One absentee ballot request from military and overseas voters would be good for an entire election cycle, under legislation introduced Friday in the House of Representatives. The bill, HR 5828, is aimed at clarifying confusion created in a 2009 overhaul of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The change can be interpreted as requiring separate absentee ballot requests for primary and general elections.
It is unclear whether Congress could pass the fix in time to apply to the 2012 elections, so voters may need to request ballots for each election to be certain they are not left out. While many states have held primaries, some elections for federal office are scheduled later this year to determine which candidates will appear on the November general election ballots. “As we are in the 2012 election cycle, we need to ensure that this does not inadvertently disenfranchise large swaths of our military and overseas voters,” said Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chief sponsor of the new bill.