Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act
Enacted in 1986, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) protects the right of service members to vote in federal elections regardless of where they are stationed. This law requires that states and territories allow members of the U.S. Uniformed Services and merchant marine, their family members and U.S. citizens residing outside the United States to register and vote absentee in elections for federal offices.
UOCAVA was expanded significantly in 2009, when Congress passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act to provide greater protections for service members, their families and other overseas citizens. Among other provisions, the MOVE Act requires states to transmit validly-requested absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters no later than 45 days before a federal election, when the request has been received by that date, except where the state has been granted an undue hardship waiver approved by the Department of Defense for that election.