Thursday, June 23, 2011

St. Rep. Dovilla's Legislation Addressing Overseas Voting for Military Service Members Passes Ohio House

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation written by State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) to implement changes to Ohio’s Uniform Military and Overseas Voting law to make it more accurately reflect recommendations by the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
“This legislation will implement important flexibilities to assist Ohioans living overseas in exercising one of our most important civic duties: the right and responsibility to vote,” said Dovilla.  “I am particularly pleased that my Democratic friend and colleague, Representative Michael Stinziano, joined me in jointly sponsoring this bipartisan bill.”
House Bill 224 will:

·         permit a uniformed services or overseas voter to apply for an absentee ballot by email or, if offered by the board of elections, through Internet delivery;

·         require boards of elections to accept and process federal write-in absentee ballots for all elections for federal, state or local office and for all ballot questions and issues;

·         establish an emergency process for uniformed services and overseas voters to cast a ballot if an international, national, state or local emergency arises that makes substantial compliance with the federal absent voting law impossible or impracticable; and

·         permit a uniformed services or overseas voter to use the declaration accompanying a federal write-in absentee ballot to apply to register to vote simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot.
“In passing House Bill 224, we are honoring the military members within our communities,” continued Dovilla.  “While these brave men and women are protecting our country and families around the globe, we have a duty to protect their ability to vote.”
The legislation will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.