Friday, April 20, 2018

Electionline Weekly Apr-19-2018

Legislative Updates

Arizona: The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has unanimously Approved a request from the County Recorder’s Office for $4 Million to pay for additional Election Technology.

Arkansas: Rep. Gred Leding (D-86th District, Fayetteville) plans to introduce Legislation in the 2019 Session, that if approved would Lower the State’s Voting Age to 17. The State currently allows those who are 17 but will be 18 by the time of the General Election to Vote. This would allow all 17-year-olds to Vote.

Illinois: State Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-5th District, Springfield) has introduced a Bill that would require Jails to offer Voter Registration Forms and make Voting available to Eligible Prisoners. The Bill was Approved by the House Elections & Campaign Finance Committee and now moves to the Full House.

Louisiana: By a 53 to 35 Vote, the House has Defeated a Proposal that would have given Released Felons serving Parole or Probation the right to cast a Ballot.

Michigan: The House Elections and Ethics Committee has Approved a Bill that would allow Michigan to offer Online Voter Registration. The Bill was previously Approved by the Senate. It now moves to the Full House.

Minnesota: The City of St. Louis Park is one step closer to moving to a Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) system for upcoming Local Elections. The City Council voted Unanimously Monday to Amend its Charter to move to the different method of counting Municipal Ballots. If Council Members Vote unanimously after a Second Reading on May 7th, RCV could become effective in the City by August.

New Jersey: The Garden State has joined a growing list of States Approving Automatic Voter Registration. The Bill was Approved 50-23 in the Assembly and 24-13 in the Senate. Under the Bill, any Resident who does Business with the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or any other State Agency including the Office of Disability Services, Infants and Children, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, and the Parole Board, once Paroles complete their Sentences.

North Dakota: Cass County Commissioners have Voted to keep Polling Place Hours the same, 7am to 8pm, for the 2018 Election Cycle. Commissioners had considered Closing Polling Places at 7pm.

Ohio: By 32-1, the Senate has Approved Senate Bill 135 which would provide $114.5 Million to Replace Voting Machines Statewide. The Bill also would create a Bipartisan Committee to Advise the Secretary of State and the Department of Administrative Services about Funding and Acquiring New Voting Machines.

Utah: A New Utah Law will allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the time of General Election to Vote in the Primary.

Legal Updates

Kansas: U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in Contempt of Court. In her Ruling, Robinson referred to Kobach as Disingenuous and according to the Kansas City Star, she Chastised him for Failing to treat the Voters in the ongoing Case the same as all other Registered Voters in accordance with a previous Court Order. If a Voter did not present Citizen Proof, they only could Vote in Federal Elections.

Louisiana: The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Baton Rouge has upheld a Lower Court’s Ruling that the State Law that Prohibits Felons on Parole/Probation from Voting does not Violate the State’s Constitution. Felons on Parole/Probation are still in a "Custodial" setting and still serving Part of a Criminal Sentence, Judge Toni Higginbotham wrote in the Main Opinion, joined by Judge Allison Penzato. "Plaintiffs' understanding of the constitutional phrase as meaning only physical imprisonment would lead to absurd results, because it disregards that a person can legally be under an order of imprisonment without being physically in prison." Higginbotham wrote.

Maine: The State’s Highest Court heard Oral arguments about the Implementation of the Voter-Approved Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) in time for the upcoming June Primaries. According to Maine Public Radio, during a 35-minute Hearing, nearly all Seven Justices appeared skeptical of the Republicans' Arguments, and some wondered why the Court was asked to solve a problem that Legislature wouldn't, or couldn't. On Tuesday, the Court ruled that the Law should stand for the June Elections.

Michigan: Former Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger is Appealing the Ruling of St. Clair County Judge Daniel Kelly that removed Spranger from her Role as Clerk. Spranger was found Quilty of Lying about her Residency on her Election Paperwork.

Missouri: The ACLU, on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Missouri and the Kansas City-area Chapter of the AFL-CIO has Sued the State claiming that the Department of Revenue is not Automatically Updating Voter Registration after Address Changes and is not providing Registration Information to All Voters.

Mississippi: Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is requesting that Two Lawsuits, one filed by the Mississippi Center for Justice and the other by the Southern Poverty Law Center be Merged since both are seeking the same thing, to Restore Voting Rights to Ex-Felons.

New York: An Appeals Court has Ruled that the State’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Covers the Electronically Scanned Images of Ballots taken from Voting Machines. The State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Third Department, made the Decision in the Case of Kosmider v. Whitney. Essex County was Sued after a FOIL Request by Essex County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Bethany Kosmider to see the Cast-Vote Records from the 2015 Election was Denied.

On the April 18th, Gov. Cuomo, by Executive Order, returned the right to Vote, to Parolees.

Texas: Visiting Judge Martin Lowy certified Six more Ballots in the Contested GOP Primary in Kaufman County. However, after the Certification, Lowy declared that Voting Improprieties in the Court-at-Law Race proved in the Case left no way to Determine a True Winner and a Special Election should be held.

U.S. Virgin Islands: The Government has Sued the Territorial Elections Board in Superior Court claiming that the Board has Violated the Territory’s Election Laws. According to the Virgin Islands Daily News, a Complaint filed in Superior Court by Assistant Attorney General Ariel Smith, the Board has Violated the Requirements of Territorial Law by Failing to Meet as a Single Board, and by Failing to Elect Board Officers, as required by Act 7982. The Lawsuit seeks a Declaration from a Judge that the Members of the District Boards Failed to follow the Law, Smith wrote.

Virginia: John Christian Adams, an American Attorney, Conservative Activist formerly Employed by the United States Department of Justice from 2005 to 2010, and a former Member of the Disbanded Presidential Election Commission, has been Sued by a Group of Plaintiffs lead by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The Suit alleges that Adams inaccurately Accused Hundreds of Virginians of Illegally Registering to Vote.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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