House State Affairs Kills Food Bribery Legislation
By Travis Berg
The House State Affairs Committee killed a bill that clarifies using food to encourage citizens to vote. Right now, statutes already make it illegal to use food to gain support. However, proponents say the current law is too vague and unenforceable. The proposed measure makes it illegal to urge or encourage voters with food while ballots are available. The proposal also bumps it from a Class Two misdemeanor to a Class One, which includes a year in county jail and a two thousand dollar fine. Republican Representative Nick Moser opposed the bill. He says the penalty doesn't fit the crime.
Moser says, "I think we probably need to evaluate why we're putting people in prison and clogging up our system. And to add to that, for serving a meal, I have more confidence in the voters of South Dakota when they get into that voting booth that they're not going to vote for somebody based on a meal they were served."
The measure lost by a unanimous vote.
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