The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act was passed in 2009 to ensure American’s serving overseas received absentee ballots, requiring states to send out ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before Federal primary, general and runoff elections. Carolina Conservatives Unite, a South Carolina conservative-leaning organization filed a complaint with the DOJ claiming the State was in violation of the MOVE act.
At a Tuesday press conference held at the South Carolina State House, Bruce Carroll, Chairman of Carolina Conservatives United said:
Eric Holder’s Department of Justice intervened in the 2013 First Congressional District Special Election and that is why we are acting today — before our June Federal primary — to ensure that the Obama Administration doesn’t interfere with our state’s election process.
Currently, South Carolina state election law prescribes that all runoff elections take place two weeks after the original election is held.
The ‘MOVE Act’ provisions specifically outline that South Carolina must have a mechanism to send out ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before Federal primary, general and runoff elections. This is not a partisan issue. There are two United States Senate and seven Congressional seats up for election this year and there may be runoff elections needed. We want to make certain our South Carolina military personnel serving overseas have an equal opportunity to cast their votes and have them counted like the rest of us. With our large concentration of military families and active service members stationed overseas, it is unacceptable that South Carolina has not addressed this blatant voter disenfranchisement problem.
Carolina Conservatives United also called upon the South Carolina General Assembly to pass legislation immediately in order to bring the state into compliance with the Federal MOVE Act. The group will ask the assembly to change the State’s elections to allow 60 days for an election if a runoff is required after a Federal primary or general election.
“Sixty days would allow adequate time for the State of South Carolina to comply with Federal law and to transmit Federal election ballots in runoff elections to uniformed personnel and other citizens living overseas. It is up to the General Assembly whether they want to extend this change to State and Municipal elections, but all we are asking for today is to bring our state into legal and permanent compliance with the MOVE Act.
Along with the Department of Justice complaint Carolina Conservatives United is promising to begin a grassroots communications campaign to urge SC lawmakers to change the law.