The Alabama Legislature has passed two election integrity bills requiring paper ballots and preventing voting machines from connecting to the internet.
Senate Majority Whip State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) sponsored both bills. Senate Bill 9 (SB9) would require all electronic voting machines to use paper ballots. Senate Bill 10 (SB10) would prohibit electronic voting machines from being connected to the internet or Bluetooth.
Both proposed bills would codify into state law requirements currently attached to the state's administrative code, which is subject to change by the Secretary of State or local election officials.
"All this is doing is requiring that any voting machine will have a paper ballot so that there's a trail of any vote that's cast in Alabama," said State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), who presented SB9 in the House.
State Rep. Napoleon Bracy (D-Mobile) asked why the bills were necessary since they involve processes currently used across the state.
"It's taking it out of the administrative code, which is – you know – whatever bureaucrats have in place at that time, and It puts it in the law where the legislature has said that having a paper ballot is important," Simpson explained.
Several other Democratic lawmakers used debate time to complain about their own bills' lack of movement in committee. Others used the chance to protest proposed legislation designed to prevent ballot harvesting by State Rep. Jamie Kiel.
SB9 passed with a vote of 78-27. SB10 passed 77-28. The one-vote difference in the two bills came from State Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile).
Both bills will now go to Ivey's desk for her signature before becoming law.
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