Bipartisan Military Voting Protection Act Passes Committee
McCarthy and Boren’s Bill Now Ready for House Floor Consideration
Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, along with members of the House Administration Committee approved the Military Voting Protection (MVP) Act of 2009 (H.R. 2393). The MVP Act helps ensure timely delivery of overseas military absentee ballots so they are counted, and is now ready to be considered by the full House of Representatives.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) issued the following statement:
“We are now one step closer to ensuring that the votes of our troops serving abroad will be counted. I am pleased that the House Administration Committee could come together and pass this bipartisan common-sense solution. Chairman Brady was instrumental in seeing this bill move forward, and I hope that the House Democratic leadership will allow these military voting reforms to come before the whole House immediately.”
Congressman Dan Boren (OK-02) issued the following statement:
“I thank Congressman McCarthy for his leadership on this important effort and I look forward working with him to move this legislation to the floor of the U.S. House. This is a victory for the men and women in uniform whose votes were left uncounted in the last election. This common sense piece of legislation will ensure that our soldiers are included in the democratic process that they have sacrificed so much to protect for every other American.”
Congressman McCarthy is the Chief Deputy Republican Whip and serves as the Ranking Member on the House Administration Elections Subcommittee.
Congressman Boren serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
The 2004 and 2006 elections revealed that our troops overseas continue to face substantial roadblocks to their participation in elections back home. According to the Election Assistance Commission, out of the 992,034 military and overseas absentee ballots requested for the 2006 election, more than 660,000 never reached election officials to be counted. Of the ballots that did reach election officials, many were rejected for various reasons, including 10 percent of those having been received too late to be counted. Though the official data from the 2008 election is not yet available, the preliminary evidence indicates that our military voters faced the same array of problems in trying to cast their ballots.
The MVP Act attempts to reduce delays in the absentee voting system currently in place for our overseas troops, who have little control over their geographic assignments. The bill would provide for the express shipping of their completed absentee ballots, with tracking of these ballots while in transit. The aim of the bill is to ensure that the ballots of these troops overseas are delivered to the appropriate state election officials by the jurisdiction’s statutory deadline, while safeguarding voter privacy and ballot secrecy.
Earlier this year, joining Congressmen McCarthy and Boren in offering Senate companion legislation is U.S. Senators John Cornyn (TX), Ron Wyden (OR), and Mark Begich (AK). Both Senator Cornyn and Congressman McCarthy introduced closely related measures last Congress. The Senate unanimously passed the MVP Act in October 2008, but it was never considered by the House.