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Legislation would make permanent absentee ballot changes

The bill is intended to speed Idaho's absentee vote counting, which was used in the last general election and spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

BOISE, Idaho — Legislation to make permanent changes in Idaho's absentee ballot counting has been introduced.

The Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday voted to clear the way for a public hearing for the bill intended to speed absentee vote counting, which was used in the last general election and spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers during an August special session approved a law allowing the opening and scanning of absentee ballots beginning seven days before Election Day, but that law expired on Dec. 31. 

Election officials say the change allowed county clerks to quickly report results of the November election after receiving about 500,000 early and absentee ballots.

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