I can now disclose that I am one of a half-dozen Secretaries of State from across the country in the Middle East to assist in insuring programs to help soldiers to vote are efficient and easy.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and the Department of Defense asked us to visit several Middle Eastern countries meet with American uniformed soldiers.
The FVAP program administers the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 and acts on behalf of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The program and travel is not funded by the State of Arkansas, and no staff or family is traveling with me.
I was further interested because of a complaint that Martin's office had interpreted rules on voter registration in a way that shortened the time available for people overseas to register.
Alex Reed, Martin's press secretary, responded:
The voter registration deadline by state law is 30 days prior to the election. That falls on a Saturday, so it is moved to Monday which is Columbus day, so it moves to Tuesday. That is also what is advertised on the Federal voting assistance program website. http://www.fvap.gov/registration/reg-ballot-request-ar.html
That has been the law for years. As far as we know, we have not received any communication objecting to that. We are unaware of any legislation to change that.
Secretary Martin is in Kuwait. He is there with the Department of Defense and FVAP. I do not know where all he will be traveling while there. It was sponsored by the Department of Defense.
NOTE: News release from Mark Martin.
SECRETARY MARTIN LOWERS FLAGS AT STATE CAPITOL TO HONOR LIVES LOST IN LIBYA
(September 12, 2012) LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin ordered the Flags at the Arkansas State Capitol be flown at half-mast to mourn the death of US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and other Americans at the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
“The deaths of these Americans including Ambassador Stevens are an unfortunate reminder of the threat of terrorism to our country. Ambassador Stevens was doing his country a great service by spreading our values to a foreign country he was helping to become a free nation.” Secretary Martin said.
The flags were lowered today, September 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.