Editorial: Bill helps bravest vote

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2010

By The North Chilton Advertiser staff

American soldiers overseas fighting for our rights should be the first ones guaranteed those same rights.
Sadly, that hasn’t always been the case. Overseas voters from Alabama, including soldiers, have had problems voting in past elections because the only method provided by law was for ballots to be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. Too often, ballots wouldn’t be received in time.
But the Constitution and Elections Committee of the Alabama House of Representatives on Friday unanimously passed a bill sponsored by local representative Jimmy Martin that would allow for four additional methods of receiving ballots: commercial carriers like FedEx and UPS, a secure fax line, e-mail, and secure electronic transmission. Overseas voters would then be able to return their ballots using the same methods.
The bill will now go before the House for a vote of all members.
“Committee Chairman Jimmy Martin of Clanton has been a tireless advocate for this cause,” Secretary of State Beth Chapman said in a release.
It is a tribute to our county that a local public servant, Martin, would be such an influential proponent of such a worthwhile cause.