Since Jan. 1, more than 150 pieces of legislation have been introduced to address some aspect of absentee voting (map below). Here are some examples:
Kentucky’s SB 2, vetoed by the governor but overridden by state legislators, will require voters to provide a photocopy of an ID in order to obtain an absentee ballot. It also requires citizens who vote in person to provide a photo ID, which has not been required previously. The legal director for the Kentucky chapter of the ACLU characterized the passage as “voter suppression.”
Louisiana’s HB 419 would allow all qualified voters to vote by mail and eliminates the requirement that a person requesting to vote by mail provide a reason for the request, or documents supporting that request. It requires that ballots mailed to voters include a postage paid return envelope.
New York's A 10277 addresses pandemic concerns in the state’s June primary election by allowing absentee voting “in the event of an imminent, impending or urgent threat resulting from a disease outbreak.”
Virginia's HB 878 allows an in-person voter who cannot provide the required forms of identification to sign a statement affirming their identity, with a felony penalty for false statements. Absentee voting in person would open on the 45th day prior to an election and continue until the Saturday immediately preceding it. An excuse is required for absentee ballot requests.
Alabama's HB 251 would allow voters to vote absentee without having to provide an excuse. Applications are due not less than five days before an election. Alabama HB419 includes “epidemic” within the circumstances that would allow the governor to suspend any election. If the election has already begun when an election emergency is declared, absentee ballots received at that point would be counted during the re-scheduled election.
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