Thursday, January 28, 2021

Electionline Weekly January-28-2021

Legislative Updates

Alaska: According to Sen. Mike Shower (R-Wasilla) Senate Bill 39 is intended to strengthen the security of Alaska’s election system in a nonpartisan way, but several legislative observers began circulating alarmed emails, with Native Peoples Action asserting that Section 22 of the bill “may ban municipalities from having vote-by-mail elections.” That section would prohibit cities and boroughs from automatically sending ballots to registered voters, a cornerstone concept of by-mail voting systems. Cities and boroughs would still be able to send ballots to voters who request them. Nils Andreassen, director of the Alaska Municipal League, said he isn’t yet certain whether vote-by-mail would become impossible under that restriction, but at the least, cities like Anchorage would have to “start over” and rewrite their election laws.

Arizona: The Senate Government Committee has advanced Senate Bill 1069 that would remove voters from the permanent early voting list who do not vote using a mail ballot in both the primary and general election for two consecutive primary and general elections. This would not affect voters who return their ballots at a polling place or drop box. Known as “PEVL,” the program has proven popular since legislators created it in 2007, allowing voters to sign up to receive ballots in the mail for each election in which they are eligible to participate. Voters previously had to submit a request for each election. But as of Jan. 5, about 3.2 million Arizona voters were on the permanent list.

Connecticut: Sen. Will Haskell (D-Westport) has filed a mandatory voting bill. Under the bill anyone not voting could be faced with a $20 fine. Haskell doesn’t expect his compulsory-voting bill to get very far, but he thinks it’s a good place to start a conversation on how to encourage voting. “This bill isn’t going to pass, but it ought to be discussed in the United States and I want to have a positive impact on the debate on elections and voter accessibility,” said Haskell, vice chairman of the committee. “Voting laws are inconvenient in Connecticut for commuters, senior citizens and working parents.” He believes that if the mandatory voting became law, political campaigns would change drastically, fostering a wider debate among voters on what they want in their government, rather than energizing party faithful and suppressing opposition turnout.

Delaware: A bill looking to make voting easier in Delaware passed through committee Thursday along party lines. House Bill 75 looks to amend Article V of the Delaware Constitution to allow for absentee voting, without a voter needing to provide a reason for the ballot. The bill ultimately passed with three Democratic votes in favor to two Republican votes against. “We, as a state government, should be making it as easy and convenient as possible for our constituents and the residents of our state to vote, and encouraging as many people as possible to vote and exercise the right to vote,” Rep. David Bentz, sponsor of the bill, said during the House Administration meeting on January 21, 2021.

Georgia: The Troup County board of commissioners unanimously approved a resolution asking the state Legislature to reform the county’s board of elections. The resolution asks Troup’s delegate to support the reform. If approved and signed into law, the Troup BOE will consist of five members, appointed by a majority vote of county commissioners. Four members would represent the county district they serve and one member would serve as an at-large member and chairperson.

Senate Bill 29 would require voters to make copies of their photo ID and mail them to election officials twice before being allowed to cast an absentee ballot. The would create a photo ID requirement for voting outside of polling places in Georgia. Voters would need to submit ID both when applying for absentee ballots and when returning them.

Indiana: Under Senate Bill 260, schools that are used as polling places would not be permitted to have in-person learning on Election Day. School officials have long protested using schools as polling places, but the author of the bill, Sen. Greg Walker said the move to online instruction has lessened the conflict.

Indiana lawmakers want to make a few changes to the state’s vote-by-mail system in the wake of a surge of mail-in ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current law says if a voter who requested a mail-in ballot can’t physically mail it back in, only someone living in their house can do it for them. Valerie Warycha, Indiana secretary of state deputy chief of staff, said legislation would let any family member return the mail-in ballot. The measure heard in a Senate committee this week would also change the deadline to return a mail-in ballot. It’s currently noon on Election Day. Under the bill, it would be 6 p.m., when polls close – but only in counties that use vote centers or electronic poll books, which is at least 70 counties statewide.

Rep. Vernon Smith (D-Gary) has filed a bill, which would allow voters to register at the polls on Election Day, as long as they haven’t voted already and show identification and proof of residence. “We need to begin removing the harmful barriers that discourage people from exercising their right to vote,” Smith said in a news release. “There is strong evidence that same-day registration increases voter turnout. The more people we have participating in our democratic process, the better.”

Louisiana: Louisiana will keep in place expanded mail-in voting for the upcoming special congressional elections, in line with a court order last fall, after state lawmakers approved the emergency plan this week. The state House voted 80-8 and the state Senate voted 35-3 in favor of the plan, which expands the absentee voting to the same categories of people affected by the pandemic who were allowed to vote by mail in the fall elections. Lawmakers voted by mail ballot for the plan. “I am pleased that this emergency plan passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support at every step of this process. This plan is a pragmatic response to the recent unprecedented surge in the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican. “Together, the Clerks of Court, Registrars of Voters and their staff along with the entire SOS elections staff will provide the people of Louisiana safe, secure and accurate elections to which they are accustomed.”

Maryland: A pair of bills under consideration in the State House would continue sending mail-in ballots to every registered voter in every election. The proposals, from Delegates Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County), and Julian Ivey (D-Prince George), would not eliminate in-person voting, but would give every voter the chance to cast their ballot by mail. “My goal is to create convenience and confidence and security,” Cardin said. “I think that this doesn’t inhibit security, it increases confidence and it increases convenience.” Ivey said he wants to make voting more accessible to people with disabilities, older Marylanders and people whose work schedules make it difficult to vote in person. Cardin said he believes mailing ballots to every voter will encourage more people to vote. He also argued the measure would do little to increase costs because the state already mails sample ballots to voters before the election. “This really does open up the franchise to everyone,” Cardin said. “Regardless of what issues may arise, whether it’s pandemics, whether it’s natural disasters … we want to make sure that the system is conducted fluidly and openly.”

Minnesota: Under House File 9, House Dems have proposed a number of elections-related reforms including automatic voter registration, allowing those as young as 16 to pre-register and allow the state to send absentee ballots automatically to those who’ve signed up to be permanent absentee voters. The bill would require every county in Minnesota to provide at least one secure ballot drop box location for people voting absentee. Those became very popular in 2020 as people sought ways to make sure their ballots got to their destinations before Election Day. The measure would also do away with the witness requirement for absentee ballots. Minnesota is one of 12 states in the nation that require a witness to sign the outer envelope, a rule that was temporarily waived via court order in 2020 due to the pandemic. The same bill also would restoring voting rights to felony offenders who are no longer incarcerated. An estimated 50,000 Minnesotans of voting age currently can’t vote because they’re still serving probation in their communities.

Things got heated between Secretary of State Steve Simon and members of the Senate’s election committee while discussing Senate File 173 which would require Minnesotans to present a valid photo ID in order to vote. Simon was allotted three minutes to testify before the committee on Wednesday, where he said there are few, isolated instances of voter fraud in Minnesota’s elections. He said a voter ID law could do more harm than good, disenfranchising people who wouldn’t be otherwise. The Republican-majority committee passed the bill 5-3 on party lines, moving it on to the Senate’s transportation committee.

Mississippi: A bill that could allow Mississippi voters to be purged from voting rolls if they fail to vote within a set time period was moved ahead to a full vote in the state Senate Tuesday. According to the proposed legislation, Senate Bill 2588 would allow county registrars or a county election commission to send a notice confirming a voter’s registration. If that voter does not respond to the notice, update their voter registration information or vote for four consecutive years, county officials would then be able to purge them from the state election system. Voters would not be able to be purged in the 90 days before a federal primary or a general election, according to the legislation. If passed through the state legislature and signed into law, the amendment would go into effect on July 1.

Montana: The House State Administration Committee held a hearing on House Bill 176, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Greef (R-Florence). Currently, Montana residents can still register to vote at county election offices on the morning before Election Day and on Election Day. HB 176 would end the late registration period at 5 p.m. the preceding Friday. Supporters said same-day registration puts too much burden on county election officials. They argued making this change would reduce the chance of mistakes and ensure people have confidence in the election system. Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen said HB 176 was one of five main “election integrity” measures her office will be supporting during the legislative session. Dana Corson, her elections director, said they receive frequent complaints about the long lines Election Day registration can create at election offices.

Senate Bill 107, carried by Sen. Bryce Bennet (D-Missoula) who lost his bid for Secretary of State last fall would extend the deadline for regular voter registration. The deadline was extended in November because of the pandemic to make it easier for people to register to vote from home and not have to come into an office, because late registration must be done in-person. That change improved how things worked in the election, said Lewis and Clark County elections supervisor Audrey McCue. The Secretary of State’s office did not offer testimony in support of or in opposition to the bill Wednesday. There were no opponents to the legislation, which was heard by the Senate State Administration Committee.

New Hampshire: Senate Bill 54, introduced by Sen. Robert Guida (R-Warrant) would require voters to include copies of their photo IDs in absentee ballot applications and again when the completed ballots are returned. Giuda said Senate Bill 54 would require that a voter include a photocopy of his or her New Hampshire driver’s license, non-driver’s identification card or other identification with the application for an absentee ballot and also inside the outer envelope when returning the absentee ballot. Giuda said there would enough time prior to the next election for people to make copies of their IDs. He said he would be willing to push back the effective date of the bill, which is currently 60 days after passage. He said the bill is focused on the 2022 state elections more than on this year’s municipal elections.

Senate Bill 47 would allow any eligible voter to cast absentee ballot in future elections without citing specific reasons for not being able to go to his or her polling place. Although open absentee voting was successful in 2020 according to WMUR the bill is viewed as a longshot, however. Even if it were to pass the Republican-controlled Legislature, it could run into a veto by Gov. Chris Sununu, who nixed similar legislation last year. Separately, Senate Bill 47 would make permanent the temporary 2020 provision that allowed town clerks to pre-process absentee ballots by opening the outer envelopes on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Monday prior to Election Day. This provision appears to have bipartisan support.

North Dakota: A bill under consideration by the Legislature would require the full text of a ballot measure to be printed. Currently, the text of a ballot measure can be summarized and simplified on the ballot for voters. Some lawmakers say advocacy groups are writing lengthy and multi-issue measures on-purpose, knowing they’ll be simplified on the ballot. The Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum said the Secretary’s Office, questioned the proposed solution. “Is this what it would take to educate the voters? We can’t say that for sure. We don’t know if this would work or not,” said Silrum. Some measures are two to four pages long. The bill would require all those pages to be printed on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Sen. Mary Boren (D-Norman) has filed three elections-related bills: Senate Bill 509 seeks to extend the time period for early voting from three days to 21 days. Senate Bill 576 looks to allow individuals the opportunity to “cure” their mail-in ballot if it is rejected for any number of reasons. And Senate Bill 579 would require voters to permanently use a photo ID in place of a notarization when submitting a mail-in ballot.

Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) has filed Senate Joint Resolution 19 which seeks to amend the state constitution, which allows for voters to request a mail-in ballot without an excuse. Standridge’s joint resolution would require voters to have a specified reason for requesting a mail-in ballot.

Oregon: Lawmakers in Oregon introduced legislation this month that would enable people in prison to vote. The proposed bills, filed in both chambers of the Democrat-run legislature, would add Oregon to the growing set of jurisdictions with no felony disenfranchisement. Maine, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., already do not strip anyone of the right to vote when they are convicted of a felony. Oregon would technically be the first state to abolish felony disenfranchisement, since Maine and Vermont never practiced it in the first place. Representative Andrea Salinas (D) who is sponsoring the legislation in the Oregon House, told the Political Report that the issue is personal because her cousin was incarcerated multiple times and ultimately died by suicide. “When the advocates came to me with this bill, I was like, ‘This is what my cousin Andrew would have needed—a piece of what he would have needed to stay connected to the community,” she said.

Pennsylvania: State Rep. Ed Gainey has introduced a bill that would allow for automatic voter registration in the commonwealth. The bill would automatically register people who use services in the departments of Human Services, Transportation, or Military and Veteran Affairs.

State Rep. Mike Carroll said he will introduce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Election Code later this month. The changes being offered by Carroll include: Return the voter registration deadline to 30 days before election day; Change the absentee and mail-in ballot application deadline to three weeks before election day; Eliminate the mail-in ballot secrecy envelope; Require that the pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots begin on the Saturday prior to election day; Require counties to install one ballot drop box per 30,000 residents; Prohibit the curing of ballots once received by the county board of elections; Prohibit the receipt of mail-in or absentee ballots after 8 p.m. on election day, except for military ballots.

South Dakota: During the Senate State Affairs committee, SB 24 which would “provide for voter registration through an online voter registration system provided by the Office of the Secretary of State” was amended to remove allowing initial voter registration to happen online. The amendment was proposed by Sen. Jim Bolin (R-Canton) after the committee heard numerous proponent testimony including from South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett, numerous South Dakota tribes and AARP. There was no opponent testimony against SB 24. Bolin’s amendment passed the committee 6-3. After the amendment passed, the bill was sent to the Senate floor by an 8-1 vote. Barnett told KELOLAND News the amended version of SB 24 was “a step in the right direction.” He said he will continue to support the amended version of SB 24 as it moves to the Senate floor, adding his goal all along was to offer and provide a service for South Dakotans that isn’t currently offered. When asked if he was disappointed with the amendment, Barnett said he believed there were enough safeguards in place to allow for new voters to register online. He also pointed out there was no opposition testimony to SB 24 and there’s plenty of examples of secure online resources like banking, driver’s license renewals. The bill was approved by the Senate 21-13 and sent to the House for consideration.

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee vote 7-6 against a plan that would forced the state to have copies of ballot measures available at each voting booth in the future. Rep. Fred Deutsch (R-Florence) originally proposed that sponsors of ballot measures be responsible for providing copies to voters, including by mail, with the sponsors paying the costs for the copies. After that idea met resistance, Deutsch softened it. He suggested the South Dakota Secretary of State pay for putting copies at approximately 16 voting booths at each of 565 polling places.

Texas: Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney) filed House Bill 1264, an “election integrity” bill which would require timelier filing of death certificates to remove deceased individuals from the voter rolls. House Bill 1264 calls for the immediate removal of a registered voter from the certified voter roll after their death certificate is submitted. The Election Code currently allows the local registrar of deaths to file each abstract with the voter registrar of the decedent’s county of residency and the Secretary of State no later than the 10th day of the month following the month in which the abstract is prepared. Bell’s amendment calls for the local registrar to file the abstract “as soon as possible, but not later than one day after the abstract is prepared.”

Virginia: The Virginia Senate narrowly passed a measure Thursday to move any municipal elections still held in the spring to November. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), broke a 19-19 tie on the bill by Sen. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake), following a lengthy debate. Advocates said November elections allow more voter participation, while opponents worried about national partisan politics tainting local races. “I put this bill in for the people,” Spruill said. The bill now moves on to the House of Delegates for its consideration. Senators who were against this idea said the legislature shouldn’t force this upon localities that are empowered to do this themselves but have chosen not to.

The House Privileges and Elections Committee expanded a felon voting rights proposal to allow former inmates to vote when they’re released from incarceration, a change potentially allowing their rights to be restored years earlier than envisioned under the plan’s prior rules. As originally drafted, the proposed constitutional amendment would have automatically restored felons’ civil rights after they had completed their sentence and any period of supervised probation. During a subcommittee hearing, a representative of Gov. Ralph Northam told House members the administration would support that approach. The panel amended the proposal accordingly.

House Bill 1970 which would have reestablished voter ID rules, which would require voters to show a government-issued ID at the polls showing proof of residence, was killed today in a Privileges and Elections Committee subcommittee.

House Bill 2205, aimed and ending same-day voter registration, also failed in committee. Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) introduced the bill, calling the law signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in 2020, which will allow people to register to vote on Election Day starting in 2022, flawed, and unlike anything else in the U.S. Clara Belle Wheeler, a former member of Virginia’s Board of Elections, argued the law’s repeal does not disenfranchise voters, as the state now allows voters to cast their ballots in-person 45 days up to Election Day.

The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill banning firearms within 40 feet of polling places to prevent voter intimidation. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been working on this for more than a year. “Studies that come in show that guns at polling places chill people’s freedom to really feel safe and exercising this very fundamental right,” said Brady President Kris Brown. “So I would say what we saw come out of the House of Delegates, and we’re so happy to see this passage, is the culmination of work we’ve been doing.”

Sen. Jennifer McClellen (D-Richmond) has introduced a bill that would require local governments to advertise in advance for the public to comment or be reviewed by the attorney general’s office any polling place changes. The bill has already passed the first hurdle; a party-line vote in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee. It’s now headed to the Senate Finance Committee, where senators will determine if Virginia can afford the cost of prosecuting new cases of voter intimidation. Katie Boyle with the Virginia Association of Counties says that’s a burden for local governments. “This bill imposes fairly heavy oversight, even to changes that are ministerial such as relocation of polling places,” Boyle says.

Washington: Secretary of State Kim Wyman endorsed a bipartisan-sponsored bill to expand voting in presidential primaries to those not aligned with a political party. House Bill 1265 would give voters the option to not declare a party affiliation on their ballot for presidential primaries by adding an “unaffiliated” option. Under current state law, voters are required to declare their party affiliation on their ballot envelope for primaries, effectively binding their vote to the candidate aligned with the party. Their marked affiliation also becomes public record for 60 days, although their vote is not. If they do not indicate their party declaration, or vote for the candidate opposite of their declared party, their vote will not be counted. Wyman, who has advocated for the option since it was removed by the Legislature in 2007, emphasized the bill would allow for greater participation in future primaries.

Wyoming: House Bill 75 would require voters show an ID in order to vote. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Chuck Gray (R-Natrona County), and a long list of co-sponsors. The bill would, among other things, mandate that “acceptable identification” be presented by anyone voting in person. The ID could be a Wyoming driver’s license, a tribal ID card, a Wyoming ID card, a U.S. passport, a U.S. military card, or a valid Medicare insurance card. Laramie County Clerk Debra Lee told Townsquare Media of Cheyenne on Monday that the Wyoming County Clerks Association has held a teleconference with Rep. Gray about the bill. But she said so far the organization has not taken a position either for or against the proposal.

Legal Updates

Federal Charges: A man who was known as a far-right Twitter troll was arrested and charged with spreading disinformation online that tricked Democratic voters in 2016 into trying to cast their ballots by phone instead of going to the polls. Federal prosecutors accused Douglass Mackey, 31, of coordinating with co-conspirators to spread memes on Twitter falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton’s supporters could vote by sending a text message to a specific phone number. As a result of the misinformation campaign, prosecutors said, at least 4,900 unique phone numbers texted the number in a futile effort to cast votes for Clinton. “With Mackey’s arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes,” said Seth DuCharme, the acting United States attorney in Brooklyn, whose office is prosecuting the case. Mr. Mackey, who was released from custody on Wednesday on a $50,000 bond, faces an unusual charge: conspiracy to violate rights, which makes it illegal for people to conspire to “oppress” or “intimidate” anyone from exercising a constitutional right, such as voting. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Georgia: The Georgia secretary of state’s office paid $30,000 to resolve a lawsuit over the state’s role in Crosscheck, a defunct program for canceling voter registrations. The settlement ended the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs didn’t get what they had sought: records showing that Gov. Brian Kemp, when he was secretary of state, had used Crosscheck to cancel Georgia voters. Though Georgia election officials contributed voter information to other states that participated in Crosscheck, they said they never used it on their own voters. They said the cancellations of 534,000 Georgia voter registrations in 2017 and 287,000 registrations in 2019 were done separately from Crosscheck. The settlement was obtained Friday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open Records Act. The settlement in September also required Georgia to disclose, if possible, voter registration records provided to the state through the Crosscheck program.

Iowa: Leonard Strand, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa dismissed a lawsuit claiming it was illegal for county election officials to receive money from outside organizations to pay for election expenses. The judge said the plaintiffs lacked standing. Iowa’s Black Hawk and Scott Counties accepted grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a non-profit organization that offered “Covid-19 Response Grants” to local election jurisdictions that lacked sufficient funding to cover unforeseen costs of conducting an election safely during a pandemic. The Iowa Voter Alliance, Todd Obadal, Michael C. Angelos, and Diane L. Holst argued in a complaint filed last October — ahead of the Nov. 3, 2020 election — that federal law requires private election assistance in federal elections be directed to states, not to counties or cities. “Because plaintiffs have raised only abstract and generalized grievances,” Strand wrote, “they have not shown injury in fact sufficient to have standing for claims under the equal protection clause or the Ninth Amendment.” The plaintiffs “failed to allege facts showing that the counties’ actions resulted in a concrete and particularized injury to their right to vote or to their rights under the Fourteenth and Ninth Amendments.”

Michigan: A Michigan man is facing a felony charge for what he says was simply an election day joke about coronavirus. But a judge decided there’s enough evidence to go to trial. Police charged Peter Trzos with falsely claiming to expose someone to a harmful biological substance. Authorities say he brought his mail-in ballot to Keego Harbor City Hall on Election Day. He says the election clerk made him lick the envelope to seal it. The clerk says as he handed it to her, he said, “Here’s some COVID for you.” She says she believed her health and life were in danger. Trzos’ lawyer says she knew it was a joke. If convicted, Trzos could get up to five years in jail.

New Jersey: Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk has stayed a do-over election for Atlantic County Commissioner initially set for April 20 pending an appeal. Marczyk had voided the results of the November 2020 election after County Clerk Ed McGettigan mailed incorrect ballots to 554 voters in a race where Witherspoon defeated Republican Andrew Parker by 286 votes in November. Republicans had argued that the election should be run again. The election could still occur in April, if the appellate court moves quickly enough to give election officials time to print and mail ballots, but the timing appears extraordinarily close.

New York: Oswego County Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte granted a two-day extension to the Oneida County Board of Elections, which was set to report corrected vote counts this Wednesday. In a letter addressed to DelConte on Monday, Assistant Oneida County Attorney Robert Pronteau wrote that Jan. 27 was the earliest possible date for the canvass to commence, following an initial review. He also said that the canvassing required a space in which members of the Board of Elections could adhere to COVID-19 protocols, which they could not do so safely in their own office. DelConte granted the Oneida Board’s request on Monday, giving them until 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 to return their corrections and report an updated vote count. This is for the NY 22nd District Congressional Seat.

Pennsylvania: The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to announce in as soon as a month whether it will hear the election case of U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, who started his legal fight against the results of the presidential race within weeks after fellow Republican Donald Trump lost the White House to Democrat Joe Biden. If the high court refuses to hear the case, the rejection will mark the end of another of Kelly’s legal attempts to challenge universal, no-excuses mail-in voting in Pennsylvania as unconstitutional and thus “illegal,” in Kelly’s words. If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, Kelly’s claims will remain alive, raising the possibility that he could prevail and upend the same mail-in voting system that the GOP-controlled General Assembly, through Act 77, adopted with widespread bipartisan support in 2019. The Supreme Court on Feb. 19 will hold a conference on Kelly’s case and decide whether to hear it, according to a note entered on the docket of Kelly’s case last week. Kelly wants the Supreme Court to agree to hear his case by granting his petition for what is known as a writ of certiorari. The justices are to review a number of such requests at their Feb. 19 conference.

Virginia: Richmond Circuit Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. has approved an agreement between two statewide candidates and state elections officials to reduce the ballot signature requirements for the June Democratic statewide primary amid COVID-19. The Democrats’ candidates will only have to secure the signatures of 2,000 qualified voters, including 50 in each of the state’s 11 congressional districts. Petition signers will be able to submit signatures to campaigns by mail or electronically. By Feb. 5, state elections officials will develop a new form that will let qualified voters sign their names without being in the presence of someone circulating a petition. Candidates will have until March 25 to submit petition signatures to the Department of Elections.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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