Sen. Kane Backs Online Voting for Connecticut’s Military Personnel Stationed Out of State

April 19, 2012
State Sen. Rob Kane (center) wants to provide Connecticut military personnel stationed overseas with easier access to the ballot box.

State Sen. Rob Kane (center) wants to provide Connecticut military personnel stationed overseas with easier access to the ballot box.

Sen. Rob Kane (R-Watertown) on April 18 introduced a measure to allow military personnel overseas easier access to the ballot box.

During a debate on election procedures in the State Senate, Sen. Kane introduced an amendment to a bill which would allow access to online voting for Connecticut’s military personnel stationed out of state.

Currently, members of Connecticut’s military can submit applications for absentee voting online, but cannot cast their ballot over a secure website.

“We transfer millions of dollars every day via the Internet,” Senator Kane said, referring to the use of online systems by banks and financial markets. “Just think about all the commerce that gets done. If we can do that, why can’t we allow our military personnel the ability to vote online for the elections they are defending when they defend our country?”

Kane said that several states now have successful programs allowing military personnel to vote online from overseas. He also noted that there has been a strong, positive response from military voters who used the system, and that there have been no known breaches of security.

“Allowing our servicemembers to vote online would help to solve the problem of military absentee ballots which sometimes arrive too late to be counted in elections,” Sen. Kane said. “Providing online voting for military personnel could help prevent the disfranchisement of those serving abroad and ensure that votes are properly counted.”

Kane’s proposal was co-sponsored by State Sen. Jason Welch (R-Bristol), who serves as Ranking Member of the Select Committee on Veterans Affairs and has served his country in both the United States Coast Guard Reserve and Army National Guard.

State Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen) also spoke strongly in favor of the Kane amendment, but the amendment was eventually defeated along party lines.

Sen. Kane, who has proposed the online voting measure for several years, said he is not deterred and will continue to bring the idea back again whenever the opportunity arises.

“We owe this to the men and women who fight for us and put their lives on the line for our country,” Sen. Kane said. “They are overseas defending our freedoms, including that precious freedom so many of us take for granted – the freedom to vote.”

Kane represents the 32nd Senatorial District, which includes the communities of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Roxbury, Watertown and Woodbury.