DOVER, Del.- Delaware lawmakers are considering getting rid of the state's excuse requirement for absentee voting.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Delaware is one of 21 states that requires an excuse to vote absentee. The conference says 27 states don't require that. An amendment to the state constitution under consideration would move Delaware to that second column.
There's a list of acceptable excuses just under ten items long. It includes being in the military, on vacation, temporarily/permanently disabled, even in jail. But Rep. Trey Paradee, D-Clayton, says that's still too restrictive.
"It's really the working families who are missing an opportunity often times to vote, just because of their family situations or their work situations."
Rep. Danny Short, R-Seaford, though, worries a no-excuse-needed system could open the gates for fraud.
"As you expand the opportunity for absentee ballots, take out some of the constraints there are now, it really does create the possibility for that to happen."
"This is a democracy," Paradee said. "We want as many people to participate in the process as possible. We want everybody's voices heard. We have the ability to do this. It's the right thing to do. So, let's go ahead and do it."
The bill got out of its House committee Wednesday. It could get a full house vote next week. To end up in the state constitution, the amendment will need a two-thirds yes vote in the House and Senate the current session and in the 2015-2016 session.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:51 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:51:15 GMT
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