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Alabama Senate committee advances ban on curbside voting

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday gave a favorable report to SB 235, a bill that would ban curbside voting in the state.

The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook). No Democrats were present for the committee meeting, and the favorable report came on an uncontested voice vote.

Alabama law does not currently provide for curbside voting, however the practice is also not explicitly barred.

This past year, that unclarity led to multiple rounds of litigation when Secretary of State John Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshall deemed the practice illegal while activists pushed to have curbside voting instituted at the last minute in certain counties.

“Alabama law does not and has never provided for curbside voting,” said Marshall ahead of November’s general election.

SB 235 would definitively end the debate on the matter for future election cycles.

Roberts emphasized that the ban on curbside voting would protect the privacy of each individual vote and security of each ballot.

The bill could be considered on the Senate floor as soon as Wednesday. If passed by the upper chamber, the measure would then advance to the House.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn