Richard Winger of Ballot Access News takes a look at Senate File 20, which lets the state charge a fee for any voter or candidate who wants write-in votes counted. Winger notes that part of the job of public elections officials is to count the votes, and to charge a citizen for asking to learn how many votes a candidate received has routinely been ruled unconstitutional.

Among other things, it gives the Secretary of State authority to charge a fee, which can be paid by any person, if that person wants the elections officials to tally the number of write-in votes any candidate received. This idea would probably be invalidated if it were challenged in court. The U.S. Supreme Court has said several times that governments can’t charge fees for voters or candidates, unless there is a compelling state interest in the fees, and the only state interest the court has accepted has been to keep ballots uncrowded.

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