Nevada Receives Top Ranking in Pew Report on Ease of Voting for Members of Military Serving Overseas
Secretary of State Ross Miller says recent passage of AB 41 in
Nevada protects voting rights even more
(Carson City, NV; July 15, 2009) – The Pew Center on the States has awarded Nevada a top ranking for election laws that give military men and women serving overseas ample time to cast their votes and be counted. In the 2009 report entitled “No Time to Vote: Challenges Facing America’s Overseas Military Voters,” the Center gave Nevada the “Time to Vote” ranking, the highest of four rankings given to states. The Silver State was in the top ten states in terms of giving overseas voters enough “extra” days in the election cycle to return their ballots. The report was issued before the Nevada Legislature approved AB 41, giving overseas voters more time and better options for casting their votes.
The Pew report said 25 other states and the District of Columbia must make improvements in many areas.
The Pew Center findings were cited in news reports of a U.S. Senate Committee’s approval today of a bill that requires states to send ballots to military and overseas voters more than a month before the election and allows voters to return their ballots electronically. The bill (S.1415) was approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
Secretary of State Ross Miller applauded the intent of the federal language, but said that Nevada voters are already adequately served. “My office partnered with the Nevada Office of Veterans Services and local election officials to pass AB 41 in the 2009 legislative session. We supported the bill so Nevada men and women serving overseas can be further reassured that they will have the time and the options they need to vote in a timely way,” said Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller. “Not only do we get ballots to our overseas military voters with time to spare, we now allow them to register to vote and request and return their absentee ballots electronically. This further ensures that the votes cast by Nevada men and women serving their country will in fact be counted.”
The proposed new federal law includes some language that Secretary Miller said would actually create a burden for the state and not serve the interests of overseas voters.
“I have let our representatives in Congress know of my concerns,” Secretary Miller said. “The intent of the bill is unarguable, but Nevada has demonstrated we can get the job done in a more efficient way than is proposed. I will continue to support amendments to the bill that make better sense for the State of Nevada.”
See http://leg.state.nv.us/75th2009/Reports/history.cfm?ID=104 to read and view the legislative history of AB 41 from the 2009 legislative session.