Thursday, February 18, 2016

State's Legislative Updates

Arizona: Lawmakers are debating legislation that would, if approved, make Arizona the first Republican-leaning state to be a part of the National Popular Vote Compact. The bill has been approved by the House and is now up for debate in the Senate.

Colorado: The Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that would reduce the number of voting sites available during the first week of early voting. Under current law, clerks must provide a vote center for every 30,000 voters, but under the proposed legislation, that number would be 75,000.

Connecticut: Under legislation proposed by Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Connecticut would move to an automatic voter registration system. During a press conference to announce the legislation, Merrill said if approved, as many as 400,000 people could be added to the Nutmeg State’s voter rolls.

Florida: Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) has introduced legislation that would give voters who cast provisional ballots and forget to sign them time to get them signed and be counted.

Virginia: Following a 25-minute hearing, bills that would have eased absentee voting restrictions died in the House of Delegates Elections Subcommittee. Senate Bill SB106 calling for no excuse absentee voting was tabled and another bill that would have allowed those 65 and older to cast an absentee ballot without an excuse was also tabled.

Washington: On a 55-42 vote Monday, the chamber passed House Bill 2682, which would automatically register people who aren't on the voter rolls but already have or apply for an enhanced driver's license or commercial driver's licenses, both of which require citizenship verification. Those who receive social services that verify citizenship or get health insurance through the state health exchange also would be automatically registered.

Wisconsin: This week, the Assembly gave final approval to legislation that would provide for Online Voter Registration (OVR) in the Badger State. However, unlike OVR legislation in other states, this legislation also eliminated popular Special Registration Deputies (SRD) program. SRDs worked with civic groups to conduct voter registration drives. Final approval was also given to legislation that would limit the types of ID accepted in order to cast a ballot. No longer would voters be allowed to show ID cards issued by local governments. The Senate approved the bill 19-13 and the Assembly 62-35. Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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