November 21, 2013
Susan Davis Joins with Rep. Kevin McCarthy to Strengthen
Protections of Military and Overseas Voters
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) joined Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in introducing legislation to reduce obstacles to voting for many military personnel and overseas voters.
“The men and women in uniform make sacrifices every day to preserve our democracy and the cherished right to vote that goes with it,” said Davis, Ranking Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee and a leader on election reform. “Many of our servicemembers face challenges when it comes to voting because they move frequently and often have to vote from remote locations. This bill will help their ballots get in on time. I am pleased that we are working across the aisle and across the Capitol to keep improving the voting process for military and overseas voters.”
“As our service members and their families serve and sacrifice for our great nation, they should not face hurdles when attempting to exercise their right to vote. This legislation will seek to ensure that the Department of Defense implements important reforms that will expand access and assistance for voting for those who defend our nation overseas,” said Congressman McCarthy, the bill’s sponsor.
The Safeguarding Elections for our Nation's Troops through Reforms and Improvements, or SENTRI, Act (H.R. 3576) improves the voting process for military and overseas voters by ensuring that absentee ballot requests are valid for one full year and that military voters who move are afforded greater opportunity to change their mailing address so their absentee ballot gets to the right place.
The bill also creates greater voter registration and information opportunities for military voters by making voter assistance part of a service members’ annual training. The measure enhances accountability throughout the process by requiring reporting to the Department of Justice to ensure that election offices are sending out ballots on time and using express mail when they are behind schedule.
H.R. 3576 is a House companion to a Senate measure offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). It provides some updates to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act of 2009 based on feedback from military and overseas voters, the Department of Defense and elections officials.
The SENTRI Act is supported by AmVets, Verified Voting and the Overseas Vote Foundation.