FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Catherine Lu, Public Information Officer
(702) 486-6982 / 334-7953
(CARSON CITY, NV; October 2, 2013) — As one of five recipients, Nevada is receiving $386,500 from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) for the Effective Absentee Systems for Elections 2 (EASE 2) research grant program.
The grant money enables the Secretary of State’s office to enact measures to allow military and overseas voters to access their blank ballot via online systems prior to the 2014 primary election.
“Our military fights to ensure that the interests of the United States and democracy are protected around the world,” said Miller. “We owe them every possible effort to make the elections process accessible and secure for their participation, and as Nevada’s chief elections official, I am honored to lead the effort.”
EASE 2 is the second round of grants from FVAP to states and local governments to explore technological improvements for military and overseas citizen voters. The EASE 2 grants fund two research areas:
- The development and effect of online blank ballot delivery tools.
- The establishment and effect of a single point of contract in a state election office for the transmission of election materials.
Data received from grant recipients will enable FVAP to gauge the effectiveness of grant-funded programs in expanding a voter’s ability and opportunity to successfully receive, cast and return an absentee ballot.
Miller traveled to the Middle East in September 2012 with U.S. Department of Defense officials to gain first-hand knowledge of military and overseas voting issues. Miller worked with the Nevada Department of Veteran Services and local election officials during the 2009 legislative session to pass Assembly Bill 41, which allows Nevada voters overseas to register to vote; request and submit absentee ballots electronically; and accepted language from the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. The passage of the MOVE Act in 2009 placed greater protections for service members and other overseas citizens by requiring elections officials to send absentee ballots to voters who request them at least 45 days before the election.
Election officials from states and local jurisdictions were eligible to apply for a grant. The other four recipients for the EASE 2 research grant are the following:
- Idaho ($250,000)
- Kentucky ($2,241,159)
- Rhode Island ($50,163)
- Travis County, Texas ($19,950)
Additionally, county consortiums in Washington, Florida, and Texas received grant funds for online blank ballot delivery programs. These systems will also be available prior to their respective state’s primary election in 2014. The EASE 2 research grant program awarded a total of $10,531,898.
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