Chairman Miller Reaffirms Commitment to Military and Overseas Voting
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Committee on House Administration Chairman Candice Miller, R-Mich., issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing on military and overseas voting in the 2012 election:
“I am cautiously optimistic about the recent Department of Defense findings that demonstrate a modest increase in the percentage of military personnel voting. It appears that the combined efforts of the Department of Defense and state election officials, both supported by federal legislation, are advancing our most worthy responsibility of helping our troops participate in the very democratic process they risk life and limb to protect.
“We will continue to carefully monitor the implementation of the MOVE Act and, working with state and federal officials, explore new ways and technologies that facilitate and expedite voting for our brave soldiers serving overseas.”
According to a recent report issued by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) administered by the Department of Defense, the percentage of overseas military personnel who voted increased slightly from 2008 to 2012. The same report, which adjusts statistics to account for U.S. troop demographics, shows that military voters are registering to vote at higher rates than the overall U.S. population – 15 percent higher in 2012. According to witnesses who testified before the Committee, including FVAP Director Matt Boehmer, overseas voter participation has improved in part due to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. Adopted in 2009, the MOVE Act required states to transmit absentee ballots overseas at least 45 days before an election, required the Department of Defense to increase voting assistance at military installations and provided states with grants to assist electronic transmission programs for absentee ballots.