For Immediate Release press[at]overseasvotefoundation.org Contact: Overseas Vote Foundation Contact: Morgan Allen Moore Public Affairs Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat Con Franklin US Tel: +1 202 470 2480
UK Tel: +44 1892 546 779
Cell: +49 89 172 951 0865
Overseas Vote Foundation Launches RAVASM 2006
Registration and Absentee Voter Application
First Online System to Meet Registration Needs of All UOCAVA Voters
Friday, February 3, 2006, Washington, D.C. – Overseas Vote Foundation has announced the launch of RAVA, its new Registration and Absentee Voter Application, accessible through: www.ovf-rava.org, www.overseasvotefoundation.org and www.overseasvote.org. RAVA is the first nonpartisan, secure, Internet-based voter registration solution for both military and overseas citizen voters.
“RAVA is to voter registration what ‘Turbo Tax’ is to filing taxes. It’s the right tool for the job,” said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, OVF Executive Director. “As of today, eligible American civilian and military voters anywhere in the world can use RAVA to complete their voter registration in as little as five minutes. The system provides the voter with a mailing address and state-specific signing instructions,” continued Ms. Dzieduszycka-Suinat.
An estimated seven million overseas citizens and uniformed services members, whose voting program falls under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), are eligible to use the system. UOCAVA voters include civilians and US government employees abroad, active duty military both within and outside of the US, and their accompanying dependents.
“We expect OVF RAVA to have a tremendous impact on the number of UOCAVA voters registering for the November 7th 2006 General Election. OVF will lead UOCAVA online voter registration in 2006 and beyond,” stated Ms. Dzieduszycka-Suinat.
UOCAVA voters must comply with the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) voter registration system. The Federal Voter Assistance Guide (FVAG) comprises 462 pages to accompany the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) voter registration form. RAVA automates the 55 different sets of state/territory-specific requirements set forth in the FVAG; thereby shielding the voter from the complexity of the UOCAVA voter registration process.
RAVA guides the voter through the registration process asking question which pertain to the voter’s state-specific regulations. Its integrated database includes every address for the 7,838 local election offices, and is continually being updated. OVF uses the Internet to provide the most up-to-date, accurate local election office addresses and regularly updated registration deadlines Ã¶ both of which are constantly subject to change.
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Overseas Vote Foundation Executive Board and Advisor Comments:
“The RAVA system provides the missing online component of UOCAVA implementation.
We fully expect the majority of registrations to go through RAVA Ã¶ itÃ¢s automated and easier. Government agencies embraced the independent software developers of online tax filing systems. That same successful formula is now here for overseas voter registration,Ã¤ asserts Jim Brenner, OVF Chair and Managing Director of Broad Cove Partners.
“We’ve essentially taken a confusing, time-consuming process and applied technology to make it usable by any voter, anywhere. RAVA will breathe new life into the UOCAVA voter registration process for military and overseas citizens who want to participate in our democracy,Ã¤ stated Cameron Quinn, OVF Vice Chair and former chief election official for Virginia. Ms. Quinn points out, “By making the voter registration forms more legible and reducing inadvertent errors, it is more likely that every overseas vote will be counted. This is about enfranchisement.”
“We are proud to be the leader in providing a secure, online, and user-friendly system to our men and women in uniform,” said Sam Wright, OVF Advisor and Director of the Military Voting Rights Project, National Defense Committee. “RAVA will lift a tremendous burden off the Military Voting Assistance Officers who can benefit from its built-in error-checking and customized state-by-state requirements,” added Mr. Wright.
Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF) was founded in 2005 to assist eligible Americans in registering to vote in federal elections, starting with the November 7th 2006 General Election. The corporation is registered in Delaware. OVF is the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) public charity organization dedicated solely to serving the voter registration needs of UOCAVA voters. RAVA Ã¶ Registration and Absentee Voter Application is the first Internet-based system to provide a complete voter registration solution for both civilians and military voters.
Additional OVF programs include an outreach program to youth voters overseas, and an online Voter Help Desk Support Service to voters of all ages.
OVF is a public charity and relies on donations to maintain its operations. Support of our organization is essential to maintaining this system. OVF would like to reach out to the donor community to request that support.