Rep. Kevin Andrus

Rep. Kevin Andrus

R-Lava Hot Springs

The Idaho Legislature’s House State Affairs Committee advanced a bill Tuesday over the objections from the Secretary of State’s Office that would greatly restrict who can distribute absentee ballot request forms.

If House Bill 259 is passed into law, only a county clerk, election official, officer or employee of the state authorized by law would be able to distribute absentee ballot application forms. The bill specifically says nongovernmental entities shall not distribute absentee ballot applications unless they are specifically authorized by state or federal law.

That means that spouses, parents, other family members, nursing home staff members, roommates, neighbors, co-workers, voting advocacy groups, political parties and anyone else would be banned from distributing absentee ballot application forms.

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