From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2008
Tiffany Champion, Office of Senator Van de Putte: (210) 733-6604
Teri Avery, Office of Representative Corte: (512) 463-0646

Senator Van de Putte and Representative Corte File Legislation to Improve the Absentee Voting Process for Deployed Servicemembers

(AUSTIN) -- Today Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, and State Representative Frank Corte, Jr. (R-San Antonio), Chair of the House Committee on Defense Affairs and State-Federal Relations, filed legislation that will streamline the voting process for the men and women serving in uniform overseas. The proposed legislation will make permanent the pilot program established in the 80th Legislative Session, which enabled the early voting administrators of Texas counties to send balloting materials by electronic mail.

Previously, absentee voting ballots had to be mailed to a physical address, which is difficult to accomplish given the delivery of ballots in theater. Necessary shifting of combat forces, makes the reliable delivery of an absentee ballot nearly impossible.

"Making this process permanent addresses a long-standing issue servicemembers have struggled with for some time: the unreasonably difficulty a deployed servicemember undergoes in simply casting his or her ballot," said Senator Van de Putte. Reflecting upon our current conflicts overseas, the Senator continued, "Considering the sacrifices our proud military forces make it is absolutely unconscionable that their ability to vote be compromised in any manner," stated Senator Van de Putte.

"This legislation will alleviate absentee voting difficulties by making permanent the ease and convenience for our military voting overseas. With this program being established as a permanent feature of the Texas voting landscape, democracy and justice have achieved a significant victory, a fact surely not lost on those fighting for it far from home," stated Representative Frank Corte, Jr.