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CSG Overseas Voting Initiative

For decades, U.S. military personnel serving abroad, their dependents and overseas citizens have faced a variety of barriers when attempting to vote in U.S. elections. A January 2009 Pew Research Center survey found that 25 states and the District of Columbia did not provide sufficient time for U.S. overseas voters to cast ballots and have their votes counted.

The 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act aims to ensure all U.S. voters overseas have sufficient time to request and receive ballots, and that states allow enough time for the submitted ballots to be counted.Though significant progress has been made since the passage of this landmark legislation, needs for improvements in the overseas voting process remain.

The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense through its Federal Voting Assistance Program, launched the Overseas Voting Initiative in 2013 to further promote the rights of uniformed services personnel, their voting-age dependents and overseas civilians to vote in U.S. elections by improving the state elections processes.

Through this initiative, CSG will work closely with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Federal Voting Assistance Program to: