February 22, 2012
PRESS RELEASE: In Testimony To State Senate, Veterans Back Mail Ballot Bill
Denver, CO - Richard Allen Smith, Western Regional Director for the veterans group, the Vet Voice Foundation, will testify today in front of the Colorado Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee, in favor of SB 109, which would more clearly define voters lists as to ensure that voters who need mail ballots receive them.
"The General Assembly should pass SB 109 as soon as possible. Troops serving overseas deserve to exercise the very rights they are fighting to protect, especially the right to vote. SB 109 ensures that our brave Colorado service members will have uninhibited rights to cast their votes in vote by mail elections. The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, and we owe it to those troops to guarantee that right will not be abridged," Smith said.
Colorado conducts mail ballot elections for non-federal offices. State statute requires that ballots be sent to all "active voters." Late last year, there was a controversy when the Secretary of State's office interpreted that to mean anyone who had not voted in the previous election was an "inactive, failed to vote" voter, and should not be mailed a ballot. While the Secretary of State said that any Coloradan who wanted a ballot could go to a state office to get one, that is simply not feasible for troops who are deployed. SB 109 would eliminate the "IFTV" designation and ensure that all voters receive a mail ballot.
Founded in 2009, the mission of Vet Voice Foundation is to mobilize veterans to become leaders in our nation's democracy through participation in the civic and democratic process. VVF seeks to harness the energy and drive of the dedicated men and women who have fought for their country, and put it to work at home and in their communities on the important issues they face, such as health care, jobs, the environment, and housing.