UPDATE: Representatives voted 36-33 Thursday for the bill, the minimum margin required to send it to the Senate. The measure would reduce the absentee voting window from 46 days to 32 days.
House Bill 1178 would revise provisions regarding the beginning period for absentee voting from 46 days ahead of Election Day to 32 days.
The ACLU of South Dakota opposes this bill. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right that underpins all our civil liberties. That's why it is so important to advance reforms to ensure that all eligible U.S. citizens who want to cast a ballot and participate in our elections are able to do so. Early voting helps to reduce long lines on Election Day that may discourage voters from exercising their right, or make it impossible if they must return to work. It can also reduce burdens on election officials and staff.
Following the 2016 election, the fight for voting rights remains as critical as ever. Politicians across the country continue to engage in voter suppression, efforts that include additional obstacles to registration, cutbacks on early voting, and strict voter identification requirements. Through litigation and advocacy, the ACLU is fighting back against attempts to curtail an essential right in our democracy, the right to vote.