[Image courtesy of OVF]
Later this month - Friday, January 27 - my friends and colleagues at the Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) will be hosting their sixth annual Summit in Washington, DC.
OVF, which originally organized to help overseas citizens exercise their right to vote, has become a tireless advocate for reform of the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absnetee Voting Act (UOCAVA). Their efforts have certainly paid off, as Congress strengthened UOCAVA to give military and overseas voters more time to vote by requiring states and localities to send ballots sooner.
OVF also deserves credit for moving beyond lobbying to develop hands-on solutions for their target voters. Several states are using a turnkey UOCAVA solution developed by OVF, and the Foundation has also been aggressive in seeking sponsorship by programs like Express Your Vote which allows voters to expedite return of voted military and overseas ballots.
Finally, OVF is constantly compiling research on the status of military and overseas voters - research which has helped the field understand the impact of current laws and identify opportunities for improvement and reform.
The Summit will feature presentations by HP's Tom Reilly, Americans Elect's Eliott Ackerman, California Voter Foundation's Kim Alexander, a host of federal, state and local election officials and academic experts.
Pew's Elections team is also slated to release research detailing progress made on military and overseas voting in the three years since the groundbreaking 2009 No Time to Vote report that was a catalyst for so much of the current wave of reform.
The full Summit agenda is here.
If you're going to be in DC on January 27 and would like to join the meeting, registration is still open at this link.
These Summits have always been a terrific opportunity for learning and networking with others interested in assisting military and overseas voters - hope to see many of you there!