NEWS | Aug. 10, 2011

Gov. Haley plans visit to JB CHS

By Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will be at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base Aug. 17, to ceremoniously sign the South Carolina Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voters Act (S.404). The ceremony will take place at Nose Dock 1 at 2:45 p.m. All Joint Base personnel and their families are invited.

According to an article on pewcenteronthestates.org Haley signed the act into law this past June. The law, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, makes it easier for South Carolinians abroad to participate in federal, state and local elections.

By requiring service members and citizens overseas to receive their ballots earlier and faster for all elections and removing obstacles from the process, the law provides more opportunity for these individuals to cast a vote that will be counted.

South Carolina is ranked in the top third of the nation for residents connected to the military. The law ensures that tens of thousands of South Carolina's service members and civilians stationed or living overseas have the opportunity to vote and have their votes counted. The legislation extends key protections of the 2009 federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act to state and local elections. It includes provisions from the 2010 Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act, a model law developed by the Uniform Law Commission, which drafts and promotes legislation across states to address problems common to all of them.

Specifically, the legislation streamlines the voting process and removes obstacles that military and overseas voters commonly encounter by:
· mandating that absentee ballots be sent at least 45 days before any election
· providing electronic transmission of unmarked absentee ballots for all elections
· accepting the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot for all elections as a back-up measure for voters who don't receive their official ballots in time
· eliminating the witness requirement on ballots from military and overseas voters

Guests wishing to attend the ceremony need to be seated in Nose Dock 1 by 2:35 p.m. Dress is uniform of the day for military and business attire for civilians. For additional information, contact the Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs office at 963-5608.

More information on the bill can be found at the following link:

http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=85899360643