Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey Signs New Bill Banning Ballot Harvesting

Alabama’s GOP Governor, Kay Ivey officially signed Senate Bill 1 (SB1) into law on March 20, a move touted by Republicans as vital for enhancing election security in the state. This decision has ignited a broad spectrum of reactions across the state.

Proposed by State Senator Garlan Gudger and State Representative Jamie Kiel, SB1 (pdf) implements rigorous regulations to combat ballot harvesting, with the goal of strengthening the fairness and integrity of elections in Alabama.

Under the bill, a person could be convicted of a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, if they knowingly receive payment or gift for handling someone else’s absentee ballot application, such as pre-filling it.

It is also now a Class B felony for someone to pay a third party to pre-fill or handle an absentee ballot application, with the possibility of up to 20 years in prison.

Exceptions to SB1 exist for individuals who require assistance due to disabilities, blindness, or inability to read or write, as well as for military personnel stationed overseas.

Upon the enactment of SB1, Ms. Ivey emphasized the state’s dedication to upholding the sanctity of free and fair elections in her state.

“Here in Alabama, we are committed to ensuring our elections are free and fair. I commend Secretary of State Wes Allen, as well as members of the Alabama Legislature for making election security a priority, and I am proud to officially sign Senate Bill 1 into law,” Ms. Ivey said in a statement. “Under my watch, there will be no funny business in Alabama elections.”

Supporters view this legislation as a crucial milestone in Alabama’s endeavors to prevent undue influence and guarantee that every voter’s ballot is cast without interference.

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By Hunter Fielding
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