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August 4, 2009
Chapman Continues to Champion Electronic Military Voting Legislation

MONTGOMERY - Secretary of State Beth Chapman has been a long-time advocate of military voting rights and her commitment is ongoing, despite the stall of legislation introduced in the 2009 legislative session designed to help Alabama’s military and overseas voters cast their ballots more effectively and efficiently.


Chapman chaired the Military and Overseas Task Force which crafted legislation creating an ongoing committee to work with the Secretary of State to assure that whatever method of voting is instituted will be done with openness and fairness. The popular legislation failed to pass due to an unrelated technical amendment that was added at the last minute. However, Representative Jimmy Martin, the sponsor of the bill, has already pre-filed the legislation in hopes of introducing it in a special session or the next regular legislative session in 2010.


Secretary Chapman is asking those individuals, whom the legislation sets forth, to make appointments to this Alabama Electronic Overseas Voting Advisory Committee now so that there is no delay in addressing the imperative issues confronting our overseas voters.


In 2010, the Alabama National Guard will deploy 1,600 troops overseas. Due to this fact, Secretary Chapman says there is little time to lose. “Because of this circumstance, and to make sure we will be ready to hit the ground running when the legislation is passed, we must prepare now,” Chapman said. “We would like to convene the committee as soon as possible to gain their assistance in getting the bill passed and gaining their insight, which will be invaluable to this process.”


Chapman continues to be a leading national advocate for electronic military voting and was one of only two Secretaries of State invited to participate in a news conference with the Pew Charitable Trusts and Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF).  She also addressed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the National Association of Secretaries of State on the subject. “We must ensure that the men and women of the United States military who are fighting for our right to vote are given theirs,” Chapman said. “Anything short of that would be un-American.”



For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: