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electionlineWeekly — May 2, 2013

Table of Contents

IV. Legislative Update

Alabama: The House has approved a bill that would change the voter registration deadline from 10 days before an election to 17 days before an election. The bill exempts Jefferson County from the deadline change. The bill next moves to the Senate where similar legislation is already pending.

Delaware: Legislation was filed this week that would allow voters in the First State to register and vote on election day.

Florida: In a surprisingly bipartisan move, the House approved HB249 114-1 late last week. The legislation would exclude voter email addresses from the state’s public records.

Hawaii: With the session coming to an end this week, legislators killed a bill that would have allowed for same-day voter registration in Hawaii.

New York: With several recent arrests of elected officials still in the headlines, A.6161 was introduced in an effort to make recalling officials easier. Under the legislation, the recall process could be initiated by gathering signatures of 20 percent of the voters who cast a ballot in the election for the official in question.

The New York General Assembly approved early voting this week. If signed into law, the bill would allow for early voting from the Thursday three weeks before the election through the Thursday directly preceeding the election.

Oklahoma: Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 276 into law this week. The new law will allow an incapacitated voter to send a representative on their behalf to a county elections board to apply for an absentee ballot.

Oregon: A bill introduced this week would require the state to provide voting materials in multiple languages in counties where either 5 percent of the population or 10,000 people speak a primary language other than English.

South Carolina: Despite opposition from Democrats, the S.C. House approved a bill that would open early-voting centers in every county during a nine-day window before elections. Democrats, who are typically supportive of early voting, argued that this legislation would limit absentee voting. The Senate has previously approved legislation this session that will allow for early voting without altering absentee voting.

Texas: The House has tentatively approved legislation that would make it a Class A misdemeanor for someone to collect and deposit 10 or more mail-in ballots during an election. HB148 would prevent what some refer to as “ballot harvesting.”