***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
Peter Kuo for Senate Response to The Senate Elections Committee's Killing of AB 269, an effort to assure late military absentee ballots are counted
Yesterday, the Senate Elections Committee killed AB 269, a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Jim Patterson. The bill allowed US voters temporarily overseas (most notably active duty military) three additional days past election day for their ballots to arrive at the necessary elections office to be counted. The bill had been approved unanimously in the Assembly in July of 2013.
Peter Kuo, Candidate for Senate District 10 issued the following statement.
I am disappointed and appalled by the actions of the Senate Elections Committee gutting AB 269 to the point of irrelevance. It is unconscionable that the men and women serving overseas on our behalf are often disenfranchised from the very democracy they are fighting to protect. Servicemen and women have no control over when their ballots return to the appropriate election office to be counted when they are overseas and all too often their ballots are thrown out to no fault of their own. AB 269 would have righted this wrong by cleaning up the law to make the appropriate accommodations to have these legitimate votes counted. The Senate Elections Committee ought to be ashamed of itself for the actions they've taken to ensure this injustice continues.
Said Assemblywoman Grove in her statement…
As a veteran myself, I know that circumstances abroad can change rapidly and without notice. Our men and women in combat cannot just walk or drive to the nearest post office like the rest of us living in the state. This bill was an important and necessary step to ensuring that their voice is heard at the ballot box.
Assemblyman Patterson issued a strong statement of his own…
Thanks to the votes of this committee, thousands of ballots from men and women serving overseas will continue to be shredded when they arrive a few days after the polls close. They should be counted and we’re going to continue to fight.
Each election cycle California sees tens of thousands of votes thrown out around the state, many from military personnel serving overseas. The destruction of AB 269 is yet another example of Sacramento politicians putting politics ahead of solving obvious problems. Approximately 87% of late military ballots would have made this 3 day threshold. This bill aimed at good government and equity passed unanimously out of the Assembly last year and died in a Senate Committee that used a legislative trick. Peter Kuo will continue to advocate for the spirit of the bill alongside it's authors Assemblywoman Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Jim Patterson.
Peter Kuo is a first time candidate running in California State Senate District 10. Peter is a small business owner, job creator, husband and father of three. A Taiwanese immigrant, Kuo has lived the American dream and is running so others will have the same opportunities he has had.
Peter Kuo for CA State Senate, 2014