In recent days, much has been written about State Senator Craig Tieszen’s proposal to relax the current voting prohibition on convicted felons voting until completion of their sentence. But don’t look for the Secretary of State to support Tieszen’s proposal.
In fact, it remains to be seen whether anyone has asked the incoming Secretary of State for input on the measure being proposed.
In an interview with dakotawarcollege.com, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, while she cedes authority to propose the measure rests with the legislative branch; as the person who would work with the court system to implement it, Krebs notes that she “hasn’t seen the language in the bill” yet. Krebs went on to note that ultimately, “any changes would be voted on by the legislature.”
While the American Civil Liberties Union was active in lobbying for relaxed voting restrictions on convicted felons in 2012, as the state’s chief elections officer, Krebs hasn’t heard from any outside groups on the bill at this point.
Krebs told SDWC that “Anything that has to do with felons voting is a public policy issue that rests with the legislature.” And, while she “can’t speak for the legislature,” Krebs doesn’t “see supporting any changes to current statute,” and feels that the changes in the 2012 proposal primed by State Senator Gene Abdallah “are what’s appropriate.”
Krebs went on to say that she is in “approval of the current law.“