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Military voting overseas expected to be streamlined

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is flanked by U.S. Army Gen. John Murray and Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp during a Wednesday new conference to announce a $65 million agreement between the Army Futures Command and Texas A&M to develop military technology. [KARA CARLSON/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]
December 28, 2019

Members of the United States military are expected to have an easier time voting while deployed overseas, according to a bill that was signed into law on Friday.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced the measure that he authored, the Military Voting Protection Act, which President Trump signed on Friday. The law is expected to ensure service members are provided with ballots and registration cards necessary to vote while deployed overseas, with instruction from trained personnel on how to cast their vote in their registered state.

The bill comes following a dip between the 2012 and 2016 elections in registration and participation for active duty service members voting, according to Cornyn’s office, which said one third of those military members surveyed sayging the absentee voting process was “too complicated.”

“Soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines regularly put their lives on the line to defend our democracy, and it’s only right they have ample opportunity to fully participate in that democracy,” Cornyn said. “This law will ensure that all service members’ voices will be heard, regardless of whether they’re donning the uniform at home or abroad.”

While the new bill seeks to streamline the voting process, states could make it easier for deployed military members registered to vote there by implementing processes such as the one in Kentucky that was announced just this week.

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The state of Kentucky announced the creation of an online portal for members of the military.

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© 2019 The Monitor