Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues [October 4, 2012]   [open pdf - 289KB]

"The current law, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (P.L. 99-410), was signed into law by President Reagan on August 28, 1986. It was amended by the Help America Vote Act (P.L. 107-252) in 2002, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-107), the Defense Authorization Act for FY2005 (P.L. 108-375), the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for FY2007 (P.L. 109-364), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010 (P.L. 111-84). The main provisions of the law require states to do the following: Permit uniformed services voters, their spouses and dependents, and overseas voters who no longer maintain a residence in the United States, to register absentee […] and to vote by absentee ballot in all elections for federal office […]. Accept and process any valid voter registration application from an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter if the application is received not less than 30 days before the election. […] Furthermore, the law recommends that states accept the federal write-in absentee ballot for general elections for federal office […]. The law also stipulates that voting materials be carried 'expeditiously and free of postage.' […] [W]aive registration requirements for military and overseas voters who do not have an opportunity to register because of service or residence; send registration materials, along with an absentee ballot to be returned simultaneously […]; and provide for late registration for persons recently separated from the military."

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CRS Report for Congress, RS20764
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