U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson has given the Alabama Secretary of State’s office the responsibility of transmitting, receiving and counting military and overseas ballots in the 2014 Republican primary and potential primary runoff election for the 6th Congressional District.
The Court Order, which was issued on March 4, 2014, follows a similar plan conducted by the Alabama Secretary of State for the recent special election in the 1st Congressional District.
A federal lawsuit had been brought by the US Justice Department due to the inability of several counties to timely transmit military ballots in both 2010 and 2012, thereby jeopardizing UOCAVA voters’ right to have their ballots counted.
Under the new plan, which covers the June 3rd Republican 6th Congressional District primary and potential July 15th runoff, UOCAVA voters will cast their ballots by using an instant primary runoff ballot that allows them to vote for their first choice and then rank the remaining candidates in order of preference. That way, a second primary runoff ballot will not be needed for UOCAVA voters voting in this Federal election. When the instant primary runoff ballot was used in the 1st Congressional District special election, Alabama had 100% compliance with UOCAVA ballot transmission deadlines.
This plan comes as a result of Judge Thompson’s decision that the UOCAVA 45-day ballot transmission deadline applies not only to Federal primary and general elections, but to Federal primary runoff elections as well. The Republican primary election for the 6th Congressional District is the only Federal election that has the likelihood of a primary run-off election.
Military and overseas voters will be allowed to vote what is called an "Instant Primary Runoff Ballot." The Instant Primary Runoff Ballot will allow UOCAVA voters to rank all candidates in the Republican 6th Congressional District primary election in order of preference. In the primary election, each validly cast vote will be counted for the first choice candidate. In the event of a primary run-off election, each validly cast vote will be counted for whichever of the run-off candidates is ranked higher on the ballot.
"These changes were made in order to give our military and overseas voters enough time to vote in this upcoming election," said Secretary Bennett. "We are providing more resources in order to make this a reality. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure every voter who wishes to cast their ballot is able to do so."