Thursday, March 8, 2018

Electionline Weekly March-8-2018

Legislative Updates

Alabama: The House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee has approved a Constitutional Amendment that would End Special Elections for Legislative Vacancies that take place 13 Months before the Next Statewide General Election.

Arizona: Lawmakers are considering a Bill that would give the State the Authority to tell Local Governments when they can and can’t hold Local Elections. Lawmakers passed similar Legislation in 2012 but the State Court of Appeals Overturned the Law.

Indiana: Two Bills Approved by the Senate Failed to Pass the House by this week’s Deadline for Acting on Senate Measures. Senate Bill 250 would have Authorized No-Excuse Absentee Voting and Senate Bill 326 would have Established Standards for Legislative Redistricting.

The Senate has Approved a Plan to Break the Deadlock on Precinct Consolidation in Lake County.

Montana: Chris Gallus, an Attorney from Helena has submitted Language for a Ballot Initiative that would Change the State’s Constitution to Explicitly Ban Non-Citizens from Voting in Elections. If Gallus' Proposal Passes a Legal Review, he will have to gather the Signatures of 10% of Voters spread over 40 Legislative Districts, 50,936 Signatures Total, for the Measure to be placed on the Ballot in November's Election.

New Mexico: Gov. Susana Martinez has Signed a Bill into Law that will Merge most Nonpartisan Local Elections into One. “Consolidating nonpartisan local elections reduces confusion and election fatigue for voters and will lead to increased voter participation in local elections,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “In addition, fewer elections will help the state, county and municipal governments cut election administration costs and provide more streamlined election services for voters.”

Ohio: Sen. Frank LaRose has introduced a Proposal that would Allocate about $114.5 Million to Counties Statewide to Help them Offset the Costs of Replace Aging Voting Machines. LaRose is a Republican Candidate for Secretary of State.

South Dakota: Secretary of State Shantel Krebs announced last week that Backers of a Ballot Initiative that would Move the State to a Top-Two Primary System did not gather enough Valid Signatures to get the Measure on the Ballot this year.

The Senate has Approve a Bill that would require Ballot Measure Organizers have their Circulators proved Residency Information to the Secretary of State’s Office including: Driver’s License Number, Length of Time at Current Address, Past Two Addresses, and their State of Voter Registration.

Legal Updates

Alabama: According to Alabama Public Radio, more Civil Rights Groups are challenging a Lower Court Ruling that found that the State’s Voter ID Law is not Discriminatory. The ACLU of Alabama, ACLU Voting Rights Project, Lawyers' Committee, and Campaign Legal Centerhave submitted a Brief in Support.

California: San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer Jr. has Agreed with the ACLU of Northern California that Voters who Submit a Mail Ballot should be provided Time to Cure their Ballot if the Signature on the Envelope does not Match that on File. According to The Sacramento Bee, the Lawsuit, La Follette v. Padilla, was Filed on behalf of Sonoma County Resident Peter La Follette, who cast his Vote by Mail in the November 2016 Election, according to the Lawsuit. County Election Officials did not Count his Ballot after determining his Ballot's Signature did not Match a Signature they had on File, the Lawsuit states, but Officials never told La Follette about the Issue, as State Law did not require them to.

Kansas: The Trial over the State’s Proof of Citizenship Law began this week. Secretary of State Kris Kobach will be Representing himself against the ACLU’s Suit over a Law that requires Prospective Voters to provide a Copy of their Birth Certificate or Passport in Order to Register to Vote.

Massachusetts: The Commonwealth’s Supreme Judicial Court heard a Challenge the State’s 20-day Voter Registration Deadline. Plaintiffs argue that the 20-day Deadline for Voter Registration is Unconstitutional.

North Carolina: A Three-Judge Panel, that has twice heard Legal Challenges to an Eight-Member State Board of Elections and Ethics, issued a Final Order this week Nullifying a Portion of the 2016 Law that dictated how Members of the State Board would be chosen. According to WRAL, the Order essentially carries out a Jan. 26th Ruling by the State Supreme Court, which decided 4-3 along Party Lines that Lawmakers overstepped their Authority in trying to Combine the State Board of Elections and the State Ethics Commission.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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