Text: H.Con.Res.388 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (10/02/2008)

 
[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 388 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
H. CON. RES. 388


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

           September 22 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

                                Received

            October 2 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

         Referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
Expressing the sense of Congress that the Department of Defense and the 
 Federal Voting Assistance Program should take certain additional and 
 timely measures to ensure that members of the Armed Forces and their 
 dependents and citizens living overseas are provided with reasonable 
  information on how to register to vote and vote in the 2008 general 
                               elections.

Whereas members of the Armed Forces and their dependents deserve every 
        reasonable opportunity to participate in the electoral process given 
        their daily sacrifices to protect our liberty and freedom;
Whereas Congress enacted the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act 
        in part to ensure that members of the Armed Forces and their dependents 
        and

              

 citizens living overseas are provided with sufficient information, 
opportunities, and balloting materials to foster their participation in 
Federal elections;

Whereas the Election Assistance Commission found that less than 17 percent of 
        the 6 million citizens eligible under the Uniformed and Overseas 
        Citizens Absentee Voting Act chose to participate in the 2006 general 
        election;
Whereas the Election Assistance Commission further found that of the 48,600 
        Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act ballots that were 
        not counted by States and local jurisdictions in the November 2006 
        elections, 70 percent were not counted due to incorrect or undeliverable 
        addresses;
Whereas the Election Assistance Commission further found that more than 10 
        percent of all uncounted military and overseas absentee ballots were 
        rejected because they were received past the required deadline;
Whereas the Election Assistance Commission further found that more effort needs 
        to be made by the States and the Department of Defense to ensure that 
        members of the Armed Forces and their dependents and citizens living 
        overseas are made fully aware of their voting rights;
Whereas the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the 
        Federal Voting Assistance Program are required to create and utilize a 
        Federal Post Card Application that allows members of the Armed Forces 
        and their dependents and citizens living overseas to use a single 
        application to register to vote and request an absentee ballot;
Whereas a survey conducted recently by the Inspector General for the Department 
        of Defense analyzed the effectiveness of the Federal Voting Assistance 
        Program during the 2006 general election, and found that only 40 percent 
        of members of the Armed Forces received voting information from the 
        military and only 33 percent were aware of the Federal Post Card 
        Application;
Whereas in April 2008 testimony before the Committee on House Administration 
        revealed that the Department of Defense had not provided all members of 
        the Armed Forces and their dependents with post card applications by the 
        January 15, 2008, deadline as required by Department policy, and that 
        the Department has yet to comply with this requirement; and
Whereas many of Department of Defense's outreach efforts, including its Armed 
        Forces Voter Week, are scheduled to occur 60 days before the November 
        2008 election, which may not provide members of the Armed Forces and 
        their dependents or citizens living overseas with sufficient time to 
        complete and return the Federal Post Card Applications: Now, therefore, 
        be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That it is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) it is in the interests of the United States to ensure 
        that the Secretary of Defense and the Federal Voting Assistance 
        Program provide members of the Armed Forces and their 
        dependents and citizens living overseas who are eligible under 
        the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act with 
        sufficient information regarding opportunities to register to 
        vote and to request an absentee ballot for elections occurring 
        in 2008, including the November 2008 general election;
            (2) the Secretary of Defense and the Federal Voting 
        Assistance Program must, on a monthly basis starting September 
        22, 2008, and continuing on the first of each month through the 
        November 2008 general election, provide all eligible members of 
        the Armed Forces and their dependents with an electronic 
        reminder of the voter registration and absentee ballot process 
        available under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee 
        Voting Act, and, as required by Department policy, provide all 
        members of the Armed Forces and their dependents with an 
        electronic or paper copy of the Federal Post Card Application, 
        along with sufficient instruction on completing and returning 
        the application to the appropriate election official;
            (3) State and local election officials should work with the 
        Federal Voting Assistance Program to develop methods, 
        consistent with privacy and security, for obtaining updated 
        addresses and contact information, if possible, for any member 
        of the Armed Forces or dependent and any citizen living 
        overseas who has been identified by the State or local election 
        official as having an undeliverable ballot address;
            (4) the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and 
        Readiness should report to the Committee on House 
        Administration of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
        on Rules and Administration of the Senate, and the Committees 
        on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and Senate 
        not later than October 15, 2008, on the efforts made by the 
        Department of Defense to--
                    (A) educate members of the Armed Forces and 
                citizens living overseas on the process of voter 
                registration and absentee voting in the 2008 general 
                election,
                    (B) provide all eligible members of the Armed 
                Forces and their dependents and citizens living 
                overseas with the Federal Post Card Application to 
                register to vote and cast absentee ballots in such 
                election, and
                    (C) cooperate effectively with State and local 
                election officials in their efforts to register these 
                individuals and distribute and collect their absentee 
                ballots;
            (5) States must redouble their efforts to make sure that 
        local jurisdictions collect the mandated information for 
        individuals who are eligible under the Uniformed and Overseas 
        Citizens Absentee Voting Act, and should work in partnership 
        with the Federal Government to develop best practices 
        (including the use of electronic means) for encouraging voting 
        participation among members of the Armed Forces and their 
        dependents and citizens living overseas; and
            (6) the Department of Defense, the Federal Voting 
        Assistance Program, the Election Assistance Commission, and 
        State governments should examine recommendations made by the 
        Election Assistance Commission in its September 2007 survey 
        findings regarding the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee 
        Voting Act.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 17, 2008.

            Attest:

                                            LORRAINE C. MILLER,

                                                                 Clerk.