The recent launch of several overseas voting organizations (such as Long Distance Voter and Young Voters Overseas) has combined with this year’s constant search for the newest untapped voting bloc to sharpen the focus on voters abroad as of late.

Overseas Vote Foundation

During and after its second annual Overseas Voting Summit in Munich this past April, The Overseas Vote Foundation launched both “Military Voter Services” and “Youth Voter Overseas” in order to zero in on specific overseas constituencies. It also partnered with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to create a as well as forged a partnership with FedEx to ship overseas ballots at low or no cost in 2008. Read

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes summed up the issues facing military voters this week in a three-part series on the the difficulty faced by military personnel voting overseas, dealing with the rules and procedures surrounding overseas voting, the struggles voting assistance officers often have in convincing members of the service to take the time to vote, and some of the efforts being made by the smaller public and private entities to make voting easier for military voters overseas.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recently revamped its overseas voter help website, www.fvap.org, based on user feedback and focus group studies. The new site has state-specific instructions for voting absentee and features an automated Voter Registration/Ballot Delivery tool. However, following the website’s re-launch, a group of 35 Republican congressmen lately called for even more attention to be paid to military voters overseas. The group wrote a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey in a letter to investigate whether FVAP is fulfilling the entirety of its legal obligation to provide adequate assistance to service members abroad. (Government Computing News)

Long Distance Voter

Examining recent deluge of attention to engaging voters abroad, Debra Cleaver recognized that one important absentee voter population was being passed over- absentee voters in the United States. In response, she launched Long Distance Voter, an online clearinghouse of absentee voter information for all 50 states and DC. Long Distance Voter is the most comprehensive resource available for college students, long-distance commuters and folks simply unsure of where they’ll be on November 4th. The site hosts voter registration and verification tools, deadline charts, and ballot applications in an easy-to-navigate format that’s perfect for students and first-time voters.

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