BOISE, Idaho — Editor's note: The video above this article was published March 9.
Legislation eliminating drop boxes and similar drop-off locations for absentee ballots in Idaho will not get a hearing in the Senate and is dead.
Republican Sen. Patti Anne Lodge said Friday she has received thousands of emails opposing the legislation. She chairs the Senate State Affairs Committee where the bill was sent after making it through the House on a 37-33 vote earlier this month.
Lodge says she has heard from those with disabilities, the elderly and people with children who can't wait in line and want to continue to use ballot drop boxes. Backers of the bill said drop boxes are susceptible to theft and arson.
Rep. Priscilla Giddings' emergency bill passed the House State Affairs Committee on a 10-3 vote March 2. The bill included an emergency clause to make it take effect immediately upon passage.
On March 7, the bill passed the Idaho House on a 38-32 vote, but then Rep. John McCrostie (D-Garden City) said he had voted in error and changed his vote from yes to no, for a final vote count of 37-33.
Giddings' bill has been sitting in the Senate State Affairs Committee, waiting for a hearing, since it narrowly passed through the House.
Lodge -- who is retiring this year after serving 11 terms -- declined to specifically say the bill will not get a hearing in the Senate, but twice said, "I think it's obvious what's going to happen with the bill," when Lodge was asked for a definitive answer.
Giddings argues there is a bigger benefit to not having ballot boxes, believing they are susceptible to theft.
However, county clerks from across Idaho argued against the bill, saying they have not encountered problems and eliminating ballot boxes would hurt rural voters.
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