WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican lawmakers in South Dakota are considering a bill to cut the state’s absentee voting period by a third, shortening the length of days during which voters can cast their absentee ballots from 45 to 30. The move comes after a historic number of absentee ballots were cast in the November election. Of the state’s 547,767 registered voters, 216,140 cast an absentee ballot in the general election.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Steven Haugaard (R), served as the speaker of the state House in South Dakota last term. He spent his last few days as Republican leader penning a letter to the state’s congressional delegation encouraging them to vote against certifying the election results in Congress on Jan. 6. He referred repeatedly to unfounded and disproven allegations of voter fraud that could have affected the outcome of the presidential election and claimed it was the constitutional duty of the state’s congressional delegation to refuse to certify the results of a free and fair election. Although that effort failed, Haugaard is clearly still determined to undermine voting rights in his home state before the next election.