Posted By Craig Barshinger

Paper ballots are hot in the news. I am proposing legislation that may answer the need that has been voiced. Here's a Press Release from Friday, October 2 (yesterday):

 

Desire for Paper Ballots Prompts Legislation

In response to public concern over voting procedures, Senator Barshinger today submitted a drafting request to establish voting by paper ballot in the five days prior to an election. To be known as "early voting", this would allow any voter the right to vote on a paper ballot, without having to provide a reason for voting early. Presently the election system allows "walk-in absentee voting", but voters are required to state one of nine reasons to justify their request. For example, travel is a qualifying reason. Having religious convictions that conflict with election day voting is another qualifying reason.

"Voters should not have to give a reason to vote early on a paper ballot," explained Senator-at-large Craig Barshinger, "An election system should give voters maximum options, not restrict them."

Senators Barshinger, Hill & Sprauve met Friday with members of the Elections Board, Elections system staff, and attorney general Vincent Frazer to address the public concern over paper ballots and the election system in general. One of the outcomes was a pledge by the election system to improve communications with the public.

In the Legislative Session of September 20-22, Legal counsel explained that there is a 6-month blackout period prior to an election, during which the legislature may not alter the laws affecting the election. This is to ensure stability of the election system.

"I will introduce the legislation guaranteeing the right to early voting on a paper ballot on November 3, when the window opens for election system changes", concluded Senator Barshinger.

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