FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Catherine Lu
(702) 486-6982 / 334-7953
(Carson City, NV; July 18, 2012) – The Military Voter Protection (MVP) Project named Nevada, under Secretary of State Ross Miller’s guidance, an All-Star state for taking significant efforts to promote and protect the voting rights of America’s military service members and their families.
“Currently, more than 16,000 uniformed service members and 8,000 spouses and dependents claim Nevada as their voting residence. As Nevada’s chief elections officer, I am committed to ensuring that absent service members, their spouses and dependents, and citizens living overseas are able to exercise their right to vote,” said Secretary Miller. “Because Nevada is home to several military installations including Nellis Air Force Base and the Naval Air Station in Fallon, the state is proactive in addressing concerns of military and overseas voters, particularly the sometimes confusing national patchwork of laws and regulations governing absentee voting.”
In analyzing these states, the MVP Project looked at a number of factors, including:
• The state’s efforts to work with and reach out to local military installations and National Guard units on a proactive basis to provide on-base voter assistance;
• Its use of electronic and web-based services to send election materials;
• Its willingness to create specialized communications to military voters either through public service announcements or web-based announcements;
• The state’s legislative efforts to eliminate barriers to military voter participation; and
• Its track record of making sure that absentee military ballots are sent out no later than 45-days before the election and, when they are not, a high degree of accountability to resolve any violations.
Nevada was recognized as an All-Star state by the Military Voter Protection Project in addition to Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
“These states are led by a tremendous group of state and local election officials who have made military voters a priority in elections,” said Eric Eversole, founder and executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project. “Secretary Miller has done a tremendous job of reaching out to military voters and protecting their rights. These efforts, without a doubt, have had a significant impact on military and overseas voters in the state.”
Secretary Miller actively works with the state legislature on changes to Nevada’s elections laws related to military voters. In 2011, he urged Nevada’s enactment of the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act (UMOVA). Nevada is one of only a handful of states to implement the Act, simplifying the absentee voting procedures for the state’s Covered Voters. Nevada utilizes the latest technology to ensure service members can register to vote, and receive election information and their ballots electronically. Through the Secretary of State’s website, www.nvsos.gov, a service member can determine whether his or her ballot has been received and counted.
Secretary Miller ensures Nevada’s service members have the guidance and materials they need to participate in the election process by supporting Nevada’s Yellow Ribbon Program events and publishing Nevada’s Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Voting Guide.
As the 2012-2013 president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Secretary Miller believes voting rights education and service member access to voting are the highest priorities within NASS and his own administration.
For more information about the Military Voter Protection Project’s Heroes Vote Initiative or to view details about the MVP Project All-Star states, please visit http://www.herosvote.org/.
# # #