Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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Working to Institute No-Excuse
Absentee Ballots in Connecticut
The most basic democratic right in our country is the right to vote. Yet in today’s busy world, Connecticut’s constitution limits the way that registered residents can cast their votes. Access to absentee ballots is limited, making it difficult for those who must work during polling hours, for single parents and for others who don’t fall into an absentee ballot qualification.
Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia allow for no-excuse, in-person early voting, while 30 states and the District of Columbia allow for no-excuse absentee voting by mail. This year, the Government Administration & Elections Committee, on which I serve as co-chair, passed a resolution that would put the question of whether or not to allow early voting in our state on the 2012 general election ballot for the voters to decide.
Amending the state constitution is a necessarily difficult, multi-year process. I believe this is an important change to make, however, and I’m hopeful that we will begin that process in earnest this year.
Free Online Tuition for
Veterans and Deployed Soldiers
This year, I’m supporting legislation that will waive course enrollment fees (the equivalent of tuition) at the online Charter Oak State College for wartime military veterans and active members of the Connecticut National Guard.
Ever since passage of the federal GI Bill in 1944, it has been a longstanding American tradition to reward our military veterans with affordable access to higher education. In the modern world, that increasingly means an education available online, which better meshes with the busy schedules of veterans juggling work, family and educational responsibilities. Access to college also offers our deployed service members the opportunity to advance their education during their downtime while deployed overseas.
It is important that our state and country do all we can to honor the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve, in our defense. The online classes at Charter Oak College will help our veterans to succeed when they return to civilian life.
Beware Phishing Scams
Following Major Info Breach
Last month, Epsilon Interactive—a consulting and marketing company that sends over 40 billion e-mails a year on behalf of dozens of major corporations in America—announced that its security system had been breached and customer data in Epsilon’s e-mail system had been accessed.
Reportedly only names and e-mail addresses were obtained. Still, the breach opens the door for consumers to be targeted by so-called “phishing” scams, where identity thieves try to trick people into providing vital information—like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and PINs—by pretending to be someone they’re not.
The National Consumer League offers these helpful tips to protect yourself from phishing scams, including:
- Watch out for unsolicited e-mails asking you to “confirm” your personal information or from fraud departments asking you to verify information.
- Don’t click links within e-mails that ask for your personal information.
- Never enter your personal information into a pop-up window.
- Don’t open e-mail attachments unless you know the sender.
- Protect your computer with spam filters and anti-virus software, and keep your protection up-to-date.
- Act immediately if you’ve been hooked by a phisher, and report phishing whether you’re a victim or not. This information can help stop identity theft.