This bill will prevent votes from being counted. The legal votes of people unable to personally hand-deliver their absentee ballot in time – for whatever reason, regardless of party affiliation – cannot be legally be received and thus not counted.

This bill is a solution in search of a problem. Even the sponsor of the bill admits this. He says we need to write a law in reaction to what someone did – not in Idaho, but in North Carolina. That’s absurd. If we write new laws in reaction to every bad deed by any one individual in any other state, we’d become the most regulated state in the nation. So much for being the government that governs least.

This bill is deceptive.  It deploys the term “ballot harvesting” to create the fear of non-existent voter fraud. What we have in Idaho – and what many voters want and appreciate – is “ballot delivery.”  These are the signed and sealed legal ballots voters ask someone they trust to deliver for them. “Ballot harvesting” is when people steal ballots from mailboxes and either fill them out or destroy them – which is a real crime. This is not a problem in Idaho or hardly anywhere else. 

This bill is an affront to all Idahoans. It is a change to Idaho’s voting laws that almost no one outside the walls of the Capitol Building is asking for or wants – which makes one wonder why it’s even a thing.  

 

On The Air

I was interviewed by our local TV station (KTVB-TV) along with the bill’s sponsor in regard to this bill.  Consider the following as you watch: Click here to see the interview
 
00:57 – Reporter:  “Rep. Moyle’s bill will only allow a family member deliver up to two absentee ballots at a time.”
Comment:  Many voters can’t drive and live alone.  This prevents that person from getting their vote counted if it’s too late to mail it in. For large households with more than two voters, it forces multiple delivery trips, which can be a tremendous hardship - especially throughout rural Idaho. The bill doesn’t even trust people with large families.
 
01:16 – Rep. Moyle:  “We don’t want to see someone driving around in their car with 300 ballots in the back seat; no one knows where they came from or where they got them. We want to stop that from happening.”
Comment: This is a common scare tactic. Describe something that’s never happened and then claim we have to write a law to stop the made-up event from happening.
 
02:31 – Rep. Moyle:  “The best time to fix a problem is before you have a problem.”
Comment: No. The best time to fix a problem is when you know there is a problem. Otherwise, you’ll be writing an endless series of laws to fix imaginary problems.
 
 02:57 – Reporter:  “Moyle says absentee voters have plenty of time and options to get their ballot back in a timely manner.”
Comment:  This is not correct if you haven’t mailed in your ballot within a week before the deadline – and there are many reasons for not being able to have “plenty of time” to mail in your ballot, such as receiving the ballot late, illness or emergency, or just common human error such as forgetting to fill it out or mail it in. 
 
Bottom line: This bill assumes the worst of honest citizens and punishes them for wanting to help others.  We can do better – and it starts by killing this bill.

 

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ABOUT STEVE BERCH

Steve represents District 15, House Seat 15A. He is a member of the Education, Business, Local Government committees, and JLOC. How to contact:

  • Contribute:  CLICK HERE
  • Website: www.berch4idaho.com
  • Phone (cell): 208-890-9339
  • Phone (Capitol): 208-332-1039
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 

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