West Virginia is among 15 named by the Military Voter Protection (MVP) Project as All-Star states for their leadership in promoting and protecting the voting rights of America's military service members and their families.
In addition to West Virginia, others receiving the recognition are: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
"These states are led by a tremendous group of state and local election officials who have made military voters a priority in elections. They have provided the gold standard of leadership in the fight to promote and protect the voting rights of our heroes," Eric Eversole, founder and executive director of the MVP Project, said. "We still have a long way to go, but these states are providing the example for other states to follow."
In analyzing these states, the MVP Project looked at a number of factors including:
The state's efforts to work with and reach out to local military installations and National Guard units on a proactive basis to provide on-base voter assistance;
Its use of electronic and web-based services to send election materials;
Its willingness to create specialized communications to military voters either through public service announcements or web-based announcements;
The state's legislative efforts to eliminate barriers to military voter participation; and
Its track record of making sure that absentee military ballots are sent out no later than 45 days before the election and, when they are not, a high degree of accountability to resolve any violations.
"We will continue to work with every state that is willing to make our military voters a priority and to provide them with the tools to participate in the election. We hope that all 50 states will join our Heroes Vote Initiative as All-Star states," Eversole said.
For more information about the Military Voter Protection Project's Heroes Vote Initiative or to view details about the MVP Project's All-Star states, please visit www.heroesvote.org/.