The Bulletin Board

Senate approves measure to allow those who are sick to vote by absentee ballot

By: - March 25, 2022 2:17 pm

An election worker gathers ballots from a drop box. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to extend absentee voting to people who are sick or have a medical condition that would prevent them from voting in person.

Senate Bill 427 secured bipartisan approval in the Senate, receiving unanimous support out of committee and passing the full body on the consent calendar without any discussion.

Currently, only voters who are out of town on election day are eligible to vote absentee, as are those with a physical disability that prevents them from voting in person.

Under the bill, residents who would be temporarily absent by reason of “illness, or other medical condition” would also be allowed to vote by absentee ballot. 

Democrats have pushed for greater access to absentee ballots this legislative session, citing high voter turnout in elections that occurred during the pandemic when absentee voting was extended to more voters. They say it’s an effective way to increase participation in elections, while Republicans have focused on concerns surrounding election integrity, with efforts like tightening voter verification measures.  

The bill will now make its way to the House.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s energy and environment reporter. She previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.