Senate Passes Election Reform Act

Senate Passes Election Reform Act

16 October 2002

By a vote of 92 to 2 at noon on Wednesday, October 16, the Senate passed the election reform bill which has retained its "House" title of "Help America Vote Act of 2002". The bill had already passed in the House on Thursday, October 10, with an impressive majority of 357 to 48.

For more information on the provisions of the bill, you may read here a summary of the provisions of {ln:Title VII on Voting Rights 'Title VII}, that applies to overseas voters.

You will see that it provides not only for:

  • the creation of a single state office responsible for overseas voters, but also for:
  • statistics on ballot applications and ballots received and sent
  • and: extension of the period covered by a single absentee ballot application to two regularly scheduled federal election cycles, in other words 4 years!

The bill will now head for the president's desk and we can expect it will be signed soon. It will not apply to the 2002 elections - its provisions do not include everything we hoped for but once again, this is a major step forward for all those who have worked - and hoped - for improved voting procedures for overseas Americans!

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