Plan ensures active military members have time to vote absentee
LANSING – To ensure that troops stationed overseas have their votes counted, State Representative Fred Miller (D-Mount Clemens) on Wednesday voted for a plan that will make it easier for military personnel to vote by absentee ballot.
“The brave men and women who are putting their lives on the line every day to protect our freedom should have their voices heard and their votes counted,” Miller said. “We must find an efficient and effective process to ensure Michigan’s troops can participate in our elections. It’s the least we can do for the individuals who are giving so much overseas for their family, friends and neighbors back home.”
In the 2008 presidential election, more than a quarter of the ballots requested by U.S. military members stationed abroad and other American voters overseas went uncollected or uncounted, according to Congressional Research Services. In Michigan, of the nearly 21,300 ballots sent, only 15,407 were returned in time to be counted.
The House plan will help ensure that military personnel and citizens living overseas can vote in
- Allowing for fast, e-mail transmission of absentee ballots to service members stationed overseas. The service members would then print them, fill them out and mail them back to the clerk.
- Requiring all absentee ballots to be delivered to clerks for distribution at least 45 days in advance of all elections.
- Giving local governments more time to print out ballots in order to send them to military personnel.
Thirty-two other states already allow for the electronic transmission of absentee ballots to voters.