[Image courtesy of AP via Politico]
Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), along with 5 bipartisan co-sponsors, introduced a new bill to revise federal law with regard to military voters. From a press release
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) joined with Senate colleagues today to introduce The Safeguarding Elections for our Nation’s Troops through Reforms and Improvements (SENTRI) Act, S.1728. The bill will expand access to voting for military and overseas voters and improve voting assistance opportunities.
“It is unacceptable that our service members and their families are facing hurdles when attempting to exercise one of the most fundamental rights they fight and sacrifice to protect—the right to vote.
“These brave Americans put their lives on the line for our democracy, so the least Congress can do is meet its obligation to safeguard their voting rights by ensuring that the Defense Department implements common sense reforms to improve access and assistance for voting.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Schumer (D-NY), Blunt (R-MO), Warner (D-VA), Wicker (R-MS), and Brown (D-OH). [Blunt and Brown are former Secretaries of their respective States – ed.]
Background on the SENTRI ACT
- + Improves voter registration and voting opportunities for service members through use of online systems and by requiring voter assistance as a routine part of service members’ annual training.
- + Ensures requests for absentee ballots are valid for one full federal election cycle.
- + Strengthens protection of voting rights of military and overseas voters.
- + Requires reporting on implementation and effectiveness of new voter assistance obligations.
It is likely that the SENTRI Act will be considered as an amendment to the defense authorization bill currently pending in the Senate.
Stay tuned …