Bill Expanding Overseas Voting Rights Passes Committee
By Jenifer Jones
The Senate State Affairs Committee has passed a bill that allows some U.S. citizens who grew up overseas to vote in South Dakota elections. House Bill 1130 originally extended the right to vote to adult children of overseas citizens, but was amended to only include children of military members stationed overseas. Secretary of State Jason Gant opposes the bill. He says it could diminish the state's residency requirements.
"I'm very concerned that we're going to start this process of allowing individuals who have never resided in South Dakota to be able to vote in our elections," Gant says. "I agree that it's unfortunate in this type of situation."
But supporters say children of U.S. citizens who grew up overseas are full citizens in every other respect, and they should have the right to vote in U.S. elections. The bill passed the committee by a vote of seven to one, and is on its way to the Senate floor.
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