III. Legislative Updates
Florida: This week state lawmakers will consider a proposal that would require every city, town and village to align their elections and hold them on the same day. PCB SAC16-04 would require local elections to either mesh with statewide elections in November on even years or be held every other year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd years.
Indiana: State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) has introduced a legislative package aimed at making voting in the Hoosier state more accessible. The reforms include longer polling hours, moving early voting sites out of the county clerk’s office, mail-in voting and same day registration.
Kansas: The Kansas Black Leadership Council has included a proposal in it’s 2016 legislative agenda to allow same-day voter registration.
Michigan: Under a new law recently signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, the 2016 presidential primary ballot may also include local races and proposals. Public Act 197 of 2015 makes the presidential primary a regular election instead of a special election. "Giving locals the flexibility to hold one election for numerous questions will help ensure efficiency and minimize costs for local communities across the state," Snyder said in a statement.
Also in Michigan, a House committee has approved legislation that will allow Michigan voters to cast an absentee ballot without needing an excuse. Already approved by the Senate, the bill moves next to the full House.
Missouri: Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) planned to pre-file a joint resolution and bill regarding voter ID. The join resolution will put a constitutional amendment on voter ID to a statewide vote. The House approved a similar resolution in 2015.
Ohio: Under legislation sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Clyde, the secretary of state’s office would be prohibited from canceling registration of voters who have been placed on the inactive voter list.
Texas: A Senate panel is studying whether state law needs to be changed to ensure that local and state ballots questions more accurately describe what voters are being asked to decide.