Even as the two presidential candidates fly from one battleground state to another and as the cascade of campaign ads rolls over television viewers, some fast-approaching deadlines are going to determine who will in fact get to vote on Nov. 6. The National Association of Secretaries of State has declared September National Voter Registration Month and Sept. 25 as National Voter Registration Day. In 48 states voter registration deadlines fall in October. One imminent deadline is this Saturday, Sept. 22, the date – 45 days before the general election – which is set by two federal laws, the Uniformed Overseas Absentee Voting Act and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, for election officials to send ballots to voters in the military and to civilian voters living outside the United States.
“There needs to be time for the ballot to get to the voter and back by Election Day – and that means 45 days” before Election Day, said Samuel Wright, director of the Service Members Law Center in Washington. Americans in the military who are serving around the world are eligible to vote “but the problem has always been getting them their absentee ballots in time so that they can mark those ballots and send them back in time to be counted,” Wright said.