Absentee ballots from overseas military voters lacking the name and address of a witness must be counted, according to a formal opinion from Attorney General Bob McDonnell.
The opinion affirms that federal law preempts state law, a news release from McDonnell’s office says.
At issue is a state requirement that the completed federal ballot provide the name and address of a witness to the absentee vote – unless the voter has also requested a separate, state-furnished ballot. The federal form, used for voting in all 50 states, does not provide a space for the address and does not specify which states, such as Virginia, require it.
If the Virginia law were upheld, it threatened to invalidate some of the thousands of absentee votes being cast by military members and other Virginians overseas.
The federal write-in absentee ballot is most commonly used by members of the military who are stationed overseas and have not received a state absentee ballot, the Attorney General’s news (Read more...)