Thursday, April 5, 2018

Electionline Weekly Apr-5-2018

Legislative Updates

Georgia: Senate Bill 403, which would have moved the State to a Paper-Ballot system Died at Midnight on March 30th at the end of the Legislative Session. The House had Approved an Amended Version of the Bill earlier in the day.

Nevada: This week, the Elko County Commission voted to put off Implementing the use of Spanish-Language Ballots and Election Materials until it becomes Federally Mandated.

New Mexico: Not a Legislative change, but Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has Approved New Rules this week that clarify the handling of Provisional Ballots and will make it easier for Blind Voters to Cast an Absentee Ballot, among other changes.

Pennsylvania: The House is considering a Bill that would make it easier for Voters with Disabilities to cast a Ballot in the Commonwealth. Currently, with Physician Certification, Disabled and Bedridden Voters are added to a Permanently Disabled Absentee Ballot List. But Individuals are required to Confirm their Health Status every Four years. The Bill, which has been Approved by the Senate, would Eliminate that Provision.

U.S. Virgin Islands: The Legislature has Approved Bill 32-0189 which will Fund Primaries in the U.S. Territory after the Territorial Elections Board had voted not to Fund Primaries.

Legal Updates

Arkansas: Secretary of State Mark Martin has filed a Motion asking the State’s Supreme Court to compel Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray to Rule whether she’ll grant a Motion to Block the Enforcement of the State’s Voter ID Law for the May 22nd Primary. On Wednesday, the State Supreme Court Declined to Intervene.

Colorado: The Denver District Attorney’s Office has dropped a Grand Jury Probe into the Secretary of State’s Office. “My office has since received additional documents which the Secretary of State’s Office provided voluntarily and yesterday I met with attorneys representing Secretary Williams and Deputy Secretary Staiert,” DA Beth McCann said in a Statement. “I am requesting the Grand Jury withdraw the subpoenas that had previously been issued and my office will close the grand jury investigation at this time.”

Florida: U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom has Ruled that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes has a Program in place “that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters by reason of death or change of address.” Bloom said the American Civil Rights Union, which filed Suit against Snipes because of the Potential for Voter Fraud, had not proven that the Broward Elections Office Violated the National Voting Rights Act.

Gov. Rick Scott (R) has filed an Appeal to U.S. District Judge Mark Walker’s Ruling that would have given Scott and the State’s Three Cabinet Members until April 26th to come up with a Plan to Restore the Voting Rights to those previously Incarcerated.

Georgia: John Daniel Martin, 35, has been Charged with giving an Underage Man Alcohol and Tobacco in exchange for his Vote. The Secretary of State’s Office is also Investigating the Matter.

Maine: Kennebec Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy has Ruled that State Election Officials should continue to Implement Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) for the June Primary Elections. "The uncertainty that halting the ranked-choice voting implementation process at this late date would cause is significant. Clarity, stability and public confidence are essential to ensure the legitimacy of Maine elections," Murphy wrote in her 14-page Ruling.

Minnesota: St. Paul City Councilmember Dai Thao formally entered a Plea of Not Guilty to Three Counts of Election Misconduct for helping a Voter Cast her Ballot in 2016. A Jury Trial has been tentatively Scheduled for May 29th.

North Dakota: U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland has Ruled that North Dakota must Expand the Types of Acceptable IDs in order to Cast a Ballot. Hovland’s Ruling Prevents the State from Mandating that IDs include a “current residential street address” and Expands the Valid Forms of ID to include more Tribal Documents.

Texas: U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia Ruled this week that Texas is in Violation of the Federal National Voter Registration Act for Failing to Register Residents to Vote, or Update Registered Voters, when they Update their Drivers’ License Information Online. This created Two different Class of Voters. Those that updated their License In-person and those that Updated Online. It wasn’t immediately clear how Garcia will Direct the State to Comply with the Law; Garcia indicated he will provide more Details in the next Two weeks.

Crystal Mason, 43, has been Sentenced to Five years in Prison for Casting a Ballot in 2016 while still on Supervised Release for a 2011 Conviction for Tax Fraud.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, a Conservative Nonprofit, has Sued Harris County in an effort to Force the County to make Records Available on how it Stops Non-U.S. Citizens from Voting. The group said it is seeking to Promote the Integrity of Elections and that previous Harris County Tax Assessor-Collectors, who Run Voter Registration in the County, had indicated that People who are not U.S. Citizens do get Registered to Vote and cast Ballots.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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