Most South Dakota county auditors disagree with election drop box ban | Stu Whitney/South Dakota News Watch
When the question of using election drop boxes for South Dakota early voting was raised in a House State Affairs committee hearing in Pierre in early February, the discussion took on an ominous tone, mirroring national rhetoric over the integrity of American elections. “It’s simply too easy for bad actors to abuse these drop-off sites to dump unauthorized ballots illegally,” said Republican Rep. Kirk Chaffee of Whitewood. He was the prime sponsor of House Bill 1165, which modified absentee voting rules and banned the use of unmonitored drop boxes in South Dakota. T.J. Nelson, a lobbyist for Opportunity Solutions Project, a conservative advocacy group that has pushed for restrictions to absentee voting in state legislatures, also issued warnings while working with legislators and county auditors to make it “easier to vote but harder to cheat,” a mantra used by supporters of early-voting reforms.
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