Bill introduced to prohibit use of ballot drop boxes

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports

The House State Affairs Committee introduced a bill Friday that would prohibit the use of drop boxes for absentee ballot collection. 

Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, sponsored the bill. Giddings said it’s not clear how many counties use the drop boxes to collect ballots. 

Ada County, for example, does use drop boxes to collect absentee ballots. Those boxes are located outside of the election office and several city hall offices in Ada County.

Giddings said she had concerns that the drop boxes provide opportunities to disrupt elections, such as fires, floods, or vandalism. 

Rep. Chris Mathias, D-Boise, asked Giddings if she had specific examples of this in Idaho. Giddings had no Idaho examples, but offered Georgia as an example of issues with drop boxes. The Georgia Legislature introduced a bill to ban absentee ballot drop boxes after the state began using them in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The U.S. Justice Department sued the state in June, alleging that several provisions in the bill were adopted with the purpose of suppressing the right to vote on account of race, according to Reuters. One of those provisions was the lack of ballot drop boxes. 

<strong>Ruth Brown</strong> | Producer
Ruth Brown | Producer

Ruth Brown grew up in South Dakota and her first job out of college was covering the South Dakota Legislature. She’s since moved on to Idaho lawmakers. Brown spent 10 years working in print journalism, including newspapers such as the Idaho Statesman and Idaho Press, where she’s covered everything from the correctional system to health care issues. She joined Idaho Reports in 2021 and looks forward to telling stories about how state policy can impact the lives of regular Idahoans.

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