S. 1415 (111th): Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Jul 08, 2009 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1415

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 8, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Chambliss, and Mr. Nelson of Nebraska) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

A BILL

To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters are aware of their voting rights and have a genuine opportunity to register to vote and have their absentee ballots cast and counted, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

The right to vote is a fundamental right.

(2)

Due to logistical, geographical, operational and environmental barriers, military and overseas voters are burdened by many obstacles that impact their right to vote and register to vote, the most critical of which include problems transmitting balloting materials and not being given enough time to vote.

(3)

States play an essential role in facilitating the ability of military and overseas voters to register to vote and have their ballots cast and counted, especially with respect to timing and improvement of absentee voter registration and absentee ballot procedures.

(4)

The Department of Defense educates military and overseas voters of their rights under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act and plays an indispensable role in facilitating the procedural channels that allow military and overseas voters to have their votes count.

(5)

The local, State, and Federal Government entities involved with getting ballots to military and overseas voters must work in conjunction to provide voter registration services and balloting materials in a secure and expeditious manner.

3.

Establishment of procedures for absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters To request and for states To send voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications by mail, electronically, and by facsimile

(a)

In general

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in paragraph (4), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(6)

in addition to any other method of registering to vote or applying for an absentee ballot in the State, establish procedures—

(A)

for absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters to request by mail, electronically, and by facsimile voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications with respect to general, special, primary, and runoff elections for Federal office in accordance with subsection (e);

(B)

for States to send by mail, electronically, and by facsimile (in accordance with the preferred method of transmission designated by the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter under subparagraph (C)) voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications requested under subparagraph (A) in accordance with subsection (e); and

(C)

by which the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter can designate whether they prefer for such voter registration application or absentee ballot application to be transmitted by mail, electronically, or by facsimile.

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Designation of email address and facsimile number for absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters To request and for states To send voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications, and for other purposes related to voting information

(1)

In general

Each State shall, in addition to the designation of a single State office under subsection (b), designate not less than 1 email address and not less than 1 facsimile number—

(A)

for use by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters who wish to register to vote or vote in any jurisdiction in the State to request voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications under subsection (a)(6);

(B)

for use by States to send voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications requested under such subsection; and

(C)

for the purpose of providing related voting, balloting, and election information to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters.

(2)

Inclusion of designated email address and facsimile number on balloting materials and related communications

Each State shall include an email address and facsimile number so designated on all balloting materials and related communications sent by the State to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters.

(3)

Availability and maintenance of online repository of State contact information

The Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense shall maintain and make available to the public an online repository of State contact information with respect to elections for Federal office, including the single State office designated under subsection (b) and the email address and facsimile number designated under paragraph (1), to be used by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters as a resource to send voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications to the appropriate jurisdiction in the State.

(4)

Transmission if no preference indicated

In the case where an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter does not designate a preference under subsection (a)(6)(C), the State shall transmit the voter registration application or absentee ballot application by any delivery method allowable in accordance with applicable State law, or if there is no applicable State law, by mail.

(5)

Privacy protections

The procedures established under subsection (a)(6) shall ensure that the privacy of the identity and other personal data of an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter who requests or is sent a voter registration application or absentee ballot application under such subsection is protected throughout the process of making such request or being sent such application.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

4.

Establishment of procedures for States to transmit blank absentee ballots by mail, online, and by facsimile to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters

(a)

In general

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1), as amended by section 3, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in paragraph (5), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (6), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(7)

in addition to any other method of transmitting blank absentee ballots in the State, establish procedures for transmitting by mail, electronically, and by facsimile blank absentee ballots to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters with respect to general, special, primary, and runoff elections for Federal office in accordance with subsection (f).

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(f)

Transmission of blank absentee ballots by mail, online, and by facsimile

(1)

In general

Each State shall establish procedures—

(A)

to transmit blank absentee ballots by mail, electronically, and by facsimile (in accordance with the preferred method of transmission designated by the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter under subparagraph (B)) to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for an election for Federal office; and

(B)

by which the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter can designate whether they prefer for such blank absentee ballot to be transmitted by mail, electronically, or by facsimile.

(2)

Transmission if no preference indicated

In the case where an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter does not designate a preference under paragraph (1)(B), the State shall transmit the ballot by any delivery method allowable in accordance with applicable State law, or if there is no applicable State law, by mail.

(3)

Privacy protections

The procedures established under subsection (a)(7) shall ensure that the privacy of the identity and other personal data of an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter to whom a blank absentee ballot is transmitted under such subsection is protected throughout the process of such transmission.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

5.

Ensuring absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters have time to vote

(a)

In general

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1), as amended by section 4, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in paragraph (6), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (7), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(8)

except as provided in subsection (g), transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter—

(A)

in the case where the request is received at least 45 days before an election for Federal office, not later than 45 days before the election; and

(B)

in the case where the request is received less than 45 days before an election for Federal office—

(i)

in accordance with State law; and

(ii)

if practicable and as determined appropriate by the State, in a manner that expedites the transmission of such absentee ballot; and

(9)

except as provided in subsection (g), accept and count a marked absentee ballot of an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter that is postmarked or otherwise officially dated on or before the election for Federal office involved if the marked absentee ballot is received by the State on or before the later of—

(A)

the date that is 55 days after the date on which a validly requested absentee ballot is required to be transmitted under paragraph (8)(A); or

(B)

the date on which the State certifies the election.

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(g)

Exemption of certain states from certain time requirements

(1)

In general

A State is not required to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (8) and (9) of subsection (a) if, on and after the date of enactment of this subsection, the State has in effect a law providing that a State absentee ballot is required to be available to any absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter not later than 55 days before the election for Federal office involved (determined beginning on the date on which the State transmits a blank absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter and ending on the deadline of the State for receipt of such application).

(2)

Hardship exemption

(A)

In general

If the chief State election official determines that the State is unable to meet the requirements under such paragraphs with respect to an election for Federal office due to an undue hardship described in subparagraph (B)(ii), the chief State election official shall request that the Presidential designee grant a waiver to the State of the application of such paragraphs. Such request shall include—

(i)

a recognition that the purpose of such paragraphs is to allow absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters enough time to vote in an election for Federal office;

(ii)

an explanation of the hardship that indicates why the State is unable to transmit absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters an absentee ballot in accordance with such paragraphs;

(iii)

the number of days prior to the election for Federal office that the State requires absentee ballots be transmitted to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters; and

(iv)

a comprehensive plan to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters are able to receive absentee ballots which they have requested and submit marked absentee ballots to the appropriate State election official in time to have that ballot counted in the election for Federal office, which includes—

(I)

the steps the State will undertake to ensure that absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters have time to receive, mark, and submit their ballots in time to have those ballots counted in the election;

(II)

why the plan provides absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters sufficient time to vote as a substitute for the requirements under such paragraphs; and

(III)

the underlying factual information which explains how the plan provides such sufficient time to vote as a substitute for such requirements.

(B)

Approval of waiver request

The Presidential designee shall approve a waiver request under subparagraph (A) if the Presidential designee determines each of the following requirements are met:

(i)

The comprehensive plan under clause (iv) of such subparagraph provides absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters sufficient time to receive absentee ballots they have requested and submit marked absentee ballots to the appropriate State election official in time to have that ballot counted in the election for Federal office.

(ii)

One or more of the following issues creates an undue hardship for the State:

(I)

The State’s primary election date prohibits the State from complying with such paragraphs (8) and (9).

(II)

The State has suffered a delay in generating ballots due to a legal contest with respect to a primary election.

(III)

The State Constitution prohibits the State from complying with such paragraphs.

(C)

Timing of waiver

(i)

In general

Except as provided under clause (ii), a State that requests a waiver under subparagraph (A) shall submit to the Presidential designee the written waiver request not later than 90 days before the election for Federal office with respect to which the request is submitted. The Presidential designee shall approve or deny the waiver request not later than 65 days before such election.

(ii)

Exception

If a State requests a waiver under subparagraph (A) as the result of an undue hardship described in subparagraph (B)(ii)(II), the State shall submit to the Presidential designee the written waiver request as soon as practicable. The Presidential designee shall approve or deny the waiver request not later than 5 business days after the date on which the request is received.

(D)

Application of waiver

A waiver approved under subparagraph (B) shall only apply with respect to the election for Federal office for which the request was submitted. For each subsequent election for Federal office, the Presidential designee shall only approve a waiver if the State has submitted a request under subparagraph (A) with respect to such election.

.

(b)

Runoff elections

Section 102(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)), as amended by subsection (a), is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (8), by striking and at the end;

(2)

in paragraph (9), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(10)

if the State declares or otherwise holds a runoff election for Federal office, establish a written plan that provides absentee ballots are made available to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters in manner that gives them sufficient time to vote in the runoff election.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

6.

Procedures for Collection and Delivery of Marked Absentee Ballots of Absent Overseas Uniformed Services Voters

(a)

In General

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 103 the following new section:

103A.

Procedures for Collection and Delivery of Marked Absentee Ballots of Absent Overseas Uniformed Services Voters

(a)

Collection

The Presidential designee shall establish procedures for collecting marked absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters in regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office, including absentee ballots prepared by States and the Federal write-in absentee ballot prescribed under section 103, and for delivering the ballots to the appropriate State election officials.

(b)

Utilization of express mail delivery services

Under the procedures established under this section, the Presidential designee, working in conjunction with the United States Postal Service, shall implement procedures that provide absent uniformed services voters access to express mail delivery service for the purpose of mailing marked absentee ballots to the appropriate State election official. Such procedures shall ensure that the following requirements are met:

(1)

No postage requirement

In accordance with section 3406 of title 39, United States Code, such marked absentee ballots and other balloting materials are carried free of postage.

(2)

Date of mailing

Such marked absentee ballots are postmarked with a record of the date on which the ballot is mailed.

(c)

Absent Overseas Uniformed Services Voter Defined

In this section, the term absent overseas uniformed services voter means an overseas voter described in section 107(5)(A).

.

(b)

Conforming Amendment

Section 101(b) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (6);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (7) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(8)

carry out section 103A with respect to the collection and delivery of marked absentee ballots of absent overseas uniformed services voters in elections for Federal office.

.

(c)

Tracking marked ballots

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)), as amended by section 5, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(h)

Tracking marked ballots

The chief State election official, in coordination with local election jurisdictions, shall develop a free access system by which an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter may determine whether the absentee ballot of the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter has been received by the appropriate State election official.

.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

7.

Federal write-in absentee ballot

(a)

Use in general, special, primary, and runoff elections for Federal office

(1)

In general

Section 103 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–2) is amended—

(A)

in subsection (a), by striking general elections for Federal office and inserting general, special, primary, and runoff elections for Federal office;

(B)

in subsection (e), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking a general election and inserting a general, special, primary, or runoff election for Federal office; and

(C)

in subsection (f), by striking the general election each place it appears and inserting the general, special, primary, or runoff election for Federal office.

(2)

Effective date

The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on December 31, 2010, and apply with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after such date.

(b)

Promotion and expansion of use

Section 103(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–2) is amended—

(1)

by striking General.—The Presidential and inserting “General.—

(1)

Federal write-in absentee ballot

The Presidential

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Promotion and expansion of use of Federal write-in absentee ballots

(A)

In general

Not later than December 31, 2011, the Presidential designee shall adopt procedures to promote and expand the use of the Federal write-in absentee ballot as a back-up measure to vote in elections for Federal office.

(B)

Use of technology

Under such procedures, the Presidential designee shall utilize technology to implement a system under which the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter may—

(i)

enter the address of the voter or other information relevant in the appropriate jurisdiction of the State, and the system will generate a list of all candidates in the election for Federal office in that jurisdiction; and

(ii)

submit the marked Federal write-in absentee ballot by printing the ballot (including complete instructions for submitting the marked Federal write-in absentee ballot to the appropriate State election official and the mailing address of the single State office designated under section 102(b)).

.

8.

Prohibiting refusal to accept voter registration and absentee ballot applications, marked absentee ballots, and federal write-in absentee ballots for failure to meet technical requirements

(a)

Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Applications

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1), as amended by section 6, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(i)

Prohibiting Refusal To Accept Applications for Failure To Meet technical Requirements

A State shall not refuse to accept and process any otherwise valid voter registration application or absentee ballot application (including the official post card form prescribed under section 101) or marked absentee ballot submitted in any manner by an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter solely on the basis of the following:

(1)

Notarization requirements.

(2)

Restrictions on paper type, including weight and size.

(3)

Restrictions on envelope type, including weight and size.

.

(b)

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

Section 103 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–2) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (e) the following new subsection:

(f)

Prohibiting Refusal To Accept Ballot for Failure To Meet technical Requirements

A State shall not refuse to accept and process any otherwise valid Federal write-in absentee ballot submitted in any manner by an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter solely on the basis of the following:

(1)

Notarization requirements.

(2)

Restrictions on paper type, including weight and size.

(3)

Restrictions on envelope type, including weight and size.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

9.

Federal Voting Assistance Program Improvements

(a)

Federal voting assistance program improvements

(1)

In general

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1397ff et seq.), as amended by section 6, is amended by inserting after section 103A the following new section:

103B.

Federal voting assistance program improvements

(a)

In general

The Presidential designee shall develop standards for training, supporting, and emphasizing Voting Assistance Officers under the Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense—

(1)

for all members of the uniformed services; and

(2)

on all installations and facilities of the uniformed services in the United States and overseas.

(b)

Duties

The Presidential designee shall carry out the following duties:

(1)

Assign Senior Voting Assistance Officers as follows:

(A)
(i)

Assign 1 Senior Voting Assistance Officer on each installation or facility and in each organization of the uniformed services, at the 0–6 level, to coordinate the programs conducted by subordinate units and tenant commands.

(ii)

To the extent practicable, subject to clause (iii), an individual assigned under this subparagraph as the Senior Voting Assistance Officer on an installation or facility or in an organization shall be an employee in a position at GS–12 or higher of the General Schedule, or, if a member of a uniformed service is so assigned, the member shall be in a pay grade of O–4 or higher.

(iii)

In the case where the number of individuals on the installation or facility or in the organization at the 0–6 level is less than 50, the Senior Voting Assistance Officer shall be assigned at the next highest level that has at least 50 individual assigned to it.

(iv)

To the extent practicable, each individual assigned under this subparagraph shall notify individuals on the installation or facility or in the organization of the last date before a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office on which absentee ballots mailed from that installation, facility, or organization may reasonably be expected to be delivered in time to be counted in such election.

(B)

Assign 1 Senior Voting Assistance Officer to each reserve component at its headquarters level.

(2)

Designate and assign in writing 1 Voting Assistance Officer to each unit, installation, or facility of the uniformed services for every 50 members of a uniformed service permanently assigned to the unit, installation, or facility. A member of a uniformed service assigned under the preceding sentence shall hold a pay grade of not less than O–2 for officers or E–7 for enlisted personnel. Voting Assistance Officers assigned under this paragraph shall operate under the guidance of Senior Voting Assistance Officers assigned under paragraph (1).

(3)

Ensure that Voting Assistance Officers are available and equipped to—

(A)

personally assist absent uniformed services voters with respect to each election for Federal office; and

(B)

ensure that any absent uniformed services voter who appears to need assistance in reading or understanding the English language on voter registration or voting materials receives immediate assistance with balloting materials in the appropriate language.

(4)

Provide Voting Assistance Officers with time and resources needed to perform their voting assistance duties, especially during even-numbered years.

(5)

Develop online portals of information for use by Voting Assistance Officers—

(A)

for training purposes; and

(B)

to inform absent uniformed services voters regarding voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures to be used by such voters with respect to elections for Federal office.

(6)

Establish a program to notify absent uniformed services voters of voter registration information and resources, the availability of the Federal postcard application, and the availability of the Federal write-in absentee ballot on the military Global Network, and shall use the military Global Network to notify absent uniformed services voters of the foregoing 90, 60, and 30 days prior to each election for Federal office.

(7)

Include, in the standard forms provided to a new member of the uniformed services during in-processing upon arrival at installations and bases of the uniformed services, information on voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures to be used by absent uniformed services voters (including the official post card form prescribed under section 101).

(8)

Provide clear written notice and instructions for the absent uniformed services voter to change their address by submitting the official post card form prescribed under section 101 to the appropriate State election official.

(9)

Not later than December 31 of each year, transmit to the President and to Congress a report on the effectiveness of activities carried out under this section, including the activities and actions of the Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense, a separate assessment of voter registration and participation by absent uniformed overseas voters, a separate assessment of voter registration and participation by overseas voters who are not members of the uniformed services, and a description of the cooperation between the States and the Federal Government in carrying out this section.

(c)

Clarification regarding other duties and obligations

Nothing in this section shall relieve the Presidential designee of their duties and obligations under any directives or regulations issued by the Department of Defense, including the Department of Defense Directive 1000.04 (or any successor directive or regulation) that is not inconsistent or contradictory to the provisions of this section.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense such sums as are necessary for purposes of carrying out this section.

.

(2)

Conforming Amendments

Section 101 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff), as amended by section 6, is amended—

(A)

in subparagraph (b)—

(i)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (7);

(ii)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (8) and inserting ; and; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(9)

carry out section 103B with respect to Federal Voting Assistance Program Improvements.

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(d)

Authorization of appropriations for carrying out Federal Voting Assistance Program Improvements

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Presidential designee such sums as are necessary for purposes of carrying out subsection (b)(9).

.

(b)

Treatment of military pay, personnel, and identification offices and certain other offices as voter registration agencies

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1), as amended by section 8, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(j)

Treatment of military pay, personnel, and identification offices and certain offices as voter registration agencies

(1)

Pay, personnel, and identification offices of the Department of Defense

Each State and the Secretary of Defense shall jointly develop and implement procedures for persons to apply to register to vote at pay, personnel, and identification offices of the Department of Defense. A pay, personnel, or identification office of the Department of Defense shall be considered to be a voter registration agency designated under section 7(a)(2) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 for all purposes of such Act.

(2)

Designation of certain offices at the installation level

(A)

In general

A Secretary of a military department may designate an office at the installation level, consistent across every installation of the department of the Secretary concerned, to serve as a voter registration agency for that department. An office designated by the Secretary concerned under the preceding sentence shall be considered to be a voter registration agency designated under section 7(a)(2) of such Act for all purposes of such Act.

(B)

Definition of military department and secretary concerned

In this paragraph, the terms military department and Secretary concerned have the meaning given such terms in paragraphs (8) and (9), respectively, of section 101 of title 10, United States Code.

(3)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

10.

Development of standards for reporting and storing certain data

(a)

In general

Section 101(b) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)), as amended by section 9, is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (8);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (9) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(10)

working with the Election Assistance Commission and the chief State election official of each State, develop standards—

(A)

for States to report data on the number of absentee ballots transmitted and received under section 102(c) and such other data as the Presidential designee determines appropriate; and

(B)

for the Presidential designee to store the data reported.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 102(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)), as amended by section 5, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (9), by striking and at the end;

(2)

in paragraph (10), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(11)

report data on the number of absentee ballots transmitted and received under section 102(c) and such other data as the Presidential designee determines appropriate in accordance with the standards developed by the Presidential designee under section 101(b)(10).

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

11.

Annual report on enforcement

Section 105 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973f–4) is amended—

(1)

by striking The Attorney and inserting (a) In general.—The Attorney; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(b)

Report to congress

Not later than December 31 of each year, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress an annual report on any civil action brought under subsection (a) during the preceding year.

.

12.

Requirements payments

(a)

Use of funds

Section 251(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15401(b)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking paragraph (2) and inserting paragraphs (2) and (3); and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Activities under Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act

A State shall use a requirements payment made using funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization under section 257(4) only to meet the requirements under the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act imposed as a result of the provisions of and amendments made by the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.

.

(b)

Requirements

(1)

State plan

Section 254 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15404) is amended—

(A)

in subsection (a), by striking The State and inserting Subject to subsection (c), the State;

(B)

by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d); and

(C)

by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection:

(c)

State plan for certain requirements payments

In the case of a requirements payment made using funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization under section 257(4), the State plan shall contain a description of how the State will use such requirements payment to meet the requirements under the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act imposed as a result of the provisions of and amendments made by the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

Section 253(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15403(b)) is amended—

(A)

in paragraph (1)(A), by striking section 254 and inserting subsection (a) of section 254 (or, in the case of a requirements payment made using funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization under section 257(4), subsection (c) of such section); and

(B)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

by striking (2) The State and inserting (2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the State; and

(ii)

by inserting after subparagraph (A), as added by clause (i), the following new subparagraph:

(B)

The requirement under subparagraph (A) shall not apply in the case of a requirements payment made using funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization under section 257(4).

.

(c)

Authorization

Section 257 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15407) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

For fiscal year 2010 and subsequent fiscal years, such sums as are necessary for purposes of making requirements payments to States to carry out the activities described in section 251(b)(3).

.

13.

Technology pilot program

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Absent uniformed services voter

The term absent uniformed services voter has the meaning given such term in section 107(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.).

(2)

Overseas voter

The term overseas voter has the meaning given such term in section 107(5) of such Act.

(3)

Presidential designee

The term Presidential designee means the individual designated under section 101(a) of such Act.

(b)

Establishment

(1)

In general

The Presidential designee may establish 1 or more pilot programs under which the feasibility of new election technology is tested for the benefit of absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters claiming rights under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.).

(2)

Design and conduct

The design and conduct of a pilot program established under this subsection—

(A)

shall be at the discretion of the Presidential designee; and

(B)

shall not conflict with or substitute for existing laws, regulations, or procedures with respect to the participation of absent uniformed services voters and military voters in elections for Federal office.

(c)

Considerations

In conducting a pilot program established under subsection (b), the Presidential designee may consider the following issues:

(1)

The transmission of electronic voting material across military networks.

(2)

Virtual private networks, cryptographic voting systems, centrally controlled voting stations, and other information security techniques.

(3)

The transmission of ballot representations and scanned pictures in a secure manner.

(4)

Capturing, retaining, and comparing electronic and physical ballot representations.

(5)

Utilization of voting stations at military bases.

(6)

Document delivery and upload systems.

(7)

The functional effectiveness of the application or adoption of the pilot program to operational environments, taking into account environmental and logistical obstacles and State procedures.

(d)

Reports

The Presidential designee shall submit to Congress reports on the progress and outcomes of any pilot program conducted under this subsection, together with recommendations—

(1)

for the conduct of additional pilot programs under this section; and

(2)

for such legislation and administrative action as the Presidential designee determines appropriate.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.