Alabama’s absentee voting application process is already safe and secure. We don’t need to add confusing and frightening requirements to an already secure process.
- This bill would make it a crime for any person knowingly to provide or receive funding or a gift for distributing, ordering, requesting, collecting, prefilling, completing, obtaining or delivering another person’s absentee ballot application.
- Making it a crime to assist people in the absentee ballot application process is completely unnecessary. It would create a chilling effect on voters as they become more fearful of an already difficult process.
- This legislation reflects an untrue and dangerous narrative about voting rights and the voting process in our state. Former Secretary of State John Merrill repeatedly has gone on record to say the 2020 election was safe and that few, if any, instances of voter fraud occurred.
This bill likely would have unintended consequences. Innocent people would become the victims of partisan warfare.
- The stated intent of this legislation is to ensure that people don’t profit from, or take advantage of, the absentee ballot process. However, because the penalties are so severe, they almost certainly would scare people who are attempting to assist voters who legitimately need help.
- If prosecuted under this bill, a person could be charged with up to a Class B felony. That is the same offense level as first-degree manslaughter, and it carries up to a 20-year prison sentence.
We need to expand voting rights, not make voting more difficult.
- Alabama has a shameful history when it comes to preventing groups from voting in our state. We have long been at the center of the battle for civil rights and too often on the wrong side of history.
- Our 1901 state constitution was written explicitly to establish white supremacy and disenfranchise Black and poor white Alabamians. This shameful legacy unfortunately persists in many aspects of our state’s voting process today.
- Alabama already has some of the strictest voting procedures in the country. This bill would be one more attempt in a long line of attempts going back more than 100 years to limit democratic participation in Alabama. We need to remove unnecessary voting barriers, not create more of them.
Vote ‘No’ on SB 1 – narrowing voting rights in Alabama
- Alabama’s absentee voting application process is already safe and secure. We don’t need to add provisions that could confuse or frighten people or discourage them from participating in our democracy.
- This bill likely would have real and unintended consequences for people who are just trying to help their friends or family members vote.
- Alabama already has some of the strictest voting laws in the nation. We should be making it easier, not harder, for people to be part of the democratic process.
Updated Feb. 7, 2024, to reflect changes to SB 1 by the Senate State Governmental Affairs Committee.