|Posted:||January 17, 2017 02:22 PM|
|From:||Representative David M. Maloney, Sr.|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Voter Intimidation First Degree Misdemeanor|
|In the near future I plan to reintroduce (Former House Bill 148) interference with the elective franchise of a voter is a serious offense, which merits a significant penalty. When an individual uses intimidation or duress to persuade a voter to cast his or her ballot in a certain way or to refrain from voting, such action affects one of the fundamental rights and privilege accorded to citizens of this nation – the right and privilege of casting a vote for the candidate or candidates of one’s choice.
The Election Code currently includes penalties applicable to various violations of the law. A number of serious offenses are graded as a first degree misdemeanor. These offenses include unlawful voting, perjury by election officials, assault and battery at the polls and certain violations relating to absentee voting.
Currently the offense of voter intimidation and interference with the elective franchise is graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree. I plan to introduce legislation in the near future that will increase the grading of the offense to a misdemeanor of the first degree. I believe that the seriousness of the offense requires a more severe penalty as punishment and deterrent.