Thursday, April 26, 2018

Electionline Weekly Apr-26-2018

Legislative Updates

Arizona: According to the Arizona Republic, a Bill that would have allowed Counties with the proper Technology to keep Early Voting Centers Open from Saturday through Monday before Election Day, and that had widespread Bipartisan Support, has been Gutted by the Speaker of the House. Speaker JD Mesnard (R-17th District, Chandler) Removed the Weekend Provision from the Bill.

Connecticut: By an 81-65 vote, the House of Representatives has Approved a Resolution that could eventually allow Early Voting in the Nutmeg State. The Resolution would ask Voters to Amend the State’s Constitution to allow Early Voting. The Bill now moves to the Senate.

Hawaii: This week, Lawmakers have introduced a Bill that would Pilot a Vote-by-Mail Program on Kauai in 2020 before making a Decision to move the System Statewide. The Bill this week is identical to a Bill that was introduced in 2017.

Illinois: The House has Approved a Bill that would remove Illinois from Crosscheck, the Voter Roll Database that checks for Multiple Voting, which has been found to have Bad Data and Checking Accuracy. The Bill has been sent to Gov. Brue Rauner.

a Bill that would require Counties with less than 3 Million People to have a process in place to allow Pre-Trial Detainees to Vote-by-Mail has been Approved by the House. Counties with Populations Higher than 3 Millions would be required to have a Voting Booth in their Jail. The Bill now moves to the Senate.

Massachusetts: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has Signed an Ordinance this week that will Require Voter Registration Forms to be made Available at Public High Schools, Welcome Centers, all Neighborhood Branches of the Boston Public Library, and all Youth and Family Community Centers.

Minnesota: By a 7-0 vote, the St. Louis Park City Council has Voted to move the City to a Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) system. The Council still needs to vote one more time, on Monday May 7th, to Finalize the Move. This vote must also be Unanimous or a Referendum will be called.

New Hampshire: The Senate Election Law Committee has voted 3-2 to move House Bill 1264 to the Full Senate. Under the Bill the Word Domicile would be Aligned with Residence in order to allow someone to Register to Vote in the State. The Bill would not Explicitly Bar anyone from Voting, but would Require someone who Votes to obtain Residency Status, including by Obtaining a New Hampshire Driver’s License within 60 days. House Bill 1264 Removing Four Words, “for the indefinite future”, from the Current Law’s explanation of Residence. The Change was prompted by a 2015 State Supreme Court Decision that made it clear that “domicile” and "resident" or "inhabitant" do not have the same meaning.

Ohio: The Columbiana County Board of Commissioners Approved a Request to Allow County Employees to Serve as Poll Workers. Under the Resolution, County Employees will be given a Paid Day Off to Work the Polls. They will also be allowed to Collect the roughly $101 Poll Workers receive for Working on Election Day.

Oklahoma: Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has Vetoed a Bill that would have Legalized Ballot Selfies in Oklahoma. "I am concerned how this will potentially open up the voting process for voter intimidation and propaganda electioneering," Fallin wrote in Her Letter to Legislators explaining her Veto.

Legal Updates

Federal Litigation: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has Affirmed a Lower Court Ruling that Invalidated as too Abstract a Patent Infringement Case brought by Voter Verified, Inc. against ES&S, Manufacturer of voting Equipment.

California: A Lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco Superior Court against Secretary of State Alex Padilla accusing Him of Misinterpreting the Law and Failing to provide Ballots and other Elections Materials in Languages other than English. According to the San Francisco Gate, State Law requires Padilla’s Office to decide every Four years which areas need Language Assistance, and to Order County Officials to provide Translations of Sample Ballots and other Materials enabling Voters to fill out English-Language Ballots. Language Aid is Required if at least 3% of Voting-Age Residents in a County or Precinct “lack sufficient skills in English to vote without assistance.” The Suit contended the Law Mandates Assistance throughout a County that meets the 3% threshold, including 18 California Counties where at least 3% of Voting-Age Residents speak Primarily Spanish, but Padilla has Required Assistance only in Individual Voting Precincts rather than County-Wide.

Florida: A Three-Judge Panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has issued a Stay in the March 27th Order by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker that Declared the State’s System of Restoring Ex-Felon Voting Rights as Fatally Flawed and Unconstitutionally Arbitrary.

Guam: A Federal Lawsuit that seeks to provide Voting Rights to Residents of Guam and other Territories has been Appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In November 2015, Six U.S. Citizens, who all are Former Illinois Residents now Living in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Filed a Lawsuit in Illinois' Northern District Court. The Group argued that the Laws allowing them to Vote in particular Areas, but not Certain U.S. Territories, including Guam, are a Violation of their Equal Protection Rights, according to Court Documents.

Indiana: U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Baker has Ruled that Marion County, which had previously only Set Up One Early Voting Site for the entire County, was in fact Not Providing Equal Ballot Access. In the Ruling Baker did Not Require the County to have the New Sites Ready for the May Primary, but will need to have them for the Election in November.

Kansas: Secretary of State Kris Kobach has Affirmed His Plans to Appeal the Ruling of Judge Julie Robinson that found Him in Contempt of Court in the Ongoing Case against the State’s Proof-of-Citizenship Law, that requires the Proof to Vote in State and Local Elections.

Mississippi: Last week, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann sought to have Two Ex-Felon Voting Rights Lawsuits merged into One Case, but some Former Felons are Objecting. One Suit was Filed by the Mississippi Center for Justices and other by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Attorneys in the Southern Poverty Law Center Suit have Filed Papers with the Judge requesting that the Two Cases remain Separate because they make Different Arguments.

North Dakota: The State is Appealing a Portion of U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland’s Early April Ruling that Prevented the State from Requiring IDs that include a “current residential street address.” The State is also asking for a Stay of the Ruling while the Appeal is Pending.

U.S. Virgin Islands: This week, Superior Court Judge Denise Francios heard Testimony in the Challenge to the Law Passed by the Senate in 2017 to Restructure the Entities that Oversee and Conduct Elections in the USVI. The Law calls for the Elimination of Two District Elections Boards and the Joint Board of Elections (BOE) instead Replacing them with One, Territory-wide Board.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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