The President assigns all new bills to a committee for review before they can have votes in the full House, a choice that often has a great effect on a measure’s chances of success. But on Tuesday, Bowers took the unprecedented step of ordering all 12 House committees to review the election bill, virtually guaranteeing it will never reach the floor.
Bowers and Fillmore did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on Thursday.
In doing so, the bill would have eliminated early voting and the state’s widely used mail-in ballot program, which does not require an excuse to vote by mail.
Fillmore’s proposal would have required voting only by paper ballots, banning electronic machines for all voters except those with disabilities.
The bill would also have required ballots to be counted by hand, instead of using electronic equipment to tabulate election results – and for results to be completed within 24 hours of the close of polls. .
Two senators, including acting Senate President Vince Leach, and a dozen other state Republican House lawmakers had signed on as sponsors of the bill.
“We gave authority to the people,” he told the outlet.
Bowers also opposed the proposal to count all ballots by hand, according to the outlet, telling Capitol Media Services that “there are individual elements (of the bill) that undermine the ‘accuracy, speed and reliability of a vote’, adding: ‘And if I can stop it, I’m not going to let that happen.’
He argued that lawmakers should have the power, as “representatives of the people”, to review the vote count.
“If there’s a problem, we don’t spill anything. We just try to put the skates on it and say, ‘This has to be judged,'” he said.
CNN’s Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.