BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1205
SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS & MILITARY AFFAIRS
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved that House Bill 09-1205 be referred to the C||PASS|
Senator Williams, Chair, called the meeting to order.
01:36 PM -- House Bill 09-1205
Senator Williams, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1205, concerning voting by members of the Armed Forces serving outside the United States. She noted that the bill requires the implementation of an internet-based pilot voting program for overseas military personnel for the General Election in 2012. She said that such a system must be secure and requires authentication of votes of soldiers voting overseas.
The following persons testified in regard to House Bill 09-1205:
01:43 PM -- Scott Weidman, representing the U.S. Department of Defense, testified on House Bill 09-1205 by telephone. He said that his office disseminates information to soldiers regarding voting overseas and that his office coordinates with many state and local agencies in regard to overseas voting. He commented on faxing services that are available to facilitate the return of balloting materials to the states. He commented on measures to preserve the secrecy of overseas ballots. He said that the bill will facilitate voting by Colorado overseas soldiers and that the bill is supported by the Department of Defense.
02:00 PM -- Margit Johansson, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, said that protections are insufficient to guarantee the security of votes by soldiers overseas. She said that the votes by overseas soldiers will not be secret under the bill and that the bill will subject soldiers to identity theft. She stated her opinion that voting under the bill will not be secure.
Mr. Weidman said that security is important to the Department of Defense and that the department now offers secure servers for requesting and receiving balloting materials. He said that the department has ongoing risk analysis of potential threats to the integrity of the voting process.
02:16 PM -- Margit Johansson expressed concerns regarding the cost of gathering and counting overseas votes and commented on the potential for the use of international shipping companies to collect the ballots. Senator Schultheis emphasized the importance of cyber-security in overseas voting by internet. She said that her preference is that completed ballots be returned in the form of a paper copy.
02:20 PM -- Harvie Branscomb, Carbondale, representing himself, opposed House Bill 09-1205, and expressed concerns with definitions in the bill.
02:25 PM -- Richard Coolidge, representing the Colorado Secretary of State, supported House Bill 09-1205, and said that about 20 percent of absentee ballots that are sent overseas are not returned. He said that the state will benefit from the pilot program. He said that soldiers in the field without access to a fax machine will benefit from the program. He noted that these soldiers usually do have access to e-mail. He spoke of potential difficulties with the adjustment of time frames in the bill.
02:30 PM -- Pam Anderson, representing the Colorado County Clerks Association, supported House Bill 09-1205, and said that election judges will add security to the proposed voting process under the bill. She supported provisions of House Bill 09-1205 that accommodate time constraints for overseas voters in returning their ballots. She commented on means of preventing the casting of duplicate ballots.
|TIME: || 02:51:45 PM|
|MOTION:||Moved that House Bill 09-1205 be referred to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed on a 4-0-1 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 4 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS