Rep. Susan Davis introduces bill requiring postage-paid absentee ballots

Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) will introduce a bill this week to make absentee ballots postage-free for voters.

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Noting that the vote-by-mail option is used by as many as 40 percent of voters in some areas, such as her district in San Diego, Davis said the bill represents a step toward increasing turnout.
“In our fast-paced hectic society, voting by mail is an option that works for many people,” Davis plans to say in remarks to be delivered Thursday. “The price of a stamp is not a burden for many people, though it certainly is for some. For these people, adding a stamp to a ballot is a sort of poll tax and that is wrong.”

According to Davis, the cost of instituting postage-free ballots would be about $23 million if the same number of people voted absentee as in the 2004 presidential election.

Five similar bills were introduced in 1979, but the idea hasn’t been reintroduced in recent years.
Davis also has introduced a bill to allow anyone to vote absentee and one that would create a ballot-tracking system for mail-in ballots.