Iowa is being recognized for easing the way for military voting overseas. A survey by the Overseas Vote Foundation gave Iowa the highest ranking of all states for policies that are easiest to navigate for military personnel serving abroad.
Foundation director Claire Smith says the military in particular benefits from Iowa’s law allowing overseas balloting by e-mail or fax. Smith says you can return your registration by either e-mail or fax and you can get your ballot by e-mail or fax.
“You can’t return it by e-mail or fax though unless you are a military member which is actually really good for military personnel,” she says. Same-day voter registration for all Iowa voters here and abroad also helped push the state’s ranking up.
“It doesn’t take them two months to vote. They could do it all, theoretically, in one week,” Smith says. “For military personnel in dangerous situations, when it’s hard to get to their post, this has really helped them.” She says Iowa already complies with a new federal mandate to mail overseas ballots 45 days before an election.
While the new federal law sets clear guidelines for adapting absentee voting procedures for overseas voters, Smith says implementation varies widely state to state.