Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that major improvements to the voting process for military and overseas voters will be in place by November 2010.  Carnahan’s proposed improvements received broad, bipartisan support and were approved unanimously by the Missouri General Assembly as part of House Bill 1524 and 2206.


Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that major improvements to the voting process for military and overseas voters will be in place by November 2010.  Carnahan’s proposed improvements received broad, bipartisan support and were approved unanimously by the Missouri General Assembly as part of House Bill 1524 and 2206.

More than 26,000 Missourians serve in the military, and an additional 86,000 family members and overseas citizens are eligible to vote in the state. In past elections, mailing a ballot to these voters could take up to 18 days each way. Under the new state law, local election authorities will be able to send blank applications and un-voted ballots by secure email. Other related forms, such as voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications, will also be available electronically.

After receiving their ballot, military voters will be able to use free expedited mail service to return it to their local election authority. And, for the first time, military and overseas voters will be able to confirm that their ballot made it back home in time to be counted.

These improvements bring Missouri into compliance with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which was passed by Congress in October 2009.

Secretary Carnahan has a strong history of advocating for military voters. In 2008, Carnahan’s office made required forms available online, sent voter education materials to Missouri troops serving overseas, and worked with military and family support organizations to share information about the voting process. These efforts resulted in thousands more ballots returned on time and counted than in previous elections.