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The House Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections Committee voted last week to advance legislation that would require a paper ballot in all Alabama elections.

House Bill 343 (HB343) is sponsored by State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

Mooney said HB343 would make the paper ballot a requirement under Alabama law.

“The paper ballot is a double check on the process,” Mooney said in committee.

According to the synopsis, “Under existing law, the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee is responsible for ensuring that the state's electronic vote-counting system meets integrity standards set by law. This bill would provide that the state's electronic vote-counting system must require the use of a paper ballot that is marked and inspected by the voter prior to the ballot being cast and counted.”

Mooney said that this is an “Assurance to the people of the state,” that elections in the state have integrity,

State Rep. Kenneth Paschal (R-Pelham) asked, “This is basically codifying what we do already?”

“Yes, this codifies that we are doing the same thing all over the state,” Mooney responded.

The committee gave HB343 a favorable report,

The House Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections Committee is chaired by State Rep. Bob Fincher (R-Rocky Branch).

Many other states have jettisoned the electronic ballot requirement and voters vote via the internet. There are some concerns that this might compromise voter integrity by making elections potentially hackable.

The House could take up HB343 as soon as Wednesday.

Tuesday will be day 19 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session. The Alabama Constitution of 1901 limits the legislature’s regular session to just 30 legislative days in a 120-calendar day period.

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