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest in a midterm since World War II, but turnout varied across states by as much as 30 percentage points. A new report by Nonprofit VOTE, America Goes to the Polls 2014, ranks voter turnout in all 50 states and looks at major factors underlying voter participation. It also details successful strategies employed by high voter turnout states.