BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1205
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STATE, VETERANS, & MILITARY AFFAIRS
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|Moved a conceptual amendment, page 4, line 5, stri|
Moved prepared amendment L.005 (Attachment J), as
Moved prepared amendment L.006 (Attachment K). Th
Moved prepared amendment L.007 (Attachment L). Th
Moved to refer House Bill 09-1205, as amended, to
Pass Without Objection
Pass Without Objection
Pass Without Objection
04:58 PM -- House Bill 09-1205
Representatives Looper and Balmer, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 09-1205, concerning voting by members of the armed forces serving outside the United States. Committee members received a photocopy of Section 1-2-217.5, Colorado Revised Statutes, showing the proposed location of a provision in the bill (Attachment G). Representative Looper discussed the need for the bill, and how the bill will help preserve the vote of members of the armed forces serving overseas. Representative Looper also discussed internet-based voting pilot projects launched in other jurisdictions, and the reasons that overseas uniformed services electors fail to vote. Discussion ensued regarding certain instances of voter disenfranchisement for overseas military voters from El Paso County. Discussion followed regarding the status of funding for the pilot project created by the bill. Representative Balmer discussed each of the bill's provisions in detail.
Representative Balmer continued to explain the bill's provisions, along with three amendments to the bill. Discussion ensued regarding the potential for amending one of the amendments for consistency. Representative Todd mentioned that the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is supportive of the bill.
The following persons testified regarding House Bill 09-1205:
05:16 PM -- Mr. Bernie Buescher, Secretary of State, testified in favor of the bill. Secretary Buescher discussed the merits of the bill, and the safeguards built into the pilot program to make it secure and effective. Discussion ensued regarding the fiscal impact of the bill, the factors that drive the bill's cost, and the process by which the pilot program will operate at the local level. Representative Looper provided further clarification regarding the technical operation of the pilot program. Discussion followed regarding a provision in the bill that allows ballots from overseas military voters to be counted up to 8 days following the election, and which particular classes of overseas voters would qualify for such treatment.
Discussion ensued regarding the potential inclusion of other overseas voters in the pilot program not considered in uniform.
05:31 PM -- Ms. Margit Johansson, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, testified in opposition to the bill and distributed a hand-out (Attachment H). She discussed the investigation of risk of Internet voting and a report produced by foremost security experts. The scientists reviewed issues that arose through a pilot project. There are concerns about the architecture of the Internet and the lack of security. Ms. Johansson went on to discuss other recent commentary on Internet voting. Early voting sites have been suggested for military bases and consulates.
Representative Lambert discussed his experiences as a military voter and the potential for disenfranchisement. Discussion ensued regarding difficulties in receiving services experienced by overseas military personnel, including accessing voting. Ms. Johansson provided closing comments opposing voting over the Internet.
05:47 PM -- Mr. Scott Wiedmann, representing the U.S. Department of Defense, testified by telephone in favor of House Bill 09-1205. Mr. Wiedmann discussed the work of the Federal Voting Assistance Program within the department, and the issues faced by the program in assisting military personnel with voting. Mr. Wiedmann also discussed the process by which overseas military voting is facilitated, including through electronic methods.
Mr. Wiedmann continued to discuss the process by which overseas military voting is facilitated, and certain state statutory barriers. Mr. Wiedmann then explained how the pilot program created by House Bill 09-1205 would operate within the federal framework. Mr. Wiedmann responded to questions regarding a provision in the bill that allows overseas military mail ballots to be counted up to 8 days after the election, and the ability to include classes of overseas voters in the pilot program additional to uniformed military voters. Discussion ensued regarding the existence of public domain software that would facilitate overseas Internet military voting.
Mr. Wiedmann discussed solutions to security issues associated with overseas internet voting.
06:10 PM -- Clerks Nancy Doty and Pam Anderson, representing Arapahoe County and the Colorado County Clerks Association respectively, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1205. Clerk Doty discussed the lack of voting participation on the part of overseas military personnel, and obstacles currently in place that prevent participation. Committee members received copies of Clerk Doty's testimony (Attachment I). Clerk Doty then discussed a pilot program similar to the one created by the bill conducted in Okaloosa County, Florida, during the 2008 general election, and the results of the pilot project. Clerk Doty discussed the potential for coordinating an overseas military Internet voting pilot project with other such projects. Clerk Anderson added support for going forward with a pilot project as soon as possible.
Clerk Anderson continued to discuss the benefits of the bill, and constraints currently in place preventing overseas voting. Clerk Anderson responded to questions regarding the number of mail ballots received from overseas in excess of 8 days after the election.
06:24 PM -- Ms. Carol Tone, representing the League of Women Voters, testified in favor of House Bill 09-1205. Ms. Tone discussed the importance of making the vote available to overseas armed forces.
06:26 PM -- Mr. Nate Gorman, representing the United Veterans Committee, testified in favor of the bill.
06:26 PM -- Ms. Mary Eberle, representing Coloradans for Voting Integrity, testified in opposition to House Bill 09-1205. Ms. Eberle discussed the security dangers inherent with internet voting.
Discussion ensued regarding extending the time period for deploying the pilot program to 2012. Representative Balmer discussed the timing involved with deploying the program.
Discussion ensued regarding the proper motion for House Bill 09-1205. Representative Murray objected to Internet voting, except for overseas military personnel.
|TIME: || 06:31:59 PM|
|MOTION:||Moved to refer House Bill 09-1205, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations with favorable recommendation. The motion passed on a 9-0-2 roll call vote.|
Final YES: 9 NO: 0 EXC: 2 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS