One Way Connecticut Could Empower Military and Overseas Voters

The Connecticut Legislature is poised to pass a bill to change Connecticut absentee voting laws to implement the Federal Military and Overseas Voters Empowerment Act (MOVE).  Although we have been critical of some unfortunate provisions of the Federal act, its overall intentions and many of its provisions are important and are a significant improvement.

One key to truly empowering military and overseas voters is accessible, timely information to speed the process of meeting the requirements of obtaining, completing, and returning absentee ballots and applications.

Four levels deep on our Secretary of the State’s web site we find the following today:

Looking at another state, we find a link to the following interactive facility designed and staffed by the Overseas Vote Foundation:

Which would you prefer if you were overseas, in the military, and had a few minutes to use a computer on base?  A one page listing of do’s and don’ts or an interactive facility with Frequently Asked Questions and a staffed help desk designed by and for military and overseas voters?

To their credit seven states use this system to server their military and overseas voters:    Alabama, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and West Virginia    <details>

It is not free.  It would cost Connecticut about 1/3rd the salary of a lawyer in the Secretary of the State’s Office, or about  1/10th the amount of a primary campaign grant to a single candidate for Secretary of the State under the Citizens’ Election Program.

We will add this to our list of items that a Secretary of the State could do.  Perhaps all voters deserve similar services as well.


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