Letter to DOD, help us help troops vote says North Carolina State Board of Elections

Our overseas troops need help voting, and the North Carolina State Board of Elections is seeking options.

Election boards wonder if military ballots are too costly Saturday, September 26, 2009 By Gerald Witt Staff Writer GREENSBORO — An overwhelming majority of military and overseas voters did not return ballots to the United States in 2006, costing local election offices staff time and money

According to the Overseas Vote Foundation:

“The number one reason that many overseas and military citizens are unable to vote is missed registration and ballot request deadlines.”

The North Carolina State Board of Elections is doing what it can right now to address the issue of military voter registration and voting.

On Oct 8, 2009 the NC State Board of Elections sent a letter to Robert Gates, Secretary of DOD enlisting their cooperation. An excerpt:

“I request that the Department of Defense, in its operation of military pay/personnel offices in North Carolina, agree to be designated as a voter registration agency. This designation would allow military citizens helped by your agency to be offered the same voter registration services given by state and county public services agencies to the persons they serve. “

The State BoE is also offering help and materials in order to do this.

Their solution, if implemented – will help alleviate some of the problems military voters have in voting. Troops can more easily keep their voter registration updated and get help in obtaining a ballot and getting that ballot returned.

One big problem for troops is that they move around frequently, their registrations are not updated, and we keep sending ballots to the old addresses.

This makes sense. North Carolina enforced Section 7 of the Voting Rights Act more vigorously in 2008, resulting in government agencies assisting increased numbers of their clients in registering to vote.

It is efforts like these, often successful ones, that make me appreciate our officials at the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

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