WASHINGTON – Today, the Ranking Republican of the Committee on House Administration’s Elections Subcommittee, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., introduced the Military Voting Protection Act of 2008 (MVP Act). The MVP Act, cosponsored by the Committee’s Ranking Republican, Rep. Vern Ehlers, R-Mich., and Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., would direct the Secretary of Defense to collect the absentee ballots of overseas military voters, and deliver the ballots to state election officials via air transport with tracking capabilities.

McCarthy introduced the MVP Act in response to the September 2007 Election Assistance Commission (EAC) report on military and overseas absentee voting. According to the report, “The third largest reason for rejected ballots was that they were received by the election offices after the deadline stipulated by State law.” The EAC’s findings also suggested that roughly 10% of all uncounted military and overseas absentee ballots were rejected because they were received post deadline. The MVP Act is designed to ensure absentee ballots submitted by military personnel, who have little control over their geographic assignments, are delivered to election officials in a timely fashion.

Absent any long or short-term technical solutions to overseas voting impediments, McCarthy’s bill provides a much needed safeguard that ensures military personnel serving this country are not erroneously left out of the election process.

After introducing his legislation, McCarthy expressed hope for its passage: “There is no higher calling than protecting the very constitutional freedoms of those that are protecting our constitutional freedoms. We can, and we must, work to protect the votes of our troops serving abroad and ensure they are counted. The MVP Act is an opportunity for a bipartisan, commonsense solution to address what is unacceptable – letting our troops’ votes not be counted through no fault of their own.”

For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.