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Brown County auditor-elect Cathy McNickle spoke in front of the Brown County Commission Tuesday, expressing her opposition to House Bill 1178.  The bill would shorten the early voting period in South Dakota from its current 46 days to the first Friday in October prior to a general election.  That would leave the early voting period at about 30 days. 

 

Originally, the bill cut the voting period from 46 days to 14 days, but it has since been amended.  The bill as amended passed the House 36-33 on February 21st and is scheduled to be heard in senate committee this week.

 

According to McNickle, if the early voting period is shortened, an extra financial burden will be placed on the counties…

 

 

 

 

McNickle is not alone in her opposition to HB 1178.  Current Brown County auditor Maxine Fischer is also against the legislation and says all 66 South Dakota county auditors, along with the Secretary of State and Association of County Commissioners Association have all publicly opposed this bill.

 

McNickle also explained how this bill creates two early voting periods.  Currently, as required by federal law, 46 days of early voting is needed to provide enough time for military members overseas and in remote locations to cast their ballots.  This bill would keep that in place for the military but shorten the period for everyone else.  McNickle says that is confusing…

 

 

 

 

The bill specifically would affect Brown County as 37 percent chose to early vote in the last general election.  According to McNickle, that is not insignificant…   

 

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