Overseas Vote Foundation
|Overseas Vote Foundation|
|President & CEO||Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat|
|Address||4325 Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207
Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit United States-based 501(c)(3) public charity that helps American citizens overseas and in the military participate in federal elections. These voters' rights are protected under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). OVF was founded in 2005 and is incorporated in Delaware.
To facilitate and increase participation of overseas and military absentee voters by providing public access to user-friendly, Internet-based voter services. The primary objective is to make it easier for all Americans residing around the world, and all military and dependents residing outside their home jurisdiction, to stay active in elections for which they are eligible.
OVF's key activities are:
- Developing tools and services that simplify the overseas and military voter registration process and ballot request process
- Licensing customized voter services applications to states and voting organizations
- Providing outreach to voters through an ongoing communications program
- Conducting research and surveys of U.S. citizens regarding the overseas and military voter registration and absentee ballot process
Voter services and site usage
OVF provides services for voters in all states and territories. Overseas American citizens, U.S. State Department employees, and active duty uniformed service members and their accompanying families, within and outside of the United States can register to vote from abroad and request their ballots using OVF's suite of voter services. OVF also hosts customized websites for states and other organizations.
Youth Vote Overseas (YVO) is a focused outreach program initiative of OVF. The YVO program launched in 2006 and has continued to serve as the only youth-oriented voting site dedicated to young voters overseas.
Through OVF's websites voters have access to registration information, a down loadable Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (Vote-Print-Mail Ballot), state-specific voter information directory (SVID), a local election official directory and a "voter help-desk." Users can submit questions to the voter help-desk, which are then answered within 24 hours. The full suite of voter services includes the following:
- Absentee Voter Registration and Ballot Request: which are customized by state
- Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (Vote-Print-Mail Ballot Service): provides automated write-in ballot with candidate lists
- Election Official Directory Services: a complete election office contact database
- State Voter Information Directory Service: provides dates, deadlines, contact information by state
- Voter Help Desk: instant response system knowledge base and personal help services
- My Voter Account: voters can save their registration data for future use
- Mailing List: voters can opt-in to join the mailing list and receive Voter Alerts
- Express Your Vote: FedEx ballot return shipping - special rates from 80 countries
- Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot: Voters can also interactively complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot on the OVF site, a service not available from any other nongovernmental, nonpartisan source.
In 2008, annual discrete site visits reached 4.75 million individual users across 17-hosted OVF sites. 125,000 voters utilized the OVF voter registration (FPCA) and balloting systems. Forty percent of these registrants were young voters between 18 and 29 years old. 29 percent were first time voters. 24 percent were military voters.
In 2012, OVF supported 200,000 voters to register and request their absentee ballots. In addition, the organization launched U.S. Vote Foundation, a domestic effort to streamline and improve US based voter registration and absentee ballot request services.
OVF has a number of other important initiatives including:
- OVF Hosted Systems Program: a program that licenses the full suite of OVF tools customized for a state or voting organization, which can then be utilized as their own overseas and military voter services as a fully hosted solution
- OVF Research Program: The Research Program conducts in-depth post-election survey research with voters and election officials, produces a seasonal newsletter and is a clearing house of research reports regarding overseas and military voting.
- Voting and Elections Summit Summit: This annual conference program features a broad range of elections and technology speakers. The Summit aims to build dialogue amongst those concerned with overseas and military absentee voting policies, processes and technologies. Now in its eighth year, the most recent Summit was held at Washington, D.C. in January 2012.
- The Power to MOVE: marketing collaboration program, this corresponds with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act passed by Congress in October 2009.
- Express Your Vote: In 2008, 2010, and 2012 FedEx Express teamed up with the OVF to offer the "Express Your Vote" ballot return program, offering reduced shipping of ballots back to the United States.
- Mann, Jessica (August 3, 2009). "Making it in Germany: an American getting out the vote" (interview). The Local. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
- Trent, April (October 2, 2009). "Youth Vote Overseas: Interview with Clair Whitmer". Examiner.com. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
- "Fifth Annual UOCAVA Summit 2011". Retrieved 2011-01-24.