Idaho’s Rep. Priscilla Giddings wants to ban ballot drop boxes to avoid ‘contamination’ - East Idaho News

Idaho’s Rep. Priscilla Giddings wants to ban ballot drop boxes to avoid ‘contamination’

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – An Idaho Republican lawmaker has joined other GOP-led states in targeting ballot drop boxes in elections, with a new bill that would ban using them statewide.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Priscilla Giddings, said there have been no issues with drop boxes in Idaho, but the legislation could prevent ballot tampering in the future.

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Republicans across the U.S. have targeted drop boxes before and since the 2020 election, when ballot boxes were a popular way to vote amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar legislation and executive orders banning, limiting or securing drop boxes have come out of Georgia, Texas and Nebraska, while other states have seen challenges to ballot boxes through their courts.

“There are concerns that these locations may be an opportunity for somebody to disrupt your ballots if it were to catch fire or flood, or maybe food is stuffed in there, and it could contaminate ballots as well,” said Giddings, a White Bird Republican who is running for lieutenant governor. ““These are probably not the best way to collect ballots.”

The bill, which was introduced in the House State Affairs Committee on Friday, would prohibit “drop-off boxes or similar drop-off locations to collect absentee ballots.”

Rep. Chris Mathias, a Boise Democrat, asked Giddings whether she could point to instances in Idaho of ballot box tampering. Mathias said he was skeptical of proactively “restricting” voting methods.

“We could proactively prevent indoctrination in schools by closing schools, but I don’t think that’s something we’re going to do,” Mathias said.

Giddings said she could not provide a local example, but she viewed a video of ballot box tampering in another state.