The Overseas Vote Foundation is launching a new domestic voter registration and absentee ballot site in this election season that aims to make it easy for voters to fill out and access state-specific election forms. OVF announced the new initiative, the U.S. Vote Foundation, at its summit at the end of January. The Overseas Vote Foundation, founded in 2005, has been dedicated to making the overseas registration process more accessible through its websites dedicated to military service members as well as the general population of Americans abroad. “We know that one of the things that election officials want the most is that voters use the forms that their state provides,” said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, OVF’s president and CEO. “Some states use the NVRA to send the voter yet another form.”
U.S. Vote allows the user to fill out a state-specific voter registration form online, which they can then download and send to their state’s board of elections. The U.S. Vote Foundation site is integrated with Facebook, so that some data in the forms can be pulled from a user’s profile. Another part of the site, “My Voter Account,” is where voters can save their data and regenerate forms in the future. The idea, she said, is that “not only should every citizen have a bank account, but a voter account.” The site also offers contact information for local elections officials, using OVF’s election official directory, which has been licensed by the National Association of Secretaries of State.
“US Vote has a complete range of voter information services including a detailed FAQ, state-specific dates and deadlines for each election … identification requirements, eligibility requirements, witness and notarization requirements, and candidate information,” Dzieduszycka-Suinat wrote in an e-mail. Turbovote, which launched in fall 2010, is particularly geared at colleges and universities, and according to its FAQ, sends completed forms with postage-paid envelopes to voters at colleges that have partnered with the site, a service Dzieduszycka-Suinat called “very cool.” U.S. Vote, she noted, does not keep completed forms in its system for security reasons and will only generate a form based on a user’s request to download one.