The Billings Gazette reported this week that the bill by Secretary of State Linda McCulloch to allow for statewide voting by mail is advancing with bipartisan support. But one Republican who voted against the proposal was Derek Skees (R-TEA
In the House State Admin committee on January 24, Skees explained his opposition, which is transcribed below:
I’m all about getting out the vote, but I think getting out the vote is an educational component, not a easing down to the least common denominator and allowing everybody who is a procrastinator to vote. To vote is one of our sacred duties in this Republic, and it is something that those of us that consistently do it take it deadly serious.
We’ll make sure that our registration is up to date that our precinct numbers is up to date, and we’ll make sure that the county has our addresses up to date.
We’ll follow the issue, go to every single one of the forums and we’ll vet our candidates and have a really good decision before the primary and before the general elections.
Those are the people who should vote. We should educate everybody to think and behave that way because it is such an august responsibility for us to do it. All we’re doing is dropping it down to people who vote on one issue, and they are not fully informed on other issues.
And we’re making it easier for the less informed to vote. I would like to improve the less informed, but I think we should do it through education, not by dumbing down the electoral process. With that in mind, I intend to vote against this bill.
Mr. Skees, I hate to break it to you, but uninformed voters are the very folks who put you in office.
Other Republicans who voted against the bill include: Reps. Gerald Bennett of Libby; Joanne Blyton of Joliet; Dan Kennedy of Laurel; James Knox of Billings (by proxy); and Tom McGillvray of Billings.