- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the state of Wisconsin over its restrictions on overseas voters, the agency announced Thursday.

Last month, the Justice Department sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission because state law bars temporary overseas voters from obtaining ballots electronically or to file unofficial ballots.

Under federal law, all overseas voters — including members of the military and their families and U.S. citizens residing outside the country — are entitled to both options regardless of length of their stay abroad.

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Wisconsin election officials have agreed to take steps to implement protections for overseas voters prior to the Aug. 14 primary and the Nov. 6 general election.

The agreement will require all overseas voters eligible to participate in the Wisconsin election to receive an absentee ballot by mail or electronically. In addition, Wisconsin will allow overseas voters to use a federal write-in ballot as a back-up measure.

The state also agreed to ensure these protections will be in place for all future federal elections.

“This agreement reflects the Department’s continued and resolute commitment to protecting the right to vote for members of our armed forces, their families, and overseas U.S. citizens, and ensuring that all of these voters are afforded a meaningful opportunity to vote in federal elections,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore for the Civil Rights Division.

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