At a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse, State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today unveiled legislation to implement changes to Ohio’s Uniform Military and Overseas Voting law to make it more accurately reflect recommendations made by the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

“As a U.S. Navy veteran, it is particularly important to me that we ensure our men and women in uniform have a voice in elections while serving overseas,” Dovilla said. “I’m pleased and honored to have an opportunity to sponsor legislation that safeguards this civic right and responsibility.”

Specifically, this legislation will permit a uniformed services or overseas voter to apply for an absentee ballot by e-mail or, if offered by the board of elections, through Internet delivery; require boards of elections to accept and process federal write-in absentee ballots for all elections for federal, state or local office and for all ballot questions and issues; establish an emergency process for uniformed services and overseas voters to cast a ballot if an international, national, state or local emergency arises that makes substantial compliance with the federal absent voting law impossible or impracticable; and permit a uniformed services or overseas voter to use the declaration accompanying a federal write-in absentee ballot to apply to register to vote simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot.

“This is just one of the ways we can honor the military members within our communities,” said Dovilla. “While these brave individuals are protecting our country and our families around the globe, we have a duty to protect their ability to vote. Their willingness to defend our freedoms - including at the ballot box - only underscores the importance of this effort to allow their voices to be heard in each and every election.”

This legislation enjoys bipartisan support, with Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) jointly sponsoring the bill with Rep. Dovilla. It will soon be assigned to a House committee where it will undergo further consideration and debate.


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