The Democrat who’s running to be the next Iowa Secretary of State is proposing changes to make voting easier for Iowans who are serving on active duty in the military.
“Iowa has fallen behind in terms of access to voting for our men and women serving overseas,” says Brad Anderson, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state who faces Republican Paul Pate in November.
Anderson says he’s learned 21 percent of the 2012 election ballots sent to Iowans on duty overseas were not returned, and six percent of the Iowa military ballots that were sent in were rejected.
“I just believe and their dedication to our country we need to do everything possible to make sure they can vote and participate in our democracy,” Anderson says.
Anderson proposes streamlining the on-line voter registration for members of the military, a process he says is more complicated than what’s available stateside. In addition, he’d allow active duty military to use the “Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot” for local elections, too. That’s already being done in 41 states.
“It is a small population of voters, but obviously a very important one,” Anderson said. “…We should do everything in our power to allow them to participate in the democracy that they’re fighting for.”
Anderson says there’s a hodge-podge of different processes at the county level for handling military ballots and it’s time for a statewide standard to be set.