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February 19, 2024 Group Watch: Bill to Protect Elections Passes Senate

SB1, sponsored by Senator Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman), passed the Senate last week; the bill criminalizes ballot harvesting in effort to prevent voter fraud. If it becomes law, anyone who receives payment to help an Alabama voter fill out an absentee ballot could face up to 20 years in jail. It was approved by a vote of 27-8. The legislation makes it a Class C felony for a third party to knowingly receive payment or gift for distributing, ordering, requesting, collecting, completing, prefilling, obtaining or delivering a voter’s absentee ballot application and a Class B felony for someone to knowingly pay or provide a gift to a third party to distribute, order, request, collect, prefill, complete, obtain or deliver a voter’s absentee ballot application. Helping someone with an absentee ballot without being paid would be a Class A misdemeanor. The bill makes exceptions for voters who are blind, disabled, unable to read or write. Such voters can designate a helper other than the voter’s employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter’s union. Read more here.

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