Thursday, August 11, 2016

Electionline Weekly August-11-2016

Legislative Updates

California: A bill pending in the General Assembly would allow Shasta County to join a growing list of California Counties that conduct their Elections exclusively by Mail.

The San Diego City Council has voted against a proposal to post the text of two Citizen Initiatives online instead of in a ballot pamphlet that will be mailed to all voters. Voters will all received two pamphlets, each more than 100 pages long. Printing the supplemental pamphlets could cost between $800,000 and $1 million, City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said. The vote to skip printing the full ballot language for the two Initiatives failed on a 4 to 2 vote.

Illinois: Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has signed Legislation into law that will allow 17-year-olds who turn 18 by the time of the General Election to vote in Primaries.

Nevada: An initiative has been filed with the Secretary of State’s office that if successful would require the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically register voters when they apply for or renew a license. The measure will not appear on the 2016 ballot. The initiative language would have Nevada’s law mirror that of Oregon.

Oregon: A group supporting Ranked-Choice voting in Benton County submitted enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot this November. The Better Ballots for Benton County turned in more than 4,500 signatures, which is about 1,700 more than needed.

Pennsylvania: Lawmakers held a rare summer session this week to discuss updating the Commonwealth’s guidelines on voting machine technology.

Utah: The Alliance for a Better Utah is calling on lawmakers to change the State’s Vote-by-Mail Election law after 64 ballots that were postmarked on Primary day were discounted. Current law requires the ballots to be marked a day before the Election, but in rural areas of the State, ballots that may be dropped off the day before the Election, aren’t postmarked till the next day when they are shipped to Salt Lake City.

Legal Updates

Alabama: The City of Daphne, Alabama is facing tough questions after the closure of polling places in neighborhoods with large black populations. According to the Alabama Media Group, a group of Election Watchdogs, including the Voting Rights Institute and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, is calling on the U.S. Dept. of Justice to investigate the elimination of all but two polling places where voters in the affected areas can vote in the August City Elections.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Dothan woman who was found guilty of 24 counts of Absentee voter fraud.

Connecticut: In a joint memorandum with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles has admitted that it failed to implement 1993’s Motor Voter Act.

Florida: According to published reports, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reviewing allegations that fraudulent Vote-by-Mail requests were submitted to Palm Beach County for the upcoming Primary Election.

Illinois: The Liberty Justice Center has sued the State in Federal Court challenging the State’s Same Day Voter Registration law. The Center alleges that because the law only applies to Counties with more than 10,000 people that the law unconstitutionally discriminates against voters in counties with smaller populations.

Kansas: A petition has been submitted to the Douglas County Court asking that a Grand Jury investigate the State’s Online Voter Registration system. Petitioner Devon Weisenbach and his wife both registered online and within a week he received a voter registration card, but she did not. Weisenbach submitted a petition with more than 900 signatures. Under State law, 15 registered voters will make up the grand jury, which must be summoned within 60 days.

North Carolina: The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the State’s motion to stay the Court’s recent decision to strike down a 2013 law that included Voter ID, Early Voting provisions and Same Day registration. North Carolina AG Roy Cooper has refused to pursue the case further so Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said that he will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, following a status hearing between lawyers for the State and plaintiffs, Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan has ruled that a State-Level trial on Voter ID issues would not move forward until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in.

Texas: The U.S. Department of Justice has sued Harris County for violations of the American with Disabilities Act. The violations include polling places that are inaccessible to voters with disabilities.

Wisconsin: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has put on hold a ruling by Judge Lynn Adelman that would have allowed voters without the proper ID to vote, casting an Affidavit ballot. The three-judge panel said Adelman’s decision was likely to be reversed on appeal and the “disruption of the state’s electoral system in the interim will cause irreparable injury.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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