Senate Committee Passes Beach Bill Facilitating Mail-in Ballot Applications

LD6 Senator James Beach

The senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee this morning released Senate Bill 1255, which requires mail-in ballot applications be available at polling places on election day for voting in future elections.

Under the bill, the County Clerk would make available at each polling place on the day of any election copies of mail-in ballot applications for future elections.

The bill passed unanimously at the urging of the committee’ chair, state Senator Jim Beach (D-6), the bill’s sponsor.

“These bills (also S-1230, see below) will strengthen the integrity of our elections and encourage citizens to take a more active role in the voting process. By prohibiting electioneering within twenty-five feet of those waiting to vote, as well as making mail-in ballot applications more accessible when people go to their polling places, we can protect voters from intimidation and increase participation,” said Beach.

S-1230 would prohibit electioneering within 25 feet of a person waiting in line at a polling place or ballot drop box in an area that is farther than 100 feet from the polling place or ballot drop box. Violations of this provision would constitute a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

“Under current law, electioneering is only prohibited inside a polling place and within 100 feet of the outside entrance to a polling place or a ballot drop box. Due to this, voters who have to wait in a line can be subject to attempts to influence their vote,” said Senator Shirley Turner (D-15), the prime sponsor of S-1230. “By further prohibiting potentially intimidating activity targeted at voters, our elections will be more secure and voters will feel safer when casting their ballots.”

 

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