House Administration Committee Secures Agreement to Ensure Military Families Qualify for Expedited Delivery of Marked Ballots
Washington, D.C. – Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after the Department of Defense agreed to reinterpret provisions of the U.S. Code to ensure military spouses and dependents qualify as an Absent Uniformed Services Voter and are entitled to expedited mail delivery of their marked ballot:
“In many ways, the families of our military personnel stationed overseas serve, too. We can serve them by ensuring they aren’t left out of the political process simply because they live abroad,” said Chairperson Lofgren and Ranking Member Davis. “With the 2020 election right around the corner, we’re thankful FVAP has agreed to reinterpret the U.S. code to guarantee military families living abroad qualify for expedited ballot delivery. Every vote counts, and protecting the ballot of the families of our brave servicemen and women is a no-brainer.”
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act outlines the procedures for collection and delivery of marked absentee ballots of overseas military voters. 52 U.S.C. § 20304(b)(2) provides expedited mail delivery of an absent uniformed services voters’ marked absentee ballot. This provision was being interpreted too narrowly, to only include military personnel themselves but not their families.
With Lofgren and Davis’ approval, the Department of Defense has agreed to reinterpret the U.S. code so the spouses and dependents of servicemembers stationed overseas qualify for expedited mail delivery of their marked absentee ballots, consistent with the definition of “Absent Uniformed Services Voter” in 52 U.S.C. § 20310(1).