Thursday, May 25, 2017

Electionline Weekly May 25, 2017

Legislative Update

Federal Legislation: A Bill has been reintroduced into the House which Mandates that no Voter should have to wait in line for more than hour to cast a Ballot. The Voting Access Act-H.R.2499 establishes Standards for Staffing and Placement of Polling locations.

CLICK HERE for more information about The Voting Access Act-H.R.2499.

Alabama: A Bill to Prohibit people from Voting in a Political Party’s Runoff if they Voted in the other Party’s preceding Primary has been Approved by the Legislature and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Connecticut: The House voted 78 to 70 for a Resolution Authorizing a Referendum on a Constitutional Amendment allowing Early Voting.

Michigan: The Senate has Approved Legislation that would double Recount Fees for a Candidate who Lost an Election by more than 5%. Rates would go from $125 to $250 per Precinct. It would not alter the Rates for Candidates who Lost by fewer than 50 votes or 0.5%.

Minnesota: Secretary of State Steve Simon is supporting Legislation that would create Five Uniform Dates throughout the year when a Special Election for Vacancies in Local Elections or for Ballot Questions would be allowed to be held.

Nevada: With the deadline for the Legislative session looming, Lawmakers approved a Bill that will allow Counties to establish Vote Centers open to All Eligible Residents regardless of their home’s proximity to the Polling place.

New Hampshire: Lawmakers are considering a Measure that proposes Amending Absentee Ballot Forms to say that the Signature must Match the Signature on the Affidavit Envelope in which the Ballot is returned.

New York: The Senate has approved Legislation that would consolidate Federal and State Primary Elections to the Third Tuesday in August, SB 1115. It also moves the Petition Deadline for Independent Candidates and the Nominees of Unqualified Parties from Early August to Early July. The vote was 35-26. The Assembly has approved a Bill, AB 3052, that would Consolidate the Elections to the fourth Tuesday in June. It moves the Petition deadline to May.

The New York City Council has approved Legislation that will require the Campaign Finance Board to send Registered Voters a Four-Year Voting Record.

Texas: By a 95-54 vote following a six-hour Debate, the House has approved Senate Bill 5 that would relax some of the Rules Governing Texas’ Strict Voter ID Law. SB 5 would add options for Voters who say they cannot “reasonably” obtain one of seven Forms of required ID, and it would create Criminal Penalties, which House Members reduced on Tuesday, for those who Falsely claim they need to choose from the Expanded List of Options.

Legal Update

National: The American Civil Liberties Union has sent Freedom of Information Act requests to Kansas, Indiana, Maine, and New Hampshire. “We believe the outcome of the commission’s investigation is preordained,” said Dale Ho, Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “It’s time to shed light on whether any commission members were crafting policy recommendations before their investigation was launched or the commission was even formally announced. If they’ve got evidence, it’s time to stop hiding and start sharing.”

Florida: Clay County Circuit Judge Gary Wilkinson has upheld an Election for Putnam County sSeriff that was decided by only 16 votes. In his 21-page Ruling, Wilkinson concluded that it reflected the will of the Voters and that the Challenger did not prove a number of Controversial Ballots were sufficient to sway, or cast doubts on the Results.

Ohio: According to Secretary of State Jon Husted, 22 people have been referred for Prosecution for Voting in both Ohio and another State in 2016. “We reviewed every reported case of voter suppression and voter fraud and are sharing those facts to inform the discussion on election integrity," Husted told The Toledo Blade. “Once again our review shows that while rare, voting fraud does occur. But more importantly, we are holding those accountable who violate our election laws,” Mr. Husted said.

South Carolina: Richland County, South Carolina has reached an Agreement with the Office of Civil Rights to bring 49 Polling places into Accordance with the American with Disabilities Act. The County has until June to make the Sites accessible.

Texas: Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued a ruling that 262 men housed in Treatment Center for sexual offenses are allowed to Cast Ballots by Mail. The men at the Facility have completed their Prison sentences, but are Civilly Committed to the Facility. Paxton’s Ruling means that under Texas Law, they are permitted to Cast their Ballots. The Ruling comes after about 100 Ballots from offenders at the Facility were tossed in November 2016.

Wisconsin: Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed an Appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to have the Court Block a Lower Court Ruling that would force State Lawmakers to Redraw Legislative Maps by November. “Wisconsin should not be required to invest the considerable time, effort and taxpayer resources required to redraw district maps, especially when the case is likely to be reversed,” Schimel said in a statement.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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