to veto SB 320 and HB 25
On July 15, the following letter was sent to Governor John C. Carney:
Dear Governor Carney,
As you are undoubtably aware, the legislature passed many elections-related bills during the 151st General Assembly. Although we did not support most of the efforts and disagree with the basis for passing them, we do respect the differing opinions held by members of the majority party.
As of this writing, neither Senate Bill 320 nor House Substitute 1 for House Bill 25 with House Amendment 1 have been signed into law. We respectfully request that you veto both pieces of legislation.
SB 320, in our opinion, is unconstitutional. At the very least, it circumvents the constitutional constraint that prevented the passage of its parent bill, House Bill 75. Additionally, we believe a loose mail-in-voting system will invite widespread voter fraud into our elections. Although Senator Bonini’s Senate Amendment 27 will help, the bill opens up the avenue for compromised elections.
HB 25 is very concerning. While we agree that everyone eligible to vote should have the ability to easily register and participate in an election, certain safeguards should be implemented so that the Department of Elections can prove the person voting is indeed the person he or she says and is qualified to vote. As Senator Pettyjohn displayed prior to the floor debate, one can easily doctor a utility bill and use it as identification. It is simply not possible to verify identification in real time on the day of election. Rather than allowing those registering on Election Day to vote by machine, we recommend that those votes be kept in a provisional ballot envelope to be counted after the Department of Election verifies the person in question is a qualified voter and has not previously voted in the election.
We appreciate your attention to this communication and for considering our positions on these bills. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Bryant Richardson, 21st Senate District
Gerald W. Hocker, Minority Leader, 20th Senate District
Brian Pettyjohn, Minority Whip, 19th Senate District
Colin Bonini, 16th Senate District
Dave G. Lawson, 15th Senate District
Ernesto B. Lopez, 6th Senate District
Dave L. Wilson, 18th Senate District
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