headshot of Senator Slossberg (lo-res)

News From

State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Assistant President Pro Tempore

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

Share |

Contact: Andrew Ammirati
860-240-8671

February 19, 2013

Slossberg Pushes for Military Voting Reforms

Senator’s Bill Would Allow Members of the Military Serving Overseas to Return Their Ballots Via E-mail or Fax

HARTFORD, CT—State Senator Gayle S. Slossberg (D-Milford) today joined State Representative Russ Morin (D-Wethersfield), veterans of the U.S. military, and election officials from Rhode Island in voicing support for reforms to Connecticut’s military voting policies. Sen. Slossberg and Rep. Morin have introduced legislation this session that would enable military servicemen and servicewomen serving overseas to return their ballots by electronic mail or facsimile.

According to statistics from the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office, around 40 percent of absentee ballots transmitted to members of the military overseas are not returned. Some of the ballots do not reach the service members, and when they do reach them, many are not successfully returned to Connecticut to be counted in elections. S.B. 647 aims to remedy this problem by allowing for easier and more secure methods of return for these ballots.

“Our servicemen and servicewomen put their lives on the line to fight for our freedoms,” said Sen. Slossberg. “Why should they have any less of a right to vote than us? To disenfranchise 40 percent of our military is unacceptable. They risk their lives for us, and we need to do better for them.”

“It is appalling that we cannot confidently say to members of our military serving overseas that their votes will be counted,” said Rep. Morin. “This bill gives us a chance to stop the disenfranchisement of our servicemen and servicewomen abroad, and it would be a shame if we did not seize this opportunity to do so.”

Sen. Slossberg noted that 28 states currently allow for these ballots to be returned via fax, and 20 of these allow for e-mail submission. Officials in these states have confirmed that there have been no incidents of voter fraud as a result of this policy. Election officials from Rhode Island, where they allow for ballot return via fax, attended the press conference and attested to the absence of such fraud in their state.

Slossberg and Morin hope to see results similar to those of Maine, where the rate of return for these ballots pre-reform was less than 49 percent. Post-reform, the rate of return jumped to 74.5 percent.

Testimony on S.B. 647 is scheduled to be heard at a public hearing in the Veterans’ Affairs Committee later today.

 

Committees

Chair: Human Services

Vice Chair: Public Health; Veterans’ Affairs

Press Contacts

Press Aide

Andrew Ammirati
860-240-8671

Mailing Address

Legislative Office Building
Room 2000
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Home Page

www.SenatorSlossberg.cga.ct.gov

E-mail

Form to mail Senator Slossberg

Follow Senator Slossberg

RSS icon   Facebook   flickr icon   YouTube icon

Press Kit

Download Senator Slossberg’s biography and publication-quality head shots.

Biography

Slossberg.doc (MS Word format)

4"x5" Color head shot

Slossberg-hi.jpg (JPG)
Slossberg-low.jpg (JPG)