Democrats in Washington slipped in an item in their $3 trillion coronavirus bill on Friday that would force states to adopt mail-in elections this fall.
The bill, which now heads to the Senate, has been given no chance of passage, and President Donald Trump has said he would veto it if it reached his desk. But among the 1,400 pages of the bill is the new flavor-of-the-month attempt to
The Pelosi bill would require states to end any requirements they have that voters provide a reason to request an absentee ballot. It mandates states to enact 15 days of early voting, and orders states to mail a ballot to every voter during declared emergencies.
Voters in Alaska do not need to provide an excuse for getting an absentee ballot and they already have 15-day voting prior to Election Day.
But on Friday, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer said the Division of Elections would not be mailing ballots to every voter. Voters can request absentee ballots as usual, and he said the Division of Elections would make a concerted effort to encourage people to request those ballots, which they have been able to do at any time since Jan. 1.
The Democrats’ bill would provide $3.6 billion to expand vote by mail across the country. Also as part of the bill, voters could register to vote on the same day they vote, and states would be prohibited from asking for identification beyond asking for the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number.
The change would apply to the November General Election and all subsequent federal elections.
Pelosi’s proposal requires all absentee ballots sent out to have prepaid return postage printed on them. The bill prohibits state election offices from “refusing to accept and process an absentee ballot from a qualified individual based on notarization or witness signature, paper type, or envelope type requirements.”
Additionally, the plan would prevent voter identification verification by allowing all voters to self-certify that they are the person who is eligible to vote a given ballot: “An individual may make a sworn written statement attesting to their identity to fulfill the identification requirement.”