Thursday, July 27, 2017

Electionline Weekly July-27-2017

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has introduced the Democracy Restoration Act of 2017 that would restore Voting Rights to Individuals after they have completed the Terms of their Sentence and returned to their Communities.

Arkansas: The Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislation Council approved the State Board of Election Commissioners Emergency Rule enforcing the State’s New Voter Photo ID Law.

Illinois: There is confusion as to whether or not Gov. Bruce Ruaner will Sign the Automatic Voter Registration Bill approved by the Legislature. According to NBC5, the Governor had planned to Sign the Bill during the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention, but then did not.

New Mexico: By a 6-2 vote, the Santa Fe City Council has once again voted to Postpone the Implementation of Ranked-Choice Voting.

Texas: A Bill that would increase the Penalties for some Offenses related to Illegally Assisting an Elderly Person with Voting or Illegally Handling or Harvesting a Ballot has been approved by the Senate during the Legislature’s Special Session.

Utah: Democratic Senator Karen Mayne (West Valley) is introducing New Legislation to Review Voter Privacy measures during the next Session of the Legislature. Mayne’s Legislation would make sure that birthdates are automatically Exempt from all Open Records requests. “I think we need to protect or look into how we can protect those voter rights, especially the date of birth, and the month and the day, is concerning to me,” she told KUER. “So we’re going to venture there.”

Legal Updates

Alabama: The Campaign Legal Center is suing Alabama to get the State to Automatically Enroll more than 60,000 Convicted Felons to the State’s Voter Roll who are now Eligible to Vote under a New Law.

Arkansas: A Lawsuit has been Filed against Two Members of the Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners alleging that the Members are refusing to work with Will Fox, who had been Appointed Election Coordinator by County Judge Henry “Hank” Williams IV in advance of a recent Special Election. The Suit says that refusal “resulted in anomalies in the election. Mr. Fox has attempted to assist in the election process that has occurred this year but Mr. Soffer has threatened Mr. Fox and attempted to have him removed from public meetings.”

California: Activists have Filed Suit in an effort to upend a New Law that revises the Rules for California Recall Elections. The Legislature approved a Provision, added to the State Budget, that extends the amount of time between a Recall Petition effort and an actual Election. The New Law gives Voters the opportunity to Remove their Signatures from Petitions.

Florida: A Trial began this week in the Lawsuit Filed by the American Civil Rights Union against Broward County alleging that the County’s Voter Rolls are filled with Ineligible Voters.

Kansas: U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson Denied Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s request to reconsider a Magistrate Judge’s Sanctions. In her Ruling, Robinson chided Kobach for Habitually making Misleading Statements.

Massachusetts: The Suffolk Superior Court has Ruled that the Statewide practice of setting a 20-Day Voter Registration Deadline is Unconstitutional, Arbitrary, and has needlessly prevent thousands of Residents from Voting. "The court concludes that the Commonwealth has shown no real reason, grounded in data, facts or expert opinion, why election officials need to close registration almost 3 weeks before the election to do their job," Associate Justice Douglas H. Wilkins wrote in his Ruling. "Instead, the plaintiffs have shown that there is no compelling reason for a 20-day deadline that deprives individuals of their right to vote." Secretary of State William Galvin has said he will Appeal the Ruling.

Minnesota: An effort to put Even-Year City Elections on the November Ballot seems to be short of the required 7,011 Valid Signatures. Instead of submitting an additional 1,100 Signatures, the Petitioner has Filed a Lawsuit against the City of St. Paul, City Clerk Shari Moore, and Ramsey County Elections Manager Joseph Mansky.

North Carolina: The State Supreme Court announced that Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t Required to Appoint Members of the State Elections and Ethics Enforcement Board created by a Republican-lead Legislature Pending Arguments before the High Court scheduled for August 28th.

Utah: U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby has ruled that Boundaries for Election Districts in San Juan County are Unconstitutional and Violate the Voting Rights of Native Americans. The County was Forced to Redraw the Maps in 2016, but Shelby recently determined that the New Maps are still Unconstitutional.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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