Letter to US Senate in Support of S. 3308

Joint letter among Brennan Center allies in support of Senate Bill 3308.

September 25, 2008

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September 25, 2008 

Dear Senator: The undersigned veterans, civil rights, disability and civic organizations ask your support for speedy action on S. 3308, the Veteran Voting Support Act, introduced by Senators Feinstein and Kerry. The bill would help ensure that America’s veterans have an equal opportunity to register to vote and to participate in our nation’s elections. The House of Representatives passed a companion bill, H.R. 6625, on September 17, 2008, and time is running out to assist veterans in voting this year. The Senate must act now. Veterans, who have performed the greatest service to the nation and risked the greatest sacrifice, deserve no less.

S.3308 will ensure that:

* Veterans are given the opportunity to register to vote when they apply for and renew medical services, and change their address, an especially important time to update voter registration.

* Veterans are assisted in filling out voter registration applications, an especially important benefit for disabled veterans.

* State and local elections officials and nonpartisan organizations will be permitted to assist veterans in registering and voting.

* Veterans receiving in-patient or residential care will be able to cast absentee ballots.

* Veterans are protected from political or other coercion in the process.

* Completed voter registration applications are expeditiously transmitted to the appropriate election officials.

* Veterans can hold the VA accountable for providing voting assistance.

Americans who have risked their lives in defense of the nation deserve every opportunity to exercise the most cherished right of citizenship – the right to vote. We urge you to support S. 3308 and call for a swift floor vote to achieve that goal.

Sincerely,

American Association for People with Disabilities

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Common Cause

Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action

The League of Women Voters

Veterans for Common Sense