WASHINGTON – A Colorado lawmaker's plan to improve the voting access of absentee military personnel took a major step Tuesday by gaining Senate approval.
“This will assure that while we're asking military men and women to serve in a war terrorism,they'll be assured the opportunity to at least vote,” said Sen. Wayne Allard,R-Colo.,who introduced the bill in February.
The amendment,which clears up technicalities that interfere with absentee voting,was attached to the 2002 Defense Authorization Bill that passed in the Senate 99-0. The bill will now move on to a House-Senate conference committee.
The measure guarantees residency for military personnel traveling on official duty and prohibits states from disqualifying ballots that lack a postmark or notarized signature. It also allows those discharged who move and miss state voting residency deadlines to register through the absentee process and vote at their new polling site. The legislation would require states to report progress in implementing these changes to the Secretary of Defense.