*What do these acronyms mean and how can I find out more about them?

posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:52 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:30 AM ]

AAC                “An Act Concerning…”  Proposed bills and public acts begin with this phrase.

AG                   Attorney General. Connecticut’s AG is George Jepsen, elected 2010. http://www.ct.gov/ag

CCM               Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.  http://www.ccm-ct.org

COST             Connecticut Council of Small Towns. http://www.ctcost.org

CGA                CT General Assembly. Connecticut’s state legislative body: Senate and House of Representatives.  Browse statutes, view proposed laws,  and find your state legislators. http://www.cga.ct.gov  

EDR                Election Day Registration.  Law is effective in Connecticut on July 1, 2013.

FOI                  Freedom of Information. The FOI Act is enforced by the FOI Commission which is part of the Office of Governmental Accountability. According to their website, the “Freedom of Information Commission's mission is to administer and enforce the provisions of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, and to thereby ensure citizen access to the records and meetings of public agencies in the State of Connecticut.”  http://www.ct.gov/foi  

FPCA             Federal Post Card Application—used by military and overseas voters to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.See  www.fvap.gov  and www.sots.ct.gov  

FWAB            Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot—a blank back-up absentee ballot to be used by active military and overseas voters. See www.fvap.gov    and  www.sots.ct.gov

GAE                Government Administration and Elections Committee of the CGA. This bi-partisan committee enacts elections laws. http://www.cga.ct.gov/GAE  

HAVA              Help America Vote Act. U.S. federal law passed in 2002 following the 2000 presidential election.  Notable features include: replacement of lever and punchcard voting systems, standards for all voting systems, requirements for voting systems for electors with disabilities, establishment of the federal Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), voter identification, provisional ballots for voters in specified circumstances, required development of electronic statewide voter registration systems, improved access to voting for military and overseas voters, and grants to states. http://www.eac.gov/about_the_eac/help_america_vote_act.aspx 

HB or SB        House Bill or Senate Bill.

IVS                  Inspire Vote-by-Phone System. Polling place fax print voting system that allows a voter to generate a paper ballot by voting with a polling place telephone and fax machine. The IVS machine must be available and ready for voters to use at each polling place in CT.  http://www.ivsllc.com/

LEAD             Legislation and Elections Administration Division, the division of the Secretary of the State’s office that oversees elections. Peggy Reeves, appointed in 2010, is the Director of LEAD. http://www.sots.ct.gov

                        LOB                 Legislative Office Building. Right next door to the Capitol. Public hearings take place here.

NVRA              National Voter Registration Act of 1993, U.S. federal law, known as the Motor Voter Act. Among other things, it required states to offer voter registration services through various social service agencies, at programs serving persons with disabilities, and at motor vehicle agencies when eligible voters renew, change addresses,  or apply for drivers licenses. It also allows mail-in voter registration applications, individual voter registration drives, and designations of other offices as voter registration agencies . See the US Department of Justice’s website for FAQs about the NVRA.  http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/nvra/nvra_faq.php

OLR               Office of Legislative Research. Non-partisan office of the CGA that conducts research for legislators, staffs legislative committees, and publishes their findings and reports online. http://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/

UOCAVA       Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act –a US federal law that covers all active-duty members of the Uniformed Services and their families, members of the merchant marine and their families, and US citizens who reside overseas, and assists them in exercising their right to vote. In Connecticut, get more information about military and overseas voting at http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/cwp/view.asp?a=3179&q=489914

SOTS             Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut.  Denise Merrill is the Secretary, elected in 2010. http://www.sots.ct.gov   

SEEC             State Elections Enforcement Commission, State of Connecticut. Michael Brandi is the Executive Director. The SEEC investigates possible violations of the election laws, inspects campaign finance records and reports, refers evidence of violations to the Chief State's Attorney or to the Attorney General, issues advisory opinions and makes recommendations to the General Assembly concerning revisions to the state's election laws. http://www.ct.gov/seec 

                        VRA               Voting Rights Act of 1965. Landmark U.S. federal law that outlawed discriminatory practices in voting.  Notable features include outlawing literacy tests for voter registration, pre-clearance of proposed elections law changes in specific states, and requiring bilingual ballots in specified states. See the US Department of Justice’s website for more:      http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php

Need more acronyms? The CT General Assembly has a long list here http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/content/Acronyms.asp