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    FAWCO honors the crafters of the Help America Vote Act (May 2005)


    Four Fellowship Awards were presented by President Arline Coward at the 2005 FAWCO Biennial Conference in Birmingham, and given personally to the Congressmen and Senators in Washington in May, 2005. The recipients were Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Congressmen Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Bob Ney (R-OH).

    The March 1953 FAWCO conference in Brussels issued a recommendation that the Federation work with other organizations to obtain absentee voting privileges for Americans living abroad.  From that time until today, obtaining the right to vote and facilitating voting from overseas have been top priorities for FAWCO, the first high point being the drive in the Seventies that resulted in obtaining absentee voting rights for non-military overseas Americans.

    In keeping with its long-standing policy of advocating and working for expanded voting rights for overseas citizens, FAWCO is proud to acknowledge the determined efforts of four "fathers" of landmark election reform legislation.

    Following the introduction by Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of a far-reaching reform bill in summer 2001, Congressmen Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Bob Ney (R-OH) introduced H.R. 3295, the “Help America Vote Act”, in November 2001.

    Championing their bills through their respective houses and spearheading the conference negotiations aimed at harmonizing the provisions, the four crafters succeeded in October 2002 in securing the passage in Congress of the "Help America Vote Act of 2002," the most comprehensive election reform legislation ever, signed into law by the President a week before the 2002 elections.

    FAWCO salutes their vision and their constancy, and promises to work with them and their colleagues on all future efforts to improve the voting process for civilian and military voters outside the United States.

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