New legislation makes voting easier for military - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New legislation makes voting easier for military

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By Crystal Britt

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - New legislation in Missouri makes it easier for members of the military to vote.

Our servicemen and women overseas will soon be able to do everything electronically.

 "I'm in total support of it, " says Cape Girardeau County Clerk Kara Clark. 

Clark is ready for change.

She knows how slow the snail mail approach can be when it comes to getting out absentee ballots.

It's tough when they're headed to another state, and it's quite the concern when they're headed overseas to a war zone.

"The problem is you can request a ballot by mail up to the Wednesday prior to the election. So getting the ballot to them in a timely manner was a problem," said Clark. 

Under newly signed legislation local election officials can send ballots to our servicemen and women by e-mail.

In the November 2008 election, the Cape County Election Office mailed out more 3358 absentee ballots. 113 were to military members overseas.

The office had to snail mail the servicemen and women the ballots.

They (the ballots) then had to be scanned and e-mailed back.

"It would be so much better if we could e-mail ballots electronically in a secure manner and they could e-mail it back in a secure manner because it would make sure it would get counted," said Clark. 

It's something the state voting assistance office for the Missouri National Guard applauds.

"The plan is to make the voting process faster and more convenient for the deployed solider," said Chief Warrant Officer Randall Watson. 

It's giving them one less thing to worry about.

"They have so much on their plate as it is. We want to make the process. the state does too, as easy and convenient and secure as possible for these men and women who are in the service serving our country", said Clark. 

The Cape County Election Office starts training on this exact topic in August.

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