V. Legislative Update
California: The Los Angeles City Council gave final approve to a ballot measure for the March 3 election that will ask voters if city elections should coincide with federal and state elections beginning in 2020. The final vote was 13 to 1.
Also in Los Angeles, the city leaders have approved an ordinance that would allow for vote-by-mail balloting on Election Day. Under the proposal, as long as a ballot was post-marked on Election Day and arrives in the registrar’s office within three days of the election it would count. The ordinance would bring the city in line with a new state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in September.
New Mexico: With a new 37-33 majority, House Republicans are already preparing to reintroduce a voter photo ID law. However, the Senate is still controlled by Democrats (25-17), but some political watchers think the legislation has a chance this time around because Senate Dems may be rethinking their positions.
New York: New York City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) is set to introduce legislation that will allow citizens to register to vote and request an absentee ballot simultaneously. “Voters don’t actually plan their lives around Election Day,” Kallos told the Daily News. “This is a transient city where people are moving to where affordable housing is. And this would help a huge group of voters to be able to register and get an absentee ballot.”
Texas: Sen. Sylvia Garcia (SD-6) prefiled several pieces of legislation for the upcoming 84th Legislative Session including three elections-related bills. SB 141 would create a high school voter education program; SB 142 would allow potential volunteer deputy registrars to receive their training online and SB 143 would require local elections officials to notify voters whose registration forms were rejected with the specific reasons why the forms were rejected.