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March 23, 2011
Secretary of State’s Agenda Makes Great Progress in Alabama Legislature

MONTGOMERY, Ala.-  Secretary of State Beth Chapman is pleased that two of her major legislative initiatives are making their way through the Alabama Legislature: a bill requiring photo identification for voters and a bill making it easier for military and overseas voters to cast their ballots.

House Bill 19, which passed the Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday night, would require voters to show a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license, when voting.  It also allows a card to be made for those who do not have a valid photo ID at no expense to the voter.

Senate Bill 55, which passed the Alabama Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections committee unanimously on Tuesday, will make it easier for military and overseas voters to obtain absentee ballots and cast their vote while serving abroad.  The bill allows military and overseas voters three additional ways to return their voted ballots, including fax, commercial ground or air carriers such as UPS and FedEx, and secure electronic access.  Currently, absentee ballots can only be returned by hand delivery or U.S. mail.The bill is sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, who is a retired Brigadier General in the Alabama National Guard.

 “We are pleased these important bills are moving forward in the legislature,” said Secretary of State Chapman.  “We must protect the right to vote at all costs.  One fraudulent vote is one too many and we must do everything we can to prevent it.”

Regarding the military and overseas voting bill, Chapman said: “We must also ensure that while our military is defending democracy on the battlefield, we protect their right to cast their ballot back home.”

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For more information, visit Secretary of State Jim Bennett’s Web Site:  http://www.sos.alabama.gov/