State Simplifies Absentee Voting for Overseas Military

Jared Huffman

Military servicemen and women stationed overseas will have improved access to state and local elections, thanks to a bill recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the Military and Overseas Voter Act, which was authored by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher (I-San Diego). The law removes obstacles that prevent military and overseas citizens from exercising their right to vote through absentee ballots. “This is a victory for Californians serving abroad who need special voting accommodations due to frequent address changes and slow mail delivery,” said Huffman. “These servicemen and women still have a keen interest in their hometowns and deserve the ability to help determine the leadership and direction of those communities by exercising their right to vote,” he said. “The federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act already sets requirements to enable Americans abroad to register to vote, receive balloting material, and utilize the federal write-in absentee ballot in federal elections,” said Martin D. Carr, Commissioner of the California Commission on Uniform State Laws, a cosponsor of the bill.  California’s new law “is a common sense expansion of these rules to cover state and local elections as well,” he said. With the signing of the law, California joins nine other states with similar laws that simplify the process of absentee voting for their residents who are in the United States military or living overseas. Assemblymember Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, represents the 6th Assembly District, which encompasses southern Sonoma County and all of Marin County.
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