News Published: Jun 21, 2010 - 6:58 PM

Rep. Reeves' legislation protecting voting right of U.S. Military is passed by full legislature

By CT House Democrats

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State Representative Peggy Reeves’ (D-Norwalk/Wilton) legislation to improve the voting capabilities of members of the U.S. military serving overseas, especially those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, was approved by both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly today.

It gives members of the armed services the ability to receive absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots from municipal clerks electronically, by fax, or email.

“The brave men and women who are protecting our democracy should not lose their right to vote just because it’ difficult to get ballots to them using regular mail,” said Reeves, who served for many years as the Registrar of Voters in Wilton.

In addition, the bill allows U.S. citizens age 18 and older, born outside the U.S. but whose parent or guardian was a Connecticut resident immediately prior to leaving the country, to register and vote in a federal election using a presidential or overseas absentee ballot. Current law does not allow them to do so.

Reeves’ original bill was passed unanimously by the Connecticut House of Representatives in late April, but the State Senate failed to bring the bill to a vote before the legislative session ended in early May.

Reeves explained that she worked with legislative leaders to have her bill included in legislation (Senate Bill 501) approved during at today’s special session.

Reeves added, “We owe it to those who put themselves in harm’s way, every day, to be able to cast their votes easily, securely, and privately. I did not want another election to pass without implementing these important reforms.

Today’s bill still must receive the signature of the governor to become law.

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