IRV and Overseas Ballots
Congress enacted the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting
Act (UOCAVA) in 1986 to ensure that military personnel
stationed overseas had the opportunity to vote in every election.
The law empowers the Justice Department to file suit against
jurisdictions with absentee voting procedures that are not in
compliance with the law.
The Center believes that the effect of UOCAVA on the
administration of runoff elections creates a need for instant runoff
voting (IRV). The window of time between an election and the
subsequent runoff is often too short to allow overseas voters to
receive and return a second ballot. Allowing these voters to use IRV
on a single absentee ballot to indicate their preferences in the
event of a runoff would guarantee their participation.
The practice of instant runoff voting for
overseas ballots is not new. Louisiana has been successfully using
the system for 10 years. For more information on IRV in Louisiana
click here. Also, you can read a copy
of recently proposed legislation in Illinois
to allow absentee IRV in some local elections.
In an effort to expand on this success, CVD has
written a letter to legislators in 10 states that use runoffs for
party primaries. We encourage you to read the letter and forward it on to your