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January 29, 2009
Military & Overseas Task Force Makes Unanimous Legislative Recommendation

Montgomery—Alabama is one step closer to electronic voting for military and overseas voters thanks to a unanimous vote on legislation presented today by the Military and Overseas Voting Task Force appointed by Governor Bob Riley and chaired by Secretary of State Beth Chapman.


The bill to be presented to the Alabama State Legislature outlines a plan for five additional ways for military members to request and cast their ballots replacing Alabama’s current procedure which is for U.S. Postal Service only.


“This is a great day for Alabama’s military members who serve abroad and experience delays in receiving and requesting absentee ballots and in some cases don’t have the opportunity to cast a ballot at all,” Chapman said. “This task force has wide representation from local elections officials, veterans, National Guardsmen and more. Today’s endorsement from this distinguished group of citizens and officials is a strong inclusive statement of support.”


The five additional ways to request a ballot, include mail, ground carriers such as UPS and Fed Ex, a secure fax line, email, and secure electronic transmission.  The bill will also authorize overseas voters to return their ballots by via the same means except email.


Chapman says that all officials who are involved in the elections process and those representing the military have been invited to participate in the task force’s work over the past year. “The end result is a bill which we can present with confidence to the Legislature in the upcoming weeks in a spirit of bipartisan unity and support. We ask for their support as well.”


 “The members of the task force have provided solid advice and we have met with some of the nation’s top ranking officials on the issue of military and overseas voting.  It’s time now to put our efforts and discussions into action and make voting easier for the soldiers who deserve to have their voice heard as they are fighting for our freedom” said Chapman.

For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: