TBOR Action in Committee for Defeat of Bill Loosening Absentee Voting and Requiring Machine Audits
Pic: (From left to right) TBOR Action Board Member Perry Hooper, Julia Cleland of the Trussville Republican Women's Club, Angela Sheppard, and TBOR Action Political Director Byron Shehee.
The week, after our annual board meeting across from the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh, TBOR Action Board Member Perry Hooper and I visited Alabama’s State Capitol in Montgomery to support a measure to audit voting machines and oppose a measure that would weaken verification for absentee ballots. We were on sight in TBOR Action's third State Capitol this year for successful election integrity votes after Indiana and Georgia.
The bill we opposed is HB 464, sponsored by Rep. Kenyatte Hassell (D - Montgomery), to remove the requirement that a voter must provide reasoning for voting absentee from the affidavit accompanying the absentee ballot. This is a step in the direction of no-excuse absentee voting, which liberals have advocated for and won in the majority of states, but as we noted in NewsMax was rejected even in liberal New York when liberals tried to pass it via referendum that received less than 40 percent of the vote (See NewsMax op-ed by TBOR Action's President "Even New Yorkers Reject So-called Democracy Reforms").
Potential legislation like this highlights how important organizations like TBOR Action are - organizations that point out that weakening any legal component required for absentee ballots should be considered with intense scrutiny. Any changes that could lead to questionable voting irregularities, diminish voter confidence, or potentially make it easier to manipulate absentee balloting should be avoided at all costs. Thankfully, the Committee agreed, and HB 464 did not advance, with the vote falling along party lines.
Pic: Meeting of the House Health Committee (Credit: Alabama Reflector).
Requiring Audits; Voter Machine Fell Off Truck
Hooper and I joined Ms. Julia Cleland, a member of the Trussville Republican Women's Club, and Ms. Angela Sheppard, who led the effort behind Alabama HB 457, an election integrity bill that would provide an additional common-sense security measure for future elections.
Thankfully the majority of states now require an audit of in-service balloting machines, and we advocate for the remaining states to pass measures similar to Alabama's HB 457 which would finally call for such audits to occur. These audits would ensure that balloting machines are kept in working order and that properly submitted ballots are counted accurately. TBOR Action believes, as I hope many others do, that ensuring reliable and accurate voting machines should be standard practice and are vital to the public trust.
During the Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections Committee hearing, HB 457 Sponsor Rep. Debbie Wood (R - Valley) recalled a story from one election worker who stated a balloting machine accidentally slid off a truck and, despite obvious concerns, was still used. Some committee members seemed shocked at the disregard and lack of oversight, with one committee member even exclaiming that, if we are concerned about our election operations, we have to start with the very machines we rely on.
Like the measure that passed after our testimony in Indiana, and the bill that became law the week both our President and I were in the Georgia Capitol with the sponsor, HB 457 received a favorable report from the committee and now awaits further legislative action. TBOR Action will continue to monitor throughout the legislative process.
In addition to our three successful State Capitol trips this year, we met with candidates in North Carolina and our Grassroots Director helped organize observer efforts to follow the chain of possession of ballots in Wisconsin.
TBOR Action’s top focus has been and continues to be on helping to enact robust yet common-sense election security measures across our Republic that ensure secure, free, and fair elections that deliver final results on election day which reflect the will of the voters without question or controversy. After all, without sound rules that ensure the security of and faith in our elections, none of the other important issues we care about stand a chance. TBOR Action remains steadfast in securing elections and fostering voter participation through confidence in the electoral process.
To learn more about the latest from the TBOR Action team, please click here.