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Military and Overseas Voters – Our Checklist for 2015 December 17, 2014 Brad King Co-Director, Indiana Election Division 2015 Election Administrators Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Military and Overseas Voters – Our Checklist for 2015 December 17, 2014 Brad King Co-Director, Indiana Election Division 2015 Election Administrators Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Military and Overseas Voters – Our Checklist for 2015 December 17, 2014 Brad King Co-Director, Indiana Election Division 2015 Election Administrators Conference

2 Overview “Absent Uniform Services Voters” and Overseas Voters  Extended Voter Registration Deadlines  Revised Forms  Scanning not required; can attach photo (from telephone, for example)  Mistakenly opened write-in ballot envelopes.

3 Who is a Military Voter? Absent Uniform Services Voter (Military Voter)  Member of armed services or merchant marine absent from residence due to active service within the U.S. or “overseas”  Indiana national guard member deployed outside of Indiana  Spouse or dependent of these service members (IC )

4 Who is an Overseas Voter? Overseas Voter  Absent uniform services voter who is outside of U.S. on election day  A family member of service member who is outside of U.S. on election day (spouse, child)  A civilian living outside of U.S., either temporarily or indefinitely, but otherwise eligible to vote in Indiana ( IC )

5 Extended Registration Deadlines Deadline for county to receive voter registration application from military or overseas voter is extended to: – Monday, April 27, 2015 before primary – Monday, October 26, 2015 before municipal Application received during extended period subject to same requirements as application received by 29 th Day before election. (IC )

6 Absentee Form for Military and Overseas Voters Special Military/Overseas Forms Military/overseas voter may designate themselves as military or overseas voter by using either:  FPCA (Standard Form 76) combined registration and absentee ballot application  ABS 15 is the special state absentee ballot application for military and overseas (mandated by federal law with special oath)

7 Do You Intend to Return? Box 1 of the FPCA allows a person to designate the type of military/overseas voter Both Federal FPCA and ABS-15 have now been revised to ask voter to indicate (Make one selection): – I am an activated National Guard member on State orders. – I am a U.S. citizen residing outside the United States, and I intend to return. – I am a U.S. citizen residing outside the United States, and my return is not certain. – I am a U.S. citizen and have never resided in the United States. (This choice not applicable in Indiana).

8 Importance of MOVE  What is MOVE?: Federal “Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act”  Purpose of MOVE: Help military/overseas voters vote in US elections  Impact of MOVE: Absentee ballots must be printed no later than 50 th day before election, and, if application approved, sent by 45 th Day.  and Fax can be used to communicate and transmit both absentee ballot applications and ballots

9 MOVE Information Sheet  Voter may transmit blank VR applications and absentee ballot applications to military/overseas voters by mail, or Fax on request If the request doesn’t include usable address or Fax #, then send by mail if mailing address is provided MOVE Information Sheet regarding use of , Fax, and internet must be sent with blank VR and absentee ballot applications. Included on Forms disc.

10 Digital image of application & ballot OK; scanning not required!  All Military/Overseas voters may submit an absentee ballot application by mail, (with digital copy of completed application attached), or fax If voter sent by then clerk must send an acknowledging receipt of the ed application  If absentee ballot application is denied, clerk must send written notice of reason for denial within 48 hours (ABS- 14; IC )  Absentee ballot applications may be submitted at any time from these voters when voter registration is open (IC (b) and (c))

11 Absentee Voting by or FAX Voting Absentee by or Fax  Special deadline: Voter requesting to vote by or fax may apply up to noon the day before the election ( IC (h); IC (2))  If application to vote by or fax approved, clerk faxes ballot (or s scanned copy of ballot), cover sheet and affidavit (ABS-9), and “MOVE” Instruction Sheet to voter)

12 Absentee Voting by or FAX  Voter returns completed ballot and ABS-9 by fax (or by with digital copy of completed ballot and ABS-9)  Clerk (or designee) seals returned ballot in special absentee ballot envelope (ABS-10) and marks: “Absentee Ballot Received by Fax or ”

13 Absentee Voting by or FAX  The voter’s returned ABS-9 and voter’s absentee ballot application (FPCA or ABS-15) attached to special absentee ballot envelope (ABS-10)  The absentee ballot processed like other absentee ballots in county whether central count or precinct-count  /Fax confirmation back to voter that ballot received by next business day following receipt.  Update SVRS so voter can check (IC (i))

14 Voting by or FAX  A ballot returned by or Fax may be “remade” by a “bipartisan remake team” Duplicate ballot made (marked duplicate) that reflects vote on ballot so that it can be read by optical scanner (IC ) “Duplicate” ballot must bear a unique number also recorded on printout of original ed or faxed ballot so they can be linked if necessary in a recount or contest

15 Voting by Mail  Military/overseas voters may still vote by mail  If military/overseas voter submits ABS-15 but does not request to vote by or Fax, then clerk sends voter absentee ballot by U.S. Mail  Absentee Ballots must be delivered by printer at least 50 th day before the election.  Absentee ballot must begin to be sent by mail, Fax or by 45 days before election if approved absentee ballot applications

16 Absentee Ballot Mailing Envelopes  All ballots mailed “postage prepaid” with enclosed stamped envelope for return to the county election board “by at least first class mail” ( IC ; IC ) County Election Board may use special postage free envelopes for military/overseas voters for U.S. Mail (IC ; 38 U.S.C 3406) Template (and other information) to assist in preparing and printing these envelopes can be found at under link named “Postage Paid Envelope”

17 “Continuing Absentee Applications”  If application granted, it is considered “continuing” request until December 31 following date of the application ( IC (e))  So military/overseas application for May 2015 primary is good for November 2015 municipal election unless… Continuing absentee request considered cancelled if absentee ballot is returned undeliverable

18 “Federal Only Ballot” – None in 2015  If overseas voter indicates on FPCA or ABS-15 that “my return to U.S. is uncertain”, overseas voter considered a resident of precinct of county voter registration office; and entitled to federal only ballot (IC ) (No federal elections in 2015)

19 What is a FWAB? Federal Write-in Ballot  Federal Write-in absentee ballot (FWAB) is “back- up” method for military/overseas voters to reduce risk of receiving and returning ballots too late to have vote count Available from Voting Assistance Officers, U.S. Embassy, or U.S. Consulate May be downloaded from

20 FWAB in Indiana Elections  Federal Write-in absentee ballot (FWAB) may be used in any election, including: Primaries for nomination of candidates Any general, municipal or special election  May vote for any candidate (federal, state or local), political party or public question

21 FWAB in Primaries If voter votes for more than one candidate not of same political party, voter’s vote is void for that office. If voter votes for candidate not on primary ballot, that vote is void. If voter does not indicate office candidate seeks, that vote is void. No “straight party” primary votes.

22 FWAB in General Elections √ Voter writes name of a political party in “Candidate or Political Party affiliation” then the vote is counted for all candidates of that political party (a “straight ticket” vote) √ Vote will be counted in spite of an abbreviation, misspelling, or other minor variation of candidate or party name if voter’s intent can be determined

23 The FWAB “Oops” Rule SCENARIO: Your office staff opens an envelope which does not indicate that an absentee ballot is inside. However, out comes a FWAB! This FWAB still counted if otherwise valid. County election board immediately seals FWAB in absentee ballot security envelope, and documents date ballot sealed in envelope. Each CEB member signs sealed envelope.

24 “Late” Absentee Mailed Ballots  Absentee ballot from overseas voter, whether civilian living temporarily or indefinitely overseas or in military stationed overseas (outside of the U.S.) may be counted if: Received by noon 10 days following the election Postmarked by the date of the election (IC )


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