Additional Recipients of Electronic Absentee Systems for Election (EASE) grants announced
November 10, 2011 - Arlington, Va. - The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is pleased to announce the next two recipients of the Electronic Absentee Systems for Elections (EASE) grants program. The funding total of $4,120,475.60 is being distributed to New York State and Okaloosa, FL to enable military and overseas voters to utilize electronic systems such as online registration, absentee ballot requests and blank ballot delivery; however, no funding was provided for the electronic transmission of a voted ballot except in instances of mock elections. A total of 130,633 military and overseas voters will be served. FVAP looks forward to announcing the next awardees in the coming weeks.
New York will receive $2,480,597.60. This grant will enable military and overseas voters from the State of New York request, receive and track their ballots online.
Okaloosa County, FL will receive $1,639,878. This grant includes Okaloosa County as well as thirteen other Florida counties: Baker, Bay, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Leon, Nassau, Okaloosa, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota, and Wakulla. Military and overseas voters will also be able to register online and request absentee ballots online as well as retrieve, mark and track their ballots online.
In 2008 the number one failure for military and overseas voters was in ballot transmission (FVAP’s Eighteenth Report to the Congress). Local election officials receiving voted ballots reported they did not count numerous uniformed services and overseas citizen ballots because they were received after the deadline. Greater online access and automation of voter registration and absentee ballot systems could make the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voting process easier, more intuitive, and more seamless for voters while maintaining the integrity of the process.
Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) Director Bob Carey said, "FVAP is pleased that New York and Florida counties are helping to research improvement of UOCAVA ballot acceptance rates. These grants test technologies to learn what helps military and overseas voters most."
Last May, DoD announced the availability of $16,400,000 in federal funding to support research to advance the electronic options for military and overseas citizens when voting absentee. DoD has increased the funding level to $20,600,000. U.S. State, territory, and local governments were eligible to apply for the grants.
The evaluation of applications under the Broad Agency Announcement H98210-BAA-11-0001 for the FVAP Electronic EASE grants program have been completed and award recommendations have been transmitted to the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) Grants Officer. Discussions with the recommended grant recipients are ongoing.
If you'd like more information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program or need help with the absentee voting process please go to www.FVAP.gov or contact the FVAP at 703-588-1584 (toll free 1-800-438-VOTE) or Email the program at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to “like” us Facebook at www.facebook.com/DoDFVAP and follow @FVAP on Twitter for election information.