House committee votes to make volunteer early ballot collection illegal - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

House committee votes to make volunteer early ballot collection illegal

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Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 7:17 pm | Updated: 7:27 pm, Tue Mar 12, 2013.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to make it a crime for volunteer workers to pick up early ballots from voters.

Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said she has received reports that some people are going door to door and offering to pick up early ballots -- but only if the person voted a certain way. She also said there are people "masquerading'' as county election workers.

But Tucsonan Sami Hamed testified he is legally blind, gets an early ballot and depends on others to drop it off at a polling place. He said his ability to put it in the mail is insufficient.

"I want to make sure it gets there in somebody's hands,'' he told lawmakers.

And Barbara Klein, president of the League of Women Voters of Arizona, said SB 1003 would have a "chilling effect'' on efforts by volunteer groups like her own and Latino organizations to get more people to vote.

The measure, which already has been approved by the Senate, now goes to the full House.

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