This morning (7/22/13) I wrote a letter to each of my senators, Senator Mark Udall and Senator Michael Bennet, which I elected to fax. My fax to Senator Udall went through immediately.
When I attempted to fax Senator Bennet, my fax machine received a recording that the fax number I have used the whole time Senator Bennet has been in office had been either disconnected or was out of service. I unsuccessfully tried to send the fax several more times throughout the morning.
I called Senator Bennet's Washington, D.C. office to tell them their fax number was not working properly. I was told that Senator Bennet's office does not use fax — if I wanted to correspond I was limited to mail, email or telephone.
Just a few of the reasons I elect to fax to Senator Bennet and other members of Congress are:
1) U.S. mail to federal elected officials is delayed by the U.S. Postal Service for inspection. Timely correspondence via U.S. mail is impossible.
2) Electronic mail is restricted in that no supporting documentation can be attached.
3) Electronic mail (to Senator Bennet's office) is required to be tagged with one of 30 predefined "issue" categories, none of which ever describe the issue of note — see closing below.
4) Phone contact is troubling in that it is difficult, if not impossible, to convey any organized presentation of facts and or questions of any detail in depth with any hope of having the detailed communication go beyond an initial telephone contact. There is no record or audit trail of a phone call without recording the complete call — which requires adequate equipment to do so — much less probably is illegal according to some unknown government regulation.
I find the fact that one of my senators closes off the most timely, comprehensive method of constituents corresponding with them very troubling.
At least Senator Udall still has a working fax — as does my representative, Scott Tipton.
If you think being able to correspond with your senator may be important, write, email or call Senator Bennet's office and tell them so. But don't try to fax them! And if you email, have fun picking an issue category — telecommunications, science/technology, civil rights?