IV. Legislative Update
Arizona: A bill pending in the Arizona Senate would prevent the secretary of state from serving on a candidate committee. Under the terms of Senate Bill 1335, the Arizona secretary of state could not serve as an officer of any candidate’s campaign committee if that candidate is running in an election the secretary of state would oversee.
Sen. Bob Worsley (R-Mesa) has introduced legislation that would create a pilot program for online voting. SB 1387 would create program to begin before the 2014 primary and would require at least one county and one city, town or local jurisdiction to participate and allow their voters to cast ballots via the Internet.
Under Senate Bill 1003 outside groups would not be allowed to turn in early/absentee ballots on behalf of voters. The bill, introduced by Sen. Michele Reagan (R-District 8) would allow a voter’s family member or roommate to turn in another voter’s ballot, but would block members of civic groups, political parties or other organizations from doing it.
California: Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) isn’t waiting around for disaster to strike California’s elections. Skinner has introduces AB 214 which calls on the secretary of state’s office to establish rules and procedures for how an election would be conducted in the wake of a natural disaster. If approved, the secretary’s office would have until the end of 2014 to come up with a plan.
Senate Bill 240 would require at least one polling place on each University of California and California State University campus. Although some college campuses already host polling sites, the decision is currently up to the county registrar. This bill, if approved, would require the local election official to locate at least one on each college campus in the state system.
Georgia: This week, the House of Representatives approved nonpartisan elections for several local offices including new consolidated Macon-Bibb County governments, the Bibb County Board of Elections and the Macon Water Authority. The Senate approved the legislation two weeks ago. It now heads to the governor’s desk.
Idaho: Satellite voting centers could be making a comeback in some Idaho counties under legislation introduced by Rep. Holli Wooding (D-Boise) in the house and Sen. Elliot Werk (D-Boise) in the Senate. Counties with more than 100,000 people would be required to provide at least three early voting satellite sites during the general elections.
Illinois: Although legislation has yet to be introduced, Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing that Illinois join a growing list of states allowing voters to register online to vote. Following Quinn’s announcement during his state-of-the-state address, lawmakers began discussing the possibility and falling into typical partisan patterns with Democrats supporting the idea and Republican lawmakers either outright opposing the notion, or showing only lukewarm response.
Kentucky: Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill) has introduced a proposed constitutional amendment that would move the next statewide election of constitutional officers from 2015 to 2016 with the elections continuing on even years from there on out. McDaniel argues that if approved the bill could save $4 to $5 million dollars.
Maine: Legislation requiring the use of instant-runoff voting for all statewide offices is picking up steam and co-sponsors. Sen. Dick Woodbury (U-Yarmouth) said the impending governor’s race is peaking people’s interest in the legislation.
Montana: Montanans are one step closer to be able to register online to vote. Senate Bill 206 won committee approval late last week.
Utah: Lawmakers and Utah are taking steps to ensure that not matter what Mother Nature throws at them, elections in The Beehive State will carry on. The House voted 70-0 to approve House Bill 82 that would allow the lieutenant governor and local election officials to alter normal places and times of voting during declared emergencies.
Washington: House Bill 1279, which will allow 16 and 17-year olds to pre-register to vote when they apply for a driver’s license, narrowly passed out of committee this week.
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IV. Legislative Update