Report | March 31, 2014

Assessment of Voting Assistance Programs for Calendar Year 2013

DODIG-2014-051

Objective

The objective of our voting assistance program assessment is to continue our ongoing evaluation of voting assistance to Service members and report as required on risks to program objectives, or violations of law, policy, or regulation, so public officials and those charged with governance can take appropriate action. 

We will do this by assessing:

  • Military Services’ Voting Assistance programs, and
  • the portion of Federal Voting Assistance Program Office responsibilities that fall within the DoD

for compliance and effectiveness in accordance with the requirements set forth in section 1566, title 10, United States Code, (10 U.S.C. § 1566 (c) (3), [2006]) “Voting assistance; compliance assessments; assistance.”  This statute requires the DoD Inspector General (IG) to:

(3) Not later than March 31 each year, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense shall submit to Congress a report on—

(A) the effectiveness during the preceding calendar year of voting assistance programs; and

(B) the level of compliance during the preceding calendar year with voting assistance programs of each of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Observations

The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps did have functioning Voting Assistance Programs, had persons assigned to appropriate Voting Assistance Program duties, conducted regular oversight of the Voting Assistance Programs, identified deficiencies and areas for improvement, and implemented corrective actions.  Therefore, the DoD Office of Inspector General concurs with the Service inspectors general determinations that their respective Service complied with Voting Assistance Programs and regulations.  We found, however, that some Voting Assistance Program issues need to be addressed: 

  • Lack of an Established and  Sustained Installation Voter Assistance Office
  • Lack of Distribution of Standard Form 76, “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application” (FPCA)
  • Lack of Command Oversight
  • Incomplete Tracking of Voting Assistance Program Outreach Metrics
  • Use of Standardized E-mail Addresses for Unit Voting Assistance Officers
  • Voting Assistance Officer Duties Not Addressed in Performance Evaluations

In addition, several issues from the prior DoD Inspector General Voting Assistance Program report remain unaddressed:

  • Lack of a Standardized Definition for an Installation
  • Outdated Regulatory Requirements
  • Measuring Federal Voting Assistance Program Effectiveness

Recommendations, Management Comments, and Our Response

Recommendation 1.a

The Commander, Air Force Materiel Command ensure that a fully functioning Installation Voter Assistance office is established and sustained at Hanscom Air Force Base.

Commander, Air Force Materiel Command

As of the publication of this report, the DoD Office of Inspector General had not received a formal response regarding Recommendation 1.a from the Commander, Air Force Materiel Command.

Our Response

The DoD Office of Inspector General requests that the Commander, Air Force Materiel Command respond to Recommendation 1.a in the final report by April 30, 2014, providing their plan to ensure that a fully functioning Installation Voter Assistance office is established and sustained at Hanscom Air Force Base or other bases within their command.

Recommendation 1.b

The Air Force Director of Services ensure Air Force compliance with the Department of Defense Instruction 1000.04, “Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP),” September 13, 2012, enclosure 4, section 2.c. requirement to establish an Installation Voter Assistance office on each military installation.

Air Force Director of Services

The Air Force Director of Services concurred with Recommendation 1.b, and provided the Air Force plan for addressing the lack of an established and sustained Installation Voter Assistance Office. 

Our Response

The comments of the Air Force Director of Services were responsive to Recommendation 1.b.  No further comment is required. 

This report is a result of Project No. D2014-D00SPO-0067.000.