Thursday, May 3, 2018

Electionline Weekly May-3-2018

Legislative Updates

Colorado: The Voter Registration Individuals Criminal Justice Act passed the House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee last week by a 4-3 Vote. Under the Bill, Parolees would be Pre-Registered and Automatically be able to Vote upon Completion of their Sentences.

Delaware: House Majority Whip John Viola has introduced HB 400 which would allow Residents of Delaware to Register and Vote on the Same Day.

Hawaii: A Bill creating a Pilot Vote-by-Mail program on the Island of Kauai for the 2020 Election Cycle passed out of a State Legislature Conference Committee.

Kansas: Rep. Russ Jennings (R-122rd District, Lakin) has introduced a Bill that would Prohibit the use any State Money for Defense or Penalties involved in a finding of Contempt of Court by State Elected Officials. "You pay your own bills if you get yourself in that kind of trouble," Jennings told the Kansas City Star. The Bill was Approved 103-16. The Provision was Removed from the Budget during Negotiations with the Senate.

Kentucky: Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has Vetoed House Bill 274 that would have Altered the Time to Request an Absentee Ballot. Bevin’s Veto Message said it Cuts in Half the Time to Request an Absentee Ballot and he doesn’t Support any Additional Burden on the Right to Vote.

Massachusetts: The Northampton City Council is Debating a Resolution that, if Approved, would have the Council Petition the State Legislature to Officially Lower the Voting Age in Northampton to 16.

New Hampshire: House Bill 1264 has been Approved by the Senate. The Bill attempts to Clear Up State Residency Clauses in order to Register to Vote.

Washington: Sens. Joe Fain (R-47th District, Auburn) and Mark Mullet (D-5th District, Issaquah) plan to introduce Legislation ahead of the 2019 Session that would make the State Pay for Return Postage on All Ballots. A similar Bill was introduced in the 2017-2018 Session and Died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. That Bill had an estimated price tag of almost $3 Million.

Legal Updates

Arkansas: Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray ruled that when the General Assembly created the State’s Voter ID Requirement, it inserted an Unsupportable Contradiction into the State Constitution. The 57-Page Order Bars further Enforcement of the ID Requirement at least until a Full Trial can be held to determine the Constitutionality of the Law. The State Appealed the Ruling and late this week the Arkansas Supreme Court, in a 6-1 ruling, said that the State may Enforce the Voter ID Law for the upcoming May 22nd Primary.

Florida: The American Civil Rights Union is Appealing the ruling of U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom that found Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes was following the State’s Requirements to Remove Voters from the Rolls. The Group had argued in Court that Snipes’ Office was not moving quickly enough to Remove those who had Moved, Died, or otherwise become Ineligible to Vote. The Ruling has been Appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Indiana: At a Federal Court Hearing this week, Voter Advocacy Groups argued that the State’s Participation in Crosscheck will Illegally Remove Hoosiers from the Voter Rolls. According to WBAA, Attorneys for the State argue the Groups’ Lawsuit is Premature and Speculative because the State hasn’t yet been able to use Crosscheck this year.

Michigan: U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh has Granted a Motion by Macomb County Attorneys to Toss a Complaint filed by Ex-Clerk Karen Spranger. Steeh said Spranger “fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as required by federal law.”

North Carolina: Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour said that Four North Carolina Voters may Pursue their Libel Lawsuit against Allies of former Gov. Pat McCrory. The Voters Sued after they were Falsely accused of Felony Voting Crimes, including Casting Ballots in Multiple States.

North Dakota: U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland has Denied the State’s Request to Delay part of an earlier Ruling Invalidating the State’s Voter ID Law Pending an Appeal. Hovland Accused the State of Raising “a litany of embellished concerns” and haven’t shown “any evidence of voter fraud in the past or present.”

Texas: By a 2-1 vote a Three-Judge Panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Reversed a Lower Court’s Ruling that Tossed Out the State’s Revisions to Senate Bill 5, the State’s Voter ID Law. Writing for the Majority, Judge Edith Jones said that the Legislature “succeeded in its goal” of addressing Flaws to the State’s Voter ID Law and that the Lower Court active Prematurely when it “abused its discretion” in ruling to invalidate SB 5.

Wisconsin: James K. Denig, 56, and Kay E. Denig, 60, both from Waterford, are each Charged with One Count of Election Fraud for Registering in more than One Place and One Count of Election Fraud for Voting more than One Time, All Felonies.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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