Thursday, July 6, 2017

Electionline Weekly July-6-2017

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislation: A spending Bill from the House Appropriations Committee would give the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) 60 days to Terminate itself. Rep. Mike Quiqley (D-IL) has introduced an Amendment to the Appropriations Bill that would Fund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The Amendment seeks $9.2 Million to Fund the EAC. “Eliminating the EAC, the federal government’s only independent direct line of communication to state and local election officials, would be dramatically out of step with the federal government’s work to improve election systems and provide states with the support they need to hold accurate and secure elections," Quigley said in his Introduction.

In other Federal Legislation News: U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) has introduced Legislation that would require Voter Registration Forms to be given to all New U.S. Citizens at their Naturalization Ceremonies. The Bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to allow Chief Election Officers to Distribute Voter Registration Forms.

Minnesota: Activists in St. Paul are circulating Petitions for a proposed City Charter Amendment that would Move the City’s Council and Mayoral Elections from Odd years to Even years. If enough Signatures are gathered, the Measure will appear on this November’s Ballot.

Oregon: The House Rules Committee has approved a Bill that would Create a January 2018 Special Election if any 2017 Legislation Approved gets Referred to Voters. The Special Election would Cost at least $3 Million. Typically any Legislation Referred to Voters is Placed on the next General Election Ballot.

Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Legislature has Approved a Bill that would Automatically Register Residents to Vote when obtaining a New or Renewing their License unless that Person chooses to Opt-Out. The Governor is Expected to Sign the Bill.

Texas: During the upcoming 30-day Special session, Lawmakers will consider Legislation to Toughen Penalties on Mail-Ballot Fraud.

Legal Updates

Arizona: The State of Arizona has Settled a Lawsuit with Project Vote that will allow Broader Public Access to the State’s Voter Rolls at a Lower Cost. Under the Agreement, the Price to obtain a Copy of the State’s Rolls will go from about $3,000 to around $500.

Georgia: A Group of Georgia Voters Filed Suit in the Fulton County Superior Court alleging that State and Local Election Officials ignored Warnings about the State’s Centralized Voter Registration system and the Suit is asking the Court to Overturn the Results of the recent Congressional Special Election.

Massachusetts: In November 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union Filed Suit against the State of Massachusetts over the Legality of the State to Set a Voter Registration Deadline. The Lawsuit Charges that the State’s 20-day Voter Registration Deadline bars Thousands of People from being able to Vote. The Trial in that Suit began this week.

Kansas: U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara said this week that Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s Reasoning for Misleading the Court “Lacks Credibility” and Fined him $1,000.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law has Filed a Federal Complaint against Secretary of State Kris Kobach that claims he attempted to Leverage his Position on the the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to help his recently launched Gubernatorial Bid. The Group claims he is Violating the Hatch Act.

Texas: Noe Olvera, 44 of Mission has been sentenced to 18 months in Prison. The former Mailman admitted to Selling Information about People who requested Absentee Ballots.

Virginia: Backers of a proposed Charter Change have Filed Suit against the State Board of Elections for Access to the State’s Voter Rolls. In a 25-page Complaint Filed late Friday in Richmond Circuit Court, Referendum Advocate Paul Goldman argues that Denial of Access to the List Violates his First Amendment Rights and his Constitutional Guarantee to “Equal Protection of the Laws” under the 14th Amendment.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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