Saturday, August 2, 2008

This Country Is Run By Idiots

Here is the response to my request to ban all alcohol from U.S. flights:

Dear Mr. Hxxxxxx:

Thank you for contacting me regarding voter registration for our nation’s veterans. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue, and I share your concerns.

Our nation’s veterans have selflessly answered the call to serve, and many have paid a heavy price for their service and now require care at VA facilities. Their ability to register to vote should never be hampered by their need for medical treatment.

With this in mind, I have cosponsored the Veteran Voting Support Act. This legislation allows states to require the VA to make voter registration services available at their facilities and to assist veterans in receiving and using absentee ballots. The legislation would also allow non-partisan groups and election officials to visit VA campuses and conduct voter registration drives.

Additionally, I have written to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, James Peake, and asked him to reconsider the ban on voter registration drives at VA facilities. VA medical centers should serve as a place of civic engagement for some of our most patriotic Americans, not a place where they feel displaced or forgotten. America's democracy rests on the ability of all voters – veterans, soldiers, and civilians alike – to make their voice heard on Election Day.

As you may know, on April 25, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) issued policy Directive 2008-023, which required all Veterans Affairs facilities to develop a comprehensive plan to assist veterans with voter registration. Less than two weeks later, the VHA replaced this policy with a new directive. While still aimed at assisting veterans with voting and registration, this new policy makes one major change from the original – a prohibition on third-party voter registration drives at VA facilities.

I agree that a blanket prohibition on all registration drives prevents a potentially valuable resource from reaching these veterans. The very least our country can do is provide them with every convenience and resource available to cast their ballots on Election Day. Please rest assured that as I continue to work on behalf of our veterans, I will keep your views in mind.

Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of the issues that are important to you. If I may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ron Wyden
United States Senator

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