About the MVP Project
The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights of American democracy. It has been defended for well over 200 years by the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. Yet, when it comes to their right to vote—our military members’ right to choose the next Commander in Chief or their elected representatives—their voices have long been silenced by an electoral process that has failed them.
That silence was most evident in the 2008 election when thousands of absentee military ballots were never received by the military voter or received after the election. The MVP Project is here to defend our military members’ right to vote and to provide them with the very right that they defend.
A history of disenfranchisement
Military members and their families have long faced challenges when they attempt to vote. Unlike most Americans, military voters are constantly on the go moving from one duty location to another. The frequency and unexpected nature of these moves have increased as our men and women in uniform fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, this constant movement makes it difficult for local election officials to keep accurate mailing addresses for our military voters.
To make matters worse, military voters lack the same opportunities to update their voter records. While most Americans can automatically update their addresses when they visit their local driver’s license branch, military voters often live far from their voting residences. If they have any hope of voting, military voters are forced to navigate a confusing state absentee ballot process on their own.
Unfortunately, most military voters do not successfully navigate this process—a fact evident from recent elections. In 2008, for example, less than 20 percent of 2.5 million military voters were able to request and return their absentee ballots. Our report from the 2010 election showed a significant decrease in military voter participation. In that election, only 5 percent of military voters were able to successfully vote by absentee ballot.
Fighting for their rights
The Military Voter Protection Project (MVP Project), a program of The Legacy Foundation, is dedicated to promoting and protecting our military members’ right to vote and ensuring that their votes are counted on Election Day. Utilizing media, education, and litigation, the MVP Project fights to ensure military voters have an opportunity to register, request an absentee ballot, and cast a vote regardless of their location in the world. The MVP Project fights as hard for their rights as they fight to protect our rights.
The MVP Project is led by its Executive Director, Eric Eversole. Eric is a former U.S. Navy JAG officer who served on active duty from 1999 until 2001.
Eric has long been an advocate for military voting rights. As a civilian attorney, Eric worked at the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. In that position, he investigated and settled nearly a half-dozen cases where States failed to provide military voters with sufficient time to vote. More recently, Eric oversaw litigation in Virginia and Maryland to protect the voting rights of military members. In both cases, hundreds of military voters had their votes counted as a result of his actions.
Eric is an expert on military voting issues and has testified on numerous occasions before House and Senate committees and subcommittees, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Overseas Vote Foundation. He also has published articles on military voting issues for the Heritage Foundation, the Washington Times, the Weekly Standard, and other national media outlets.
About The Legacy Foundation
The Legacy Foundation is established exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is organized to educate the general public about concepts that advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited and accountable government, and will engage in independent, non-partisan research on public policy matters and initiatives. This organization does not support or endorse candidates for election. Contributions or gifts to the Legacy Foundation are tax-deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes to the fullest extent permitted by law. Donors do not receive any goods or services in exchange for any part of their contributions. More information about our organization can be found at legacyfoundation.us.