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S. 1566 (116th): Military Voting Protection Act


The text of the bill below is as of May 21, 2019 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1566

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 21, 2019

(for himself, Mr. King, Mr. Tillis, and Ms. Duckworth) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

A BILL

To require information and opportunities for registration for voting and absentee ballot requests for members of the Armed Forces who are undergoing deployment overseas, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Military Voting Protection Act.

2.

Information and opportunities for registration for voting and absentee ballot requests for members of the Armed Forces undergoing deployment overseas

(a)

In general

Not later than 45 days prior to a general election for Federal office, a member of the Armed Forces shall be provided with the following:

(1)

A Federal write-in absentee ballot prescribed pursuant to section 103 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20303), together with instructions on the appropriate use of the ballot with respect to the State in which the member is registered to vote.

(2)

In the case of a member intending to vote in a State that does not accept the Federal write-in absentee ballot as a simultaneous application and acceptable ballot for Federal elections, a briefing on, and an opportunity to fill out, the official post card form for absentee voter registration application and absentee ballot application prescribed under section 101(b)(2) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301(b)(2)).

(b)

Personnel responsible of discharge

Ballots and instructions shall be provided pursuant to paragraphs(1) of subsection (a) by Voting Assistance Officers or such other personnel as the Secretary of the military department concerned shall designate.

(c)

Sense of Congress relating to the use of the Federal write-In absentee ballot

(1)

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(A)

Servicemembers serving abroad are subject to disproportionate challenges in voting.

(B)

As of May, 2019, only 28 States allow servicemembers to use the Federal write-in absentee ballot as a simultaneous application and acceptable ballot for Federal elections.

(2)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(A)

Federal and State governments should remove all obstacles that would inhibit deployed servicemembers from voting; and

(B)

States that do not allow ser­vice­mem­bers to use the Federal write-in absentee ballot as a simultaneous application and acceptable ballot for Federal elections should modify their laws to permit such use.