Grove measure to expand military voting rights

SACRAMENTO – A measure that expands voting rights to overseas military personnel, authored by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), was approved by the Assembly Elections Committee on April 9 with unanimous bipartisan support. Assembly Bill 269 would allow the ballots of military servicemembers and other Californians living abroad to be counted up to three days after Election Day, so long as the ballots are postmarked by that day.

“Californians in our nation’s military serve and sacrifice to ensure that their family, friends and neighbors maintain the right to free and open elections. These selfless men and women deserve to have their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Grove.

Current California law requires that mailed ballots be received by county election officials no later than close of Election Day. But those in the military face inconsistent conditions from day to day, including slow mail service. These circumstances make it more difficult for their ballots to be counted. The measure would also ease restrictions on other Californians living abroad, including those engaged in business ventures, serving on religious missions or performing humanitarian efforts.

Story First Published: 2013-04-17