Justice Department Announces Agreement to Protect Rights of Military and Overseas Voters in Vermont
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an agreement with the State of Vermont to help ensure that military service members, their family members and U.S. citizens living overseas have the opportunity to participate fully in the Nov. 6, 2012, federal general election.
The agreement was filed today in the federal district court in Vermont to resolve the lawsuit the department brought on Oct. 11, 2012, to enforce the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). If approved by the court, the agreement will provide additional time for receipt of absentee ballots to ensure eligible military and overseas voters, who requested ballots, will have sufficient time to vote in the general election. The agreement also provides individual notice to each affected voter, and Vermont will provide a report to the United States about Vermont’s compliance with UOCAVA.
“This agreement reflects this department’s steadfast and continued commitment to ensure that members of our armed forces, their families and overseas citizens are offered a full and meaningful opportunity to vote in our nation’s elections,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I am most appreciative that election officials in Vermont worked cooperatively with the department and agreed to take actions to ensure that military and overseas voters will have a full opportunity to have their votes counted in the upcoming general election.”
“The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Tristram J. Coffin. “I am happy that we could resolve this issue in a manner that enables members of our armed services, and other citizens abroad, to exercise this fundamental right.”
More information about UOCAVA and other federal voting laws is available on the Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/misc/activ_uoc.php . Please report any complaints to the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931.