U.S. Vote Foundation
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|President & CEO||Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat|
|Address||4325 Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207
The U.S. Vote Foundation (USVF) is a non-partisan non-profit voter assistance organization that helps American citizens overseas and in the military participate in elections. These voters' rights are protected under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). The organization was founded as the Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) in 2005.
USVF was founded to facilitate and increase participation of overseas and military absentee voters by providing public access to Internet-based voter services. The organization's primary objective is to enable 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.
USVF'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
USVF 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 USVF's suite of voter services.
The organization rebranded in 2012 to reflect a shift in focus to include domestic voting issues, renaming itself to the U.S. Vote Foundation program. U.S. Vote Foundation serves domestic U.S. voters, overseas voters, and military personnel with registration, absentee ballot request, and voter information services for all states. U.S. Vote maintained Overseas Vote as an Initiative of U.S. Vote Foundation.
US Vote licenses its data, including contact information for approximately 8,000 local election offices, to partners including the U.S. Postal Service, the National Association of Secretaries of State, Rock the Vote, Vote.org and some corporations (Exxon Mobil, for instance, licenses a custom website to help its overseas workers access absentee ballots).
In November 2015, the organization’s Local/Municipal Election Dates and Deadlines Data Management System and API was selected for the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund. It aims to create a nationwide system to collect, maintain and distribute information on upcoming local election dates and deadlines.
US Vote had 2.6 million visits in 2016 on two portals that the group maintains. The organization has seen a 400 percent increase in ballot requests on their system since 2012.
Through USVF's websites, voters have access to registration information, a downloadable 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." In total, the organization's voter services include the following:
- Absentee Voter Registration and Ballot Request: 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: complete election office contact database
- State Voter Information Directory Service: provides dates, deadlines, and contact information by state
- Voter Help Desk: instant response system knowledge base and personal help services
- My Voter Account: personal democracy dashboard
- Mailing List: voters can opt-in to join the mailing list and receive Voter Alerts
OVF and US Vote also offer the following:
- Hosted Systems Program: This program licenses the full suite of OVF tools or USVF tools customized for a state, county, or voting organization, which can then be utilized as their own domestic and/or overseas and military voter services as a fully hosted solution.
- Research Program: The organization conducts post-election survey research with voters and election officials regarding overseas and military voting.
- Annual Voting & Elections Summit: This annual conference features a range of elections and technology speakers in the fields of voting and elections policies, processes, and technologies.
- "OVF Board". Overseas Vote Foundation. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Altman, Alex (October 15, 2010). "Will Online Voting Turn Into an Election Day Debacle?". Time. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Knowlton, Brian (January 30, 2013). "Internet and Federal Act Ease Overseas U.S. Voting". New York Times. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Nonpartisan Voter Services for U.S. Citizens Overseas and Uniformed Services Members". U.S. Vote Foundation. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
- "Using Tech, Data to Increase Voter Turnout". govtech.com.
- Pereira, Eva (November 3, 2015). "20 Ideas Receive Support From Knight Prototype Fund for Media And Information Projects". Knight Foundation.
- Surana, Kavitha (November 8, 2016). "Will the Expat Vote Matter in 2016?". Foreign Policy (magazine).