September 17, 2008
Floor Statements

September 17, 2008

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia: Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of H.R. 6625, the Veterans Voting Support Act, which contains several provisions to help Veterans as they participate in the political process. First, it will require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow States to designate V.A. facilities as voter registration agencies. The bill will also require V.A. facilities to provide information and assist election officials to ensure proper delivery of voting material. Additional, the bill prohibits the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from restricting non-partisan organizations and state election organizations from providing information at V.A. facilities. This bill will help to prevent Department of Veterans Affairs policies from withholding information from Veterans on voter registration and voting.

The Department of Veterans Affairs previously adopted a policy that prohibits voter registration drives on V.A. grounds. The Department of Veterans Affairs recently changed that policy and now allows state and local election officials as well as non-partisan organizations to provide veterans help. However, the language of the policy still allows individual V.A. facilities to restrict access to these groups. This legislation will guarantee that individuals and organizations with the appropriate knowledge are given the right to assist our veterans in the voting registration process.

Our veterans have dedicated their lives to our country's safety and deserve the opportunity to be assisted in the political process. Given that many of our veterans are disabled or ill with special assistance needs as a result of their service to our country, we should make every possible accommodation to provide them with the assistance they need to take a part in the political process and have their voices heard. It would be ironic for those fighting for our freedom and ability to participate in our democracy to themselves be denied the ability to participate.

I commend Rep. BRADY, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, for his hard work on this bill and urge my colleagues to support it.