Bill Description: House Bill 693 would prohibit the use of drop-off boxes or similar drop-off locations to collect absentee ballots.
Analyst Note: House Bill 693 is identical to House Bill 485, a bill introduced earlier this session and sent to the House Ways and Means committee.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?
House Bill 693 would amend Section 34-1005, Idaho Code, dealing with absentee ballots to say, "The use of drop-off boxes or similar drop-off locations to collect absentee ballots is prohibited."
This change has the potential to increase election integrity and security in at least two ways. The design and construction of absentee ballot drop-boxes is not defined in statute, and they may not be monitored or sufficiently tamper-proof to provide adequate security.
In 2021, six voters in Pennsylvania cast votes into a "dancing drop box" costume they mistook for a real ballot box.
Additionally, removing these boxes from the process increases the likelihood that absentee ballots will be mailed and postmarked, providing an additional layer of verification and security.