Justice Dept. sues Alabama on overseas vote report

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Justice Department has sued Alabama officials for allegedly violating a law that protects absentee voters overseas, including those serving in the military.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery is against the state of Alabama and its top election official, Secretary of State Beth Chapman. State officials are accused in the suit of failing to file reports on overseas absentee ballots as required by a 2002 federal law. The suit seeks to compel Alabama officials to file the required reports on overseas absentee ballots in the Nov. 4 election and future federal general elections.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Grace Chung Becker said states must be held accountable for ensuring that absentee ballots are sent out in a timely fashion.

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