FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2013) — Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will present a featured keynote address Thursday regarding military voting at the Overseas Vote Foundation and United States Vote Foundation’s 7th Annual Summit at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
“The voting summit is a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences related to military and overseas voting,” Grimes said. “Increasing our collective understanding of the challenges facing voters stationed or living abroad and the solutions available will help us to ensure that those who risk their lives on the battlefield have their voices heard at the ballot box.”
Grimes was invited to be a keynote speaker at the voting summit to share her firsthand impressions of the specific problems facing military voters. Since taking office, Grimes has worked extensively with Kentucky’s military, including those stationed at Ft. Knox and Ft. Campbell, to educate them on voting processes and ensure equal access to the polls.
In September 2012, Grimes traveled to Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain with other secretaries of state selected by the United States Department of Defense to evaluate the status of military and overseas voting. While in the Middle East, Grimes met with military members in the field, thanked them personally for their service and discussed with them their experiences voting while on active duty.
When she returned, Grimes made recommendations to the General Assembly for improving military and overseas voters’ access to the polls. Her recommendations have received bipartisan support, and Senate President Stivers is sponsoring a bill to adopt them and designated that legislation Senate Bill 1 for the 2013 session.
“I am proud and excited to share my experiences and what we are doing in Kentucky to ensure that all eligible voters – especially those who risk their lives serving our state and nation – have a meaningful opportunity to vote in every election,” Grimes said.
Overseas Vote Foundation is a nonpartisan organization that provides voter services for U.S. citizens overseas and uniformed service members. U.S. Vote Foundation provides tools to help voters living within the United States register to vote and request absentee ballots using state-specific forms.
The voting summit brings together election stakeholders from all arenas, including federal and state election officials, corporations, technologists, academics, congressional staffers and other non-governmental organizations and overseas American organizations. The 2013 summit will include discussions of post-2012 election research and address challenges to improving the franchise for uniformed service and overseas voters, as well as domestic absentee voters.