Thursday, April 12, 2018

Electionline Weekly Apr-12-2018

Legislative Updates

District of Columbia: Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) has introduced Legislation that would Lower the City’s Voting Age to 16 for All Local and Federal Elections. While other Jurisdictions have Lowered the Voting Age for Local Elections, DC would be the First to do the same for Federal Elections. There are currently about 12,000 16 and 17 year-olds in DC.

Kansas: The Legislature has forwarded a Bill to Gov. Jeff Colyer that would Transfer Control of Election Expenditures in Shawnee, Sedgwick, Johnson, and Wyandotte Counties to the Elected County Commissions instead of the Secretary of State’s Office.

Louisiana: By a 7-2 vote, the House and Governmental Affairs Committee has Approved a Bill that would allow Felons on Probation or Parole to Regain their Right to Vote after a Five Year Cleansing period following their Release.

Maine: A 17-17 vote has Scuttle a last-minute attempt to resolve issues surrounding the Implementation of Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV). The Joint Order would have triggered a New Bill to Clarify that Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is Authorized to Expend the Funds necessary to Conduct a RCV Primary. The Bill also would have Authorized Maine State Police, at Dunlap’s Direction, to Retrieve Ballots as needed and Return them to Augusta for a Centralized Tabulation by Dunlap, an additional Step to determine Winners in a RCV Election.

Maryland: Automatic Voter Registration will be the Law of Land in the Old Line State in July 2019 even though Gov. Larry Hogan (R) did not Sign the Bill into Law.

With just hours to go before the Close of the 2018 Legislative Session, the General Assembly approved House Bill 1331 which requires the State Administrator of Elections to Report Security Breaches and significant attempted Violations within a week of their Discovery to the State Board of Elections, Governor, Legislative Leaders, and Attorney General.

Rockville City Council Unanimously voted to Move City Elections to a Vote-by-Mail format beginning on November 2019. The City made the moves in hopes of increasing Voter Turnout in Local Elections, which currently hovers around 15%.

Nevada: Nevadans for Election Reform have filed the “Greater Choice—Greater Voice” Initiative with the Secretary of State’s Office. The Initiative seeks to Replace the State’s current Partisan Closed Primary System with a Single Election using Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV).

New York: Under A.10230, New York Taxpayers would have the Option to Register to Vote when submitting their State Tax Returns. The Legislation would also create Additional Security in Elections by only allowing Potential Voters to Register with the Proper Identification needed to File Tax Returns.

North Dakota: For the eighth straight year, a Bill that would have required North Dakotans to Show a Photo ID when Voting has Failed to move forward in enough time in the Legislature. State Sen. John Murante (49th District, Gretna), who introduced Legislative Resolution 1CA, told the Omaha World-News he is exploring the possibility of going directly to Voters via an Initiative Petition Drive.

Virginia: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has Vetoed Senate Bill 521 which would have required Local Registrars to investigate the List of Registered Voters whenever it exceeded the estimated number of People 18 and over.

Legal Updates

Florida: Former Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks has been found Guilty of Seven Felony Charges. A Jury found Weeks Guilty on Six Counts for Interception of Wire Communication and an Indictment of Disclosure of Wire Communication. Each of the Third-Degree Felonies carry a maximum Five-year Prison Sentence. Sentencing has been Delayed to an undetermined date.

Spiro Colaitis, 57, of Manhasset, New York has been Charged with Voting twice in the 2016 Election. Once in Florida, where he was Charged and once in Nassau County, New York.

Illinois: Officials in DuPage County announced this week that they plan to take Legal Action against Liberty Systems, LLC, one of the County’s Elections Vendors which caused Election Results to be Delayed until Late Election Night.

Maine: Justice Michaela Murphy announced this week that the Committee for Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) can be a Party to a Lawsuit seeking to Force Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to Implement RCV in June. The Maine Supreme Court has been asked to weigh-in on the Implementation. The Court will address several very specific Questions about the Implementation.

New Hampshire: Superior Court Judge Charles Temple has Denied the State’s Second attempt to have a Challenge to 2017’s Senate Bill 3 Dismissed. In the Ruling, Judge Charles Temple stated that if the NHDP’s Allegations are True, SB 3 Law has caused, and will Result in, Democratic Candidates receiving “Disproportionately Fewer Votes.”

Tennessee: In a Unanimous decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled this week that Nashville must hold its Special Election to Replace the Mayor in late May instead of August. The Ruling overturns a Decision by the Davidson County Election Commission which had wanted to hold the Election in August. The Election has been set for May 24th.

Texas: Out-of-town Judge Roy Ferguson said that he did not “…find a single fact connecting [El Paso County Election Administrator Lisa Wise] to fraud or illegal activity,” in Suit over a Congressional Primary.

Wisconsin: Thomas S. Tourtillout, 55, of Nekoosa has been Charged with Election Fraud. According to Court Records, the Wisconsin Elections Commission did an Audit of the November 2016 Presidential Election and discovered Tourtillott, who is a Convicted Felon still on Probation, had Voted in the Election.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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