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January 26, 2011 05:58 AM

SD Bill Would Raise Penalty For Voter Bribery

pierre, sd


South Dakota lawmakers are looking at a measure that would boost the penalty for bribing voters.
 
State law currently makes bribing a voter a Class 2 Misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The Senate State Affairs Committee will hear arguments Wednesday on a bill that would raise that to a Class 6 felony, carrying a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.

The issue arose in last fall's campaign after Democrats and Republicans accused each other of illegal vote-buying.  Republicans alleged that Democrats broke the law by offering food at rallies on American Indian reservations where people were offered transportation to go vote early. Democrats said Republicans also broke the law.

No criminal charges were filed.
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