Bill would limit who can return absentee ballots

Some Kansas Republican legislators are backing a bill that would make it a felony for anyone besides a family member or caregiver to return another person’s absentee ballot.

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February 15, 2021 - 8:28 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas Republican legislators are backing a bill that would make it a felony for anyone besides a family member or caregiver to return another person’s absentee ballot.

The bill is facing pushback from Democratic lawmakers and voting rights advocates who say the legislation would make it harder for many racial minorities, older voters and people with disabilities to cast ballots. Those critics say the move would criminalize nonprofit groups and church volunteers for helping people to vote and would address a problem that doesn’t exist.

Proponents say banning so-called “ballot harvesting” would prevent political groups and candidates from unfairly influencing elections. The House Election Committee has held a hearing on the bill but has not yet voted.

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