Press Releases

Roe Introduces Legislation to Protect our Soldiers’ Voting Rights

H.R. 702 amends the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act

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Washington, February 17, 2011 | comments

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01) introduced H.R. 702, legislation requiring states to count all military absentee ballots. Specifically, H.R. 702 amends the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which will help ensure states count these ballots by delaying the process of certifying the results of a regularly scheduled general election for a federal office by up to 10 days in order to ensure absentee ballots of overseas uniformed voters are collected and counted.  In doing this, it will allow more time for these ballots to be collected and ensure the rights of our deployed troops are protected.

Dr. Roe made the following statement on H.R. 702:

Every day our troops are making sacrifices that  allow us back home to exercise our most important right: the right to vote. H.R. 702 sends a message to our troops that we are serious about making sure their voice is heard by counting their vote.  Our service members are fighting to protect this nation and they deserve to have their vote counted - even if that means delaying a general election.

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act does not do enough to guarantee the vote of our deployed troops gets counted. If a ballot is received even a day late, the election may have been certified and their vote will not count. My bill will amend thismaking sure the absentee ballots of overseas uniformed voters are collected and counted before the election is certified.

BACKGROUND

Currently our troops have to go through a complex process to cast their vote while overseas, and many of them find it difficult to not only cast a vote, but even more so to have it counted. 

Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act there are procedures in place to streamline the process in an attempt to ensure states get overseas ballots before election day.

While all states allow military citizens to register and vote by an absentee ballot in federal elections, in some states, if a ballot is received even a day late, the election may have been certified and their vote will not count. H.R. 702 is a solution that will address this important issue.

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