Thursday, May 23, 2019

Electionline Weekly May-23-2019

Legislative Updates

Iowa: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has Signed a Bill into Law that will require Envelopes containing Absentee Ballots for Iowa Elections to have Bar Codes that can provide Mailing Data affixed under the Director of Local Elections Officials.

Maine: This week the Senate came up short of the Two-Thirds Vote needed to send a Proposed Constitutional Amendment to the Voters that would Expand the State’s Ranked-Choice Voting system. This comes a week after the same Measure Failed to meet the Threshold in the House.

Massachusetts: The Easthampton City Council Approved an Amendment to the City Charter that would Implement Ranked-Choice Voting for Precinct City Councilors and the Mayor. Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the East, the Northampton Charter Committee is Recommending that the City moved to a Ranked-Choice Voting system as well as Lowering the Voting Age to 16.

Minnesota: Lawmakers were able to reach a Budget Agreement this week that will finally allow the Secretary of State’s Office to Tap into Federal HAVA Money to boost the State’s Election Security.

Nevada: By a 13-8 Vote, the Senate has Approved Assembly Bill 431 that would Restore the Voting Rights to Ex-Felons upon Release from Incarceration. The Legislation also allows those in Jail, but Not yet Convicted of a Crime, to Vote.

New Jersey: After a Failed Candidate was caught on tape Knocking on Doors after 10 p.m. seeking to get People to turn in Vote-by-Mail Ballots, Three Legislators are introducing Legislation that would Prevent Voters from Returning Vote-by-Mail Ballots after the Polls have Closed.

North Carolina: The Senate Elections Committee Approved a Bill that alters the Rules on how North Carolina Student and Employee ID Cards must be Authenticated before Qualifying as a Voter ID. The House has already Approved the Legislation.

Oregon: The Senate has Approved a Bill that would require County Clerks to Conduct Hand-Count or Risk Limiting Audits after Every Primary, General, and Special Election.

Texas: Senate Bill 9, which was billed as an Election Security Bill but would have Increased Criminal Penalties for providing False Information on a Voter Registration Application, as well as the Investigative Powers of Law Enforcement over Elections, and would have Required those Assisting Voters to Fill Out more Detailed Forms on how they are Helping, has died in the House. At Press time, the Senate had Revived a Provision of Senate Bill 9 that would Require All Electronic Voting Machines to Produce a Paper Ballot by the 2024 Election. “It’s going to be only about paper, nothing else from SB 9,” said Sen Bryan Hughes (R-1st District), Architect of the Controversial Senate 9 Bill.

The Senate has Approved a Bill that would Eliminate Mobile Voting. The Bill would Ban Moving Polling Locations, such as to a Nursing Home, during Early Voting.

Utah: Members of the Legislature’s Government Operations Interim Committee are beginning work on Legislation that could include Ranked-Choice Voting, Runoffs, or Jungle Primaries.

Wisconsin: Democrats have announced Plans to introduce Legislation that would Move the State to a System of Automatic Voter Registration.

Legal Updates

Georgia: U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg has Ruled that a Lawsuit Challenging the State’s Outdated Voting Machines can Move Forward. Totenberg wrote in her Order Rejecting that Request that the State’s Arguments “completely ignore the reality faced by election officials across the country underscored by Plaintiffs’ allegations that electronic voting systems are under unceasing attack.”

Indiana: Common Cause Indiana has Filed a Lawsuit on behalf of a Voter with Parkinson’s Disease asking a Federal Judge to Strike Down as Unconstitutional the State Law allowing Election Officials to Reject Ballots based on Signature Mismatches without Allowing the Voters to prove the Ballots are Authentic. “Indiana’s … signature-matching requirements violate due process,” the Lawsuit said. “The voter is given no written or oral notice that his or her ballot has been rejected due to a signature mismatch and is thus given no opportunity to challenge the decision to reject their absentee ballot.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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