KHSL - A bill that would require mail-ballots to be sent to all registered voters state-wide, has passed the state Senate Elections Committee.
Assembly Bill 860 was passed along party lines by a vote of 4 to 1. Senator Jim Nielsen is the one who cast the "no" vote on AB 860 which already passed the assembly.
Nielsen proposed an amendment to the bill that would require local elections officials to send ballots only to what he called "active voters."
"The right to vote is a sacred privilege, the integrity of which must be protected," said Senator Jim Nielsen. "If the Democrats are intent on expanding vote-by-mail to all voters, we must also enact protections so the possibility of fraud is reduced by making sure that we only send ballots to voters who actually exist. We must ensure the integrity of our democracy."
The four Democrats on the committee rejected his amendment.
Democrats are pushing for a vote-by-mail system for all voters due to the coronavirus.
Nielsen says he disagrees that the state needs a statewide vote-by-mail system. However, he added, "We must do everything we can to safeguard every vote. By securing the delivery of the ballots, we better protect against fraud in our election system."
By sending ballots to inactive voters, or voters who do not exist due to outdated files, the Legislature is raising the possibility that those ballots could be cast by people who are not eligible, Nielsen said.
Assembly Bill 860 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.