6:42 PM EDT
Dan Lungren, R-CA 3rd

Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in support of this bill, the TRAC bill, which will encourage States to adopt measures toward the modernization of election systems.

The legitimacy of our election systems is based on the public trust that properly cast ballots are counted, and in the case of absentee ballots, reach their appropriate destination. Any time an election system fails to include properly cast ballots there is cause for concern as to the legitimacy of the outcome.

Long gone should be the days when dog-eared absentee ballots are relegated to dark and dusty corners of election offices with voters never having the certainty that their vote counted. By instituting a tracking system, States can further ensure the security of their absentee ballots. Some have said this is really promoting uniform postal progress information for election shipments. Moreover, an absentee ballot tracking system will enable voters to act as guardians of their own vote, providing

them the ability to call attention to ballots that fail to reach their destination.

An important aspect of this bill beyond the benefits of a ballot tracking system is that it is a voluntary, incentive-driven program. Whereas each State approaches its election process from a unique background and context, this voluntary program empowers the States to modernize their election systems in a manner appropriate to their particular challenges. The Committee on House Administration has held several hearings over the past year dealing with challenges to the administration of reliable

and credible elections. Through the testimony of many qualified witnesses, we have come to realize that one particular subset of voters who are particularly vulnerable to those challenges is overseas military voters. My colleague on the committee, Mr. McCarthy,

has introduced a piece of legislation which will help remedy that disservice to our men and women in uniform. And just as we take up this bill today, I am hopeful that we will soon see Mr. McCarthy's bill brought before this body for a vote.

It simply isn't acceptable for ballots to disappear, some might say, like wandering puppies. We owe our uniformed servicemembers better than that.

Madam Speaker, I urge support for this measure, and I yield back the balance of my time. [Page: H8940]