MONTGOMERY, Ala.--Secretary of State Jim Bennett announced that the first round of military and overseas (UOCAVA) ballots for the June 3, 2014 primary election has been sent. Of the 59 jurisdictions that had valid absentee ballot applications submitted on or before the 45th day before the election, 57 reported that they had sent those ballots on or before the federal deadline. More than half of those counties—32—reported that their ballots had been sent a week early. Two jurisdictions sent some of their ballots two days late this year.
"While we regret we could not report that every county met the federal deadline, I do want to thank every county that worked so diligently to see that our military and overseas voters’ ballots get to them with sufficient time for those ballots to be returned and counted," said Bennett.
Secretary Bennett also announced that for the 2014 primary and general election, UOCAVA voters will have an extra week in which to get their voted ballots back to the county. Bennett stated, "I want to thank the Legislature for passing Act No. 2014-2006, which extends the deadline for receipt of UOCAVA ballots to noon on the 7th day after the election." Prior to this new law taking effect, for the primary and general elections, voted UOCAVA ballots had to be received by noon on Election Day. "By extending the receipt deadline an extra 7 days, this should go a long way toward ensuring that our military men and women’s ballots are counted."
For the UOCAVA ballots that were not sent in compliance with the federal transmission deadline, Bennett is taking remedial steps to ensure that voters know they now have an extra week in which to get their voted ballots back to the county. Once the UOCAVA ballots have been received, Bennett urges the voters to mark them and put them in the mail at their earliest convenience. "We want to do everything within our power to ensure that these votes are counted. Our men and women in uniform certainly deserve no less," said Bennett.