MONTGOMERY, Ala.— At the request of Secretary of State Beth Chapman, the Alabama National Guard has sent information regarding new military voting procedures to all deployed commanders.
Chapman recently made changes to ensure military voters have sufficient time for their absentee ballots to be counted in the upcoming primary election on March 13th. Chapman ordered corrective measures in accordance with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act to address those instances where, for various reasons, county Absentee Election Managers were unable to transmit Federal ballots not less than 45 days before the March 13, 2012 primary election.
The new rule, initiated and implemented by Chapman, expands the time for processing absentee ballots by 8 days and was necessary due to the unexpected inability of some Absentee Election Managers to transmit Federal UOCAVA ballots 45 days or more before the election. Chapman cautions that although the time period for receiving UOCAVA ballots has been extended, all military and overseas voters should return their ballots as soon as possible to ensure their timely receipt.
"I will use the full extent of my powers to extend the time to accept these ballots and make sure each of these votes is counted," said Chapman. "The men and women serving in our military, who are defending democracy, must be able to participate in it fully and without any barriers or hindrances. It’s the least we can do."
Secretary Chapman has been a strong state and national advocate for our nation’s military and their right to vote, including testifying before Congress on the issue. She also created and chaired Alabama’s Military and Overseas Voting Task Force.