Thursday, June 8, 2017

Electionline Weekly June 8-2017

Legislative Updates

Florida: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has signed HB 105 into Law. The new Law will require County Elections Supervisors to notify Voters if their Signatures on their Vote-by-Mail Ballots and Voter Registration Forms don’t match. The Voters would then be given an opportunity to fix the problem before the Ballots are counted.

Minnesota: A Bill allocating $7 million for the Purchase of New Voting Equipment has been signed into Law. The Bill creates a Grant Fund for Counties to Replace Voting Equipment by 2018. It provides up to a 50% match between the State and Counties for Mandatory Equipment and up to a 75% match for E-Poll Books.

Nevada: Assembly Bill 519 would provide $8 million to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division for the Purchase of New Voting Equipment.

New Hampshire: The Legislature has approved SB3, a Bill that that requires a Person Registering to vote 30 or fewer Days before an Election to provide the Date they established their Domicile in the State. Those who lack the Proof would still be allowed to Vote, but would have Mail or present the Proof of Domicile within 30 days. Gov. Chris Sununu is expected to sign the Bill.

Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill 5 into Law. The new Law will allow Registered Voters who lack a Photo ID to cast a Ballot after showing Documents that list their Name and Address, including a Voter Registration Certificate, Utility, Bank, Government Check, or Work Paycheck.

The Legislature has approved House Bill 658 that would Create a Process for Collecting Absentee Ballots at Nursing Homes and other such Facilities. In essence, the Nursing Homes would essentially be turned into Temporary Polling Places during Early Voting to discourage others from attempting to collect the Ballots. Under the Bill, Judges would arrive at a Nursing Home with enough Ballots so that any qualified Voter there could fill one out. Folks who may have forgotten to request an Absentee Ballot could fill out the Paperwork on Site and Cast a Vote during the Judges’ visit.

Washington: Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant is proposing an Ordinance that would require Landlords to provide Voter Registration information to all new Tenants.

Legal Updates

Federal Lawsuits: The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has filed paperwork with U.S District Court of the District of Columbia consisting of a proposed Memorandum, a Tally Vote, and a Short Statement from Commissioner Tom Hicks. The Paperwork is in response the Court’s request for guidance on agency Policy regarding the Executive Director’s Authority under the NVRA to add State-Specific Proof of Citizenship instructions to the Federal Voter Registration Form.

Georgia: Gwinnett County has filed a New Motion in the Federal Voting Rights Lawsuit which claims that District Boundaries were drawn to Dilute the Ability of Minority of Voters to Elect the Candidates of their choice.

Illinois: Louis Alexander Bertaux of Geneva has Sued the Kane County Jail claiming that a Correctional Officer denied his Request for an Absentee Ballot during the 2016 Election. "Upon the news of this presidential election being concluded, without my ability to participate, by exercising my Constitutional right to vote, I experienced the equivalent of being murdered inside," the Lawsuit states, "like a debilitating gutpunch that deflated my soul, and diminished my spirit, and caused terrible and negative thoughts and feelings so damaging to my heart and psyche, that I've been struggling to uphold my superior state of mind." He is suing the Jail for $1 billion dollars.

Indiana: Inmates in the Allen County Jail are Suing the Sheriff alleging that they were Denied the Right to Vote in 2016. The Suit alleges Sheriff David Gladieux “systematically disenfranchised hundreds of eligible voters held in the Allen County Jail during the 2016 general election by refusing to provide them absentee ballots or alternative access to the polls.”

North Carolina: A State Three-Judge Panel has Ruled that a Law combining Oversight of Elections and Ethics under One Board may move forward. The Panel did not Rule on the Constitutionality of the Law, rather they simply said they did not have the Jurisdiction to Rule.

The United States Supreme Court struck down dozens of the State’s Legislative Districts because they Disadvantaged Black Voters.

Rhode Island: U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell Jr. has Granted the State Board of Elections Motion to Dismiss a Lawsuit brought by the Board’s Former Executive Director who claimed the Board had Violated his Rights by Firing him. Robert Kando, the Former Executive Director, has asked the Court to Reinstate the Lawsuit.

Texas: U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos heard arguments this week about Texas’ Voter ID Law. The Plaintiffs in the ongoing Suit argued that the State’s New ID Law doesn’t Absolve Lawmakers from intentionally Discriminating against Minority Voters in 2011.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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