South Dakota lawmakers seek to reduce absentee voting window

February 14, 2019 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers are advancing a bill that would cut the amount of time available for early voting.

The House State Affairs Committee voted 11-2 Wednesday for the bill.

It would reduce the absentee voting window from 46 days to the first Friday in October before an election. Republican Rep. Drew Dennert says the new window would be 32 days.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, the sponsor, says the measure is about a better, more informed electorate. ACLU of South Dakota policy director Libby Skarin opposed the measure, saying the current 46-day period is critical to ensuring residents can access their right to vote.

Secretary of State’s office elections official Kea Warne says the office hasn’t had a phone call from any voter criticizing the absentee voting timeframe.