Gainesville Daily Register

March 18, 2013

State launches military voting project

Special to the Register

AUSTIN — AUSTIN – Texas Secretary of State John Steen recently launched an initiative, The Boots and Ballots Tour, by the Elections Division in the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, to prepare and provide military voters with additional resources to register to vote and participate in local, state and federal elections. There are two Uniform Election dates in Texas this year; May 11 and Nov. 5.

“No one does more to protect our freedom and right to vote than the men and women of our armed services,” Steen said in a news release. “So we must do everything we can to ensure they can participate in the very process they are serving and fighting to protect and defend.”

To enhance the effectiveness of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), this program will make additional voting information and resources available to Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs) at military installations across Texas. The military voting section of Texas’ voter resource website, www.VoteTexas.gov, has been updated to include a new, simple check list and video demonstrating how military and overseas voters cast a ballot through the Federal Post Card Application process (FPCA). The website also includes links to the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and local county election officials.

Through this program, military and overseas voters are also being reminded the FPCA permanently registers them to vote, and serves as a ballot request for a calendar year so they do not have to request a ballot each time an election is held.

A post-election survey of the 2012 General Election shows 54,005 military ballots were sent and 32,221 were counted. By comparison, in 2010 49,789 military ballots were sent and 12,665 votes counted, while in 2008, just 24,915 military ballots were sent and 16,231 were counted.