US Vote and Overseas Vote: Proud to Support Our Uniformed Service Members

One of the things we’re most proud of at U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) and Overseas Vote is our longstanding role supporting the efforts of uniformed services voters and their families to participate in the electoral process, regardless of whether they’re stationed overseas or stateside.

That role continues today with a wide range of services that active duty military personnel can access to ensure their vote gets counted.

Our services include:

We also have a Voter Help Desk where voters can find answers to most frequently asked questions and ask our experts to help you with specific voting problems.

The foundation’s assistance to military voters goes back to the origins of US Vote in 2004. When we first got started in the voting world, overseas voting – for civilians and military personnel – was a complex and confusing process. The complexities of voting for armed forces personnel was a significant barrier to participation. Fixing those issues became a core part of our work.

In addition to creating the very first online resource for voting information, our founder, Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, was instrumental in organizing the voting and armed services communities to come together and work out the best way to serve our women and men in uniform and their dependents. (You can read an article about the latest on military and overseas voting here.) The result was a series of innovations that culminated in the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act of 2009, which codified much of the work that US Vote and others had been doing.

Thanks to the MOVE Act, ballots are now available to military voters as of 45 days before an election, electronic blank ballot delivery is offered by all states and territories, and the requirement to have an overseas ballot notarized – a massive headache in a foreign country – was removed. The standard “overseas emergency ballot”, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, is also mandated to be available from all states as an online service.

The result today is a military voting system that delivers what we at US Vote consider one of the best voting experiences any citizen can obtain. Military voters and their dependents can send their completed ballot – free-of-charge – via Express Mail at the military post office on base and have it returned to their election office within a couple of days. In some jurisdictions military voters are even allowed to submit their ballot electronically. (US Vote does not endorse electronic vote submission due to security issues, though we recognize there may be special circumstances that make it necessary to allow limited electronic voting access.)

As the election season rolls forward, we want to take the time to say thank you to our men and women in uniform – and their families – for your service to our great democracy. And please make use of our services to help you participate in the upcoming general election. In our sometimes overly-polarized electoral process, ensuring the right to vote for overseas and military voters has remained a sanctuary for cooperation and collaboration across the political spectrum. We’re proud to have played our part.