Groundhog Deja Vue for Fax, Email Voting

Three decades ago, when I went off for my year in the United States government, an old hand explained to me the nature of the job: it was mostly about fighting bad ideas. And these bad ideas, he went on to explain, were like cockroaches: no matter how many times you flush them down the toilet, they keep coming back.
Paul Krugman

The Veterans Affairs Committee held hearings on Feb 19th on S.B. 647, An Act Concerning Voting By Members Of the Military Serving Overseas. We testified against the bill which would allow fax and email return of ballots for presumably military serving overseas. The concept is risky, unconstitutional, ineffective, and unnecessary – there are better, more economical alternatives available, proven effective in other states. The Committee talked of working with others to rewrite the bill. Two days later they voted to draft S.B. 647 as a committee bill.

Now we have it, a redrafted S.B. 647. We do not know who was involved around the table rewriting it, yet what we have is almost an exact copy of the bill Governor Malloy vetoed last year as risky and unconstitutional, H.B. 5556 (see Pages 51-55).

Do not let the bill’s title mislead you. It is not just for the military, it includes all overseas voters(*). It is not just for overseas military and their dependents, it is for any military anywhere, presumably even a national guard member living and working in Connecticut:

any elector who is living, or expects to be living or traveling before and on election day, outside the territorial limits of the several states of the United States and the District of Columbia and any member of the armed forces who is an elector or an applicant for admission as an elector, or the ember’s spouse or dependent if living where such member is stationed…

*Although we are opposed to online, email, and fax voting, we are in favor of treating all overseas voters equally, including military contractors, State Department staff, CIA staff, Peace Corps volunteers, and NGO staff and volunteers.

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