A multiagency effort is underway to modernize the mail delivery system to improve delivery of election materials to military and overseas voters, the director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program said here today. Matt Boehmer testified before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee on how the Defense Department is improving ballot accessibility. “The Military Postal Service Agency is serving as the lead agency in an effort with the Department of State and the United States Postal Service to lead an effort to modernize military mail delivery,” he said. Boehmer said the department recognized the time required to redirect mail once it has arrived overseas hinders the ability to cast an absentee ballot. “The system will redirect election material to military and diplomatic addresses similar to how the civilian change-of-address system works,” he said, noting it should be available in October. Boehmer noted Congress and the judicial system repeatedly have affirmed that voting is a citizen’s most fundamental right. “The Federal Voting Assistance Program is committed to two voting assistance tenets: promoting the awareness of the right to vote, and eliminating barrier for those who choose to exercise that right,” he said.
“Last year, FVAP and the Defense Department exemplified this commitment by advancing three major initiatives, Boehmer said: creating a robust information portal, implementing greater voter assistance capabilities and starting work on increasing mail delivery efficiency.
FVAP recently optimized its website, the director said, by re-organizing content to enhance the user experience and implementing a section of the portal to track performance metrics for voting assistance officers. Updated online training will be released in the early spring, he added.
To improve voting assistance capabilities, Boehmer said, FVAP created a suite of materials in 2013 to provide absentee voters with specific information.