Thursday, August 3, 2017

Electionline Weekly August-3-2017

Legislative Updates

Federal Legislations: By a 14-1 vote, the Senate Intelligence Committee moved a Bill that would ensure the Intelligence Community is well-positioned to Detect Cyberattacks, Strengthen Information Sharing with States to Protect Voting Systems and “send a message to Moscow that we will not accept their aggressive actions.”

Also on Capitol Hill, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) has submitted an Amendment to the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act. If Approved, the Amendment would add Cyberattacks on Federal State and Local Elections to a Policy that declares the U.S. should “employ all instruments of national power, including the use of offensive cyber capabilities” to respond to such Cyber Threats.

California: Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed Legislation into Law that will require the State’s Child Welfare System to provide Voter Registration Resources and Paperwork to Foster Youth when they are Processing into Adulthood.

Assembly Bill 765 would give City and Town Councils the Option to Hold Off on Special Elections and Move a Ballot Issue to the Next regularly scheduled Election. Municipalities could still hold a Special Election if the Issue was Time Sensitive.

Delaware: Gov. John Carney (D) has signed a Bill into Law that will make it easier for Residents from the First State to Vote Absentee. Under the New Law, Absentee Requests will no longer have to be Notarized.

Guam: Sen. Mary Torres (R-Santa Rita) has introduced a Bill that, in an effort to save Money, would move the Primary to the first Saturday in August instead of the current day which is the third Saturday in August.

North Carolina: The Ward County Commission voted this week to allow Four Precincts in the County to conduct their 2018 Elections all by Mail. Each of the Four Precincts has fewer than 300 Voters.

Rhode Island: Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) has signed Automatic Voter Registration Legislation into Law. Rhode Island becomes the 9th State and the District of Columbia to Automatically Register Residents to vote when conducting Business with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Legal Updates

Alabama: Chief District Judge W. Keith Watkins has Denied a Request by Advocacy Groups for a Preliminary Injunction in Lawsuit that seeks to have the Voting Rights of Alabama Felons Automatically Restored following a change in State Law that more clearly defines what Felonies require someone to Lose their Voting Rights.

California: Ray Lutz, Founder of the Citizens Oversight Project has Sued San Diego County seeking to personally Recount Votes from the 2016 Presidential Primary to see if the Results were Accurate. Lutz alleges that the Difference in Vote Margins between Early Vote-by-Mail Ballots and Votes Cast at Precincts on Primary Day was so Large that likely Fraud occurred. The County stands by the Vote Count and Denies any Fraud occurred.

Kansas: Secretary of State Kris Kobach has Filed Notice that he is Appealing the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Order that he Submit to a Deposition by the American Civil Liberties Union in a Case regarding the State’s Proof-of-Citizenship Law. On Wednesday, the Appeals Court Denied the Request.

Ohio: In a Legal Brief, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has told the Supreme Court of the United States that the Ohio’s Procedure for Purging Voters does not Violate Federal Prohibition against removing Individuals for Failing to Vote. The Brief said Election Boards ask Inactive Registrants to Confirm their Eligibility. Failure to Respond to those Confirmation Notices, not Failure to Vote, is what Triggers the Cancelation of the Voter’s Registration. Husted is Wrong.

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) has been interpreted to Prohibit Voter Purging with Conditions:

Pursuant to the NVRA, a Voter may not be Removed from the Voters' List unless:

(1) The Voter has requested Removal or Official notification of Voter is Deceased.

(2) State Law requires Removal by Reason of Criminal Conviction or Mental Capacity.

(3) The Voter has Confirmed in Writing that he has Moved outside the Jurisdiction maintaining the Specific Voter List.

(4) The Voter both (a) has Failed to Respond to a Cancellation Notice issued pursuant to the NVRA and (b) has Not Voted or Appeared to Vote in the Two Federal General Elections following the date of Notice

Voter Purging is Illegal, if the Primary Purpose is to Disenfranchise Legitimately Registered Voters, on the Basis of a Technicality.

Tennessee: The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard Arguments this week in a Case that questions the Method State Officials used to Count Votes on an Abortion Amendment that was Approved in 2014 by 53% of the Vote. In the Lower Court Ruling, U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp wrote that the State Violated Due Process and Equal Protection Rights.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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