DoD ANNOUNCES GRANTS PROGRAM TO EASE VOTING PROCESS
Funding Available for Research and Development

May 10, 2013 - Alexandria, Va. - The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), a Department of Defense (DoD) component, announces the availability of $10,200,000 in federal funding to support research and development of absentee voting systems for military and overseas citizens.  The Effective Absentee Systems for Elections 2.0 (EASE 2.0) is the second round of grants under Broad Agency Announcement Number H98210-13-BAA-0001 from FVAP to States and localities to explore technological improvements for military and overseas citizen voters.

Grant recipients are required to submit data reports to FVAP following each federal election from the implementation of the grant-funded system(s) to the end of the term of the grant.  The data will enable FVAP to examine the role of electronic tools in expanding a voter's ability and opportunity to receive, cast and return an absentee ballot and have it counted.

The EASE 2.0 grants program focuses on two specific research areas: 

  • Online Blank Ballot Delivery: Blank ballot delivery provides military and overseas voters with the ability to access their blank absentee ballot through an online or web-based system. The electronic return of a voted ballot is prohibited through the grant-funded system.  This research area provides FVAP with the opportunity to further evaluate the effect of blank ballot delivery on the voter success rate of military and overseas citizens voting absentee.
  • Single Point of Contact (Single POC): While State offices are required to have a single POC for election information for military and overseas voters, Congress recommends that same single State office act as the single POC for sending and receiving election materials to and from military and overseas voters as well, but many States do not provide a single office.  This research area will study the effect that centralizing the responsibility of serving military and overseas voters has on the success rate of these absentee voters.

 

Eligibility, Evaluation and Application Information: The Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA), in support of FVAP, intends to award multiple grants to State and local election offices through a competitive process.  The grant funding opportunity announcement is now open on Grants.gov.  The deadline for applications is June 24, 2013.  Please note that the registration process to apply for a grant through grants.gov can take up to 21 days.

Request for Information:  All questions and/or requests for clarification regarding the BAA are due by May 20, 2013, and should be addressed to Mr. Bob Lavelle at bob.lavelle@osd.pentagon.mil.

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For more information on FVAP or assistance with the absentee voting process, visit FVAP.gov for live chat assistance, call FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584 (CONUS)/312-425-1584 (OCONUS), or email vote@fvap.gov. Remember, you also can contact your unit or installation voting assistance officers for assistance during any step of the process.
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PDF version of FVAP News Release #9