In response to valid concerns that crowded polling places could spread coronavirus, many states sensibly mailed absentee ballots to every voter. South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett did like his Minnesota counterpart and at least sent absentee ballot request forms to every voter, which contributed to increased voter turnout.
But all that good sense and increased participation are too much for Representative Drew Dennert (R-3/Aberdeen) and his Apartheid Party. Representative Dennert is sponsoring House Bill 1126, which would prohibit the Secretary of State from mailing an absentee ballot or even an application for an absentee ballot to any voter without a request from the voter. HB 1126 already has 19 Republican co-sponsors.
Wow: if a policy says, “Let’s be safe about coronavirus,” Representative Dennert says, “Let’s get rid of it!” just as he did Saturday when he and fellow Aberdeen legislator Al Novstrup flagrantly violated the Board of Regents’ mask requirement at the first Aberdeen 2021 crackerbarrel on the Northern State University campus:
The Legislature has already re-rejected Secretary Barnett’s proposal to allow voter registration online; now they want HB 1126 to block the sensible policy Barnett used to prevent coronavirus from spreading and from depressing election turnout. One might have to wonder if Barnett will face a nomination challenge at the GOP convention next year from a Republican who’s more on board with the Republicans’ all-out effort to suppress the vote.