Of course State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) isn’t calling SB 164 that, but that’s the result of the bill. Peterson’s bill allows anyone to vote absentee by mail for any reason. Current state law restricts postal absentee ballots to certain occupations and those outside of the parish on voting.
From The Advocate:
Under law, if you are unable to vote in person on election day, you can early vote (which also is in person) two weeks before the election date or you can fill out an absentee vote and send it in by mail.
Sen. Karen Carter Peterson’s Senate Bill 164 would allow anyone to absentee vote for any reason.
It was reported favorably by the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee and will now make its way to the Senate floor.
Representatives from the Secretary of State’s Office cautioned legislators that the change could end up costing them about $1.28 more per ballot.
Under questioning from State Sen. Jim Fannin (R-Jonesboro), a representative from the Secretary of State’s office admitted that the process for absentee voting by mail wasn’t exactly foolproof. The determination of whether or not a voter is eligible is actually legitimately registered to vote and is an active voter is made by the parish registrar’s office. The absentee ballot is sent back in a closed envelope with a signature that attests that the voter is who they say the are.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to game the system. Simply have registered voters or people you can claim are registered voters request the ballots and then fill out those ballots and send them back. It doesn’t actually matter if the voter actually fills out the ballot, just have a supporter or campaign worker fill them out. That’s basically a form of ballot stuffing and that’s what this bill makes easier. That type of scenario is becoming increasingly common in Britain.
Jim Fannon was the only person on the Senate and Governmental Affairs committee to vote against it. That’s a disgrace.
We have six days of in person early voting two weeks before an election. That’s plenty of time for most people to vote in a small state like Louisiana if they can’t vote on election day. We don’t need to be making it easier for the Democrat Party to stuff Louisiana’s ballot boxes and dilute Louisiana’s electorate.