Senator Chris McDaniel released details of two election reform bills he hopes will make it to the Senate floor for a vote before a deadline on Tuesday, February 3.
Both bills were double-referred, one to Appropriations Committee chaired by Senator Buck Clarke and the other to Judiciary A Committee chaired by Senator Briggs Hopson.
Senate Bill 2793, referred to Judiciary A, would set new rules for investigating election law improprieties, set procedures to prohibit crossover voting, and clarify inconsistencies in certifying election results. The bill would also extend the deadline for certification to ten days and provide better procedures for the discovery of illegal votes.
McDaniel says new Voter ID requirements have compressed the amount of time other tasks, like certification or potential challenges to the results would take.
“Voter ID provides the allowance of a grace period of 5 days after the election for a voter to produce his or her identification to the clerk,” McDaniel points out. “This alone has extended the average time of the certification process and reduces the available time for candidates to review the results.”
Senate Bill 2613, referred to Appropriations, would preserve political party’s right to association and allow the members of the party to decide who their nominee would be in the general election. Some legislation introduced seeks to eliminate party elections from the process, also referred to as “jungle primaries.” In a jungle primary the top two candidates go on to a general election regardless of party affiliation. It is possible in such a primary that a political party could be unrepresented in November, and that two members of the same party could again face one another.
“Party’s give us the best opportunity to debate solutions. They offer a place where citizens can gather and have their ideas heard and implemented through the political process,” said McDaniel. “This allows good policy a voice, and not simply those who can afford to pay for the catchiest ads.”
McDaniel Press Release