FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Catherine Lu
(702) 486-6982 / 334-7953
(Carson City, NV; November 20, 2013) – Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller says technology is instrumental in improving the number of military and overseas voters who cast ballots in future elections. That’s part of Miller’s testimony today before the U.S. House Committee on House Administration (HCHA) on military and overseas voting in the 2012 election.
The HCHA hearing gathered information from elections experts with the purpose of enhancing the voting process for deployed soldiers and citizens living out of the country. As the immediate past president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), Miller led the movement to ease the voting process for the military and overseas citizens in 2012, nationally and in Nevada. He discussed military and overseas voting procedures and issues, and in particular how they are addressed in Nevada. Miller was joined by Matt Boehmer, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
To view testimony from Miller and Boehmer, the links can be found here: http://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=101500. The meeting webcast can be found here: http://thomas.loc.gov/video/house-committee/hsha00.
Miller toured the Middle East with U.S. Department of Defense officials and several fellow secretaries of state in September 2012 to gain first-hand knowledge of these voting issues. The secretaries had extensive discussions about voter outreach efforts with military leadership, were briefed on voting assistance programs, and toured the U.S. Army Post Office to learn how military ballots are processed and transported.
Following the tour, the secretaries created a report, “Military and Overseas Voters: Observations & Recommendations by a Delegation of State Chief Elections Officers,” that provides recommendations for improving access to elections information and processes for military and overseas voter. The key proposals include the availability and use of technology, as well as the leadership of both civilian and military election officials in developing and implementing procedures that will facilitate military and overseas voting.
During the 2012 election, more than 15% of Nevada’s military-overseas paper ballots were not returned, returned as undeliverable, or replaced. This number could have been significantly lower if military and overseas voters were more aware of the resources available, or had better access to those resources and the requisite technology.
The Elections Division is currently taking advantage of enabling legislation that allows military and overseas voters to use electronic and digital signatures on election documents by developing a convenient, streamlined online ballot delivery system, which will allow covered voters to request, mark and deliver a ballot to their county without the need of a printer or scanner.
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