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Jul 19

Military Voting Rights Conference


Overseas members of the military and their families are guaranteed the right to vote by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. However, the difficulties of obtaining ballots in remote and dangerous areas of the world and returning them in time have led to shockingly high rates of disenfranchisement. The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) of 2009 required changes by 2010 intended to provide military voters greater opportunities to vote. Was the MOVE Act effective or are additional changes necessary to protect the franchise of service members and their families?


8:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Edwin Meese III, Chairman, Center for Legal & Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

9:00 a.m.

Panel 1 – A State Perspective on the MOVE Act and Military Voting
Natalie Tennant, Secretary of State of West Virginia
Beth Chapman, Secretary of State of Alabama
Mike Ertel, Supervisor of Elections, Seminole County, Florida
Charles “Cully” Stimson, Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation (Moderator)

9:45 a.m.

Panel 2 – Exploring Ways to Increase Military Voting Participation in the 2012 Election
Bob Carey
, Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program
Donald Palmer, Secretary, Virginia State Board of Elections and former Director of Elections for Florida
Butch Bowers, Partner, Bowers & Hall, and former Counsel, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Eric Eversole, Executive Director, Military Voter Protection Project (Moderator)

10:30 a.m.

Keynote Address:
An Author’s Assessment of the Effectiveness of the MOVE Act
The Honorable John Cornyn (R-TX), United States Senator

11:00 a.m.


11:15 a.m.

Panel 3 – Exploring Ways to Enforce Military Voting Rights in Federal and State Courts
Chris Coates
, Former Section Chief, Voting Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Christian Adams, Founder, Election Law Center
Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation (Moderator)

12:00 p.m.

Keynote Address:
Understanding the Sacrifices of Our Men and Women in Uniform and the Importance of Protecting Their Rights at Home
Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., USN (ret.), former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

12:30 p.m.

Conference Wrap-Up

More About the Speakers