Improving State Elections for Military, Overseas Voters

Friday, Dec. 11, 8-10 a.m. CST
Sponsored by the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders will share their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They will also discuss the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session will also explain how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative. 



Matt Boehmer
Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program, Department of Defense
Boehmer administers the federal responsibilities of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act for the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The act covers the voting rights of Uniformed Services personnel, their families and U.S. citizens residing abroad. He sits on the EAC Board of Advisors and is the senior DoD lead for the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative. With a focus on marketing communications and outreach, he works with FVAP to ensure that UOCAVA citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools to successfully do so—from anywhere in the world.      


Jim Condos
Vermont Secretary of State
Since his election as secretary of state in 2010, Secretary Condos has made it a priority to protect voting rights and ensure voters are able to register and vote without unnecessary barriers. His latest initiative has been Vermont’s new Elections Management System: online voter registration, unique My Voter page, lobbyist and campaign finance disclosure, and absentee ballot request and tracking. Previously, Condos served as a local city council chair and Vermont state senator with more than 30 years of business experience.


Lance Gough
Executive Director, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
Gough has served Chicago—and its 1.4 million voters—for 35 years and counting. Under his leadership, Chicago has led the nation in student poll workers and led Illinois in the introduction of online ballot access for military and overseas voters. Gough has worked with election administrators around the world, as well as with lever machines, punch cards, optical scanners and touch screens.

Kevin J. Kennedy
Director and General Counsel, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

Kennedy has been Wisconsin’s chief election official since 1983 and currently serves as director and general counsel of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections, ethics, campaign finance and lobbying. A nationally-recognized expert in elections and government ethics, Kennedy is a member of the CSG Policy Working Group for the Overseas Voting Initiative.


Kim Wyman
Washington Secretary of State
Wyman serves as Washington’s 15th secretary of state, elected in 2012 after serving as auditor and elections director for Thurston County. She has been a leader in election administration since 1993, working on state and national workgroups and making Washington a national leader in election reform. She is treasurer of the National Association of Secretaries of State and was a founder of the Electronic Registration Information Center. She has a passion for military and overseas voters.