Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About the MOVE Act’s Hardship
Waiver ProvisionsIssued May 24, 20101.
What requirements can be waived?
The MOVE Act requires States
to send absentee ballots to those voters covered by theUniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) 45 days before anelection for federal office, beginning with the election on November 2, 2010. The MOVE
waiver process allows States to request of the UOCAVA Presidential Designee
awaiver for a particular federal election of the requirement to send out absentee ballots toUOCAVA voters who have an application for an absentee ballot already received by theappropriate elections office no later than 45 days prior to Election Day, which in 2010 isSeptember 18th. This is the only State requirement under UOCAVA that can be waived.
For what reasons can a State request a waiver?
Congress has specified three situations that
rise to the level of an undue hardship thatcould prevent a State from meeting its obligation to UOCAVA voters, and based on which aState may request a waiver. These reasons are (a) a primary election date that prohibits aState from complying, (b) a delay in generating ballots due to a legal contest, or (c) a Stateconstitutional provision that prohibits compliance.
When can a State apply for a waiver?
For requests arising from a late primary date or a State constitutional issue, a State may applyfor a waiver at any time, up to the statutory deadline of 90 days before an election for federaloffice. For the 2010 general election, that date is August 4, 2010.While such waiver requests are legally entitled to be presented now, FVAP encourages Statesseeking a waiver on any grounds to wait until detailed guidance on waivers is issued byFVAP in the near future. We anticipate this to be by late spring. If a State wishes to submita waiver request prior to the issuance of such detailed guidance, the State is encouraged tovery carefully review the statute governing waivers in preparation of its request. FVAPanalysts will not be able to provide assistance to States having questions about this processprior to issuance of the detailed guidance.States seeking to request a waiver due to a legal contest that delays generation of the printingof absentee ballots must apply
as soon as practicable.
This will be further addressed in thedetailed guidance that FVAP will issue in the near future. It would probably be premature,however, to seek a waiver for a legal contest until closer to the election
How long will it take to know if a waiver request has been approved or denied?
Under the MOVE Act, the Presidential Designee is required to respond to a waiver requestbased on a legal contest that has caused a delay in generating absentee ballots
within 5business days of receipt of that request.
Such waiver requests are likely to be premature
As defined by UOCAVA, State here means “a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Ri
co,Guam, the Virgin Islands
and American Samoa.” 42 USC 1973ff
The Secretary of Defense has delegated this designation to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Readiness.
42 USC 1973ff-1(g)(2)(B)i-iii; MOVE Act Section 579 (a)(2)
42 USC 1973ff-1(g)(2)(B)(ii)
42 USC 1973ff-1(g)(3)