State Watch

No more drop boxes in South Dakota elections, House proposes

(Getty Images)

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Drop boxes for receiving absentee election ballots would be illegal under a proposal moving forward in the South Dakota Legislature.

The state House of Representatives voted 57-11 on Tuesday to advance the bill. HB-1165 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

South Dakota counties have taken various approaches on drop boxes in recent elections. The legislation would uniformly ban their use, other than in a county auditor’s office. The bill would also make other changes to bring more consistency to state election laws, proponents say.

“Easy to vote, hard to cheat” was how the legislation’s prime sponsor, Republican Rep. Kirk Chaffee, summarized the package.

Under the latest version, county auditors would be prohibited from mailing absentee ballots after the Monday prior to Election Day.

The state Board of Elections would also be required to develop absentee voting rules for nursing facilities, assisted living centers and hospitals. Those rules would apply for both primary and general elections.

“It will clean up our elections,” Republican Rep. Kevin Jensen said. “It doesn’t infringe on anybody.”


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