State Senator Dan Hegeman has pre-filed Senate Bill 633 regarding election integrity and reform. While it contains some familiar language, Hegeman said it also embraces new technology, with what he called “voter safety” in mind.
The legislative proposal would allow a local election official to oversee ballot-counting machines and ensure these machines are not connected to a network that could include anybody. At the same time, the bill would reinforce paper ballots as the official tabulation for an election, define “absentee ballot.” and allow no-excuse absentee voting. Hegeman believes these measures if enacted, would allow more people to vote early. This bill also seeks to strengthen absentee voting rules for those who cannot vote in person because of illness or other incapacities. In addition, mail-in voting rules that were used last year due to the pandemic would be repealed.
The Senate bill also is designed to repeal provisions allowing people to vote by signing a statement and providing a non-photo form of identification. It also repeals provisions related to the execution of provisional ballots specific to the same person.
Any person who does not present a form of photo identification may cast a regular ballot, as long as the ballot is put in an envelope that has a verification affidavit attached to the front. The voter would then fill out the affidavit. After completing the ballot and affidavit, the voter would put the envelope into a verification ballot box.