V. Legislative Updates
Federal Legislation: According to USA Today, Democrats and civil rights groups are calling on Congress to act on legislation to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. This will be the first presidential election without the pre-clearance provision, which was removed by the Supreme Court in Shelby v Holder and Rep. Terri Sewell D-Alabama has introduced legislation that would restore the provision.
California: SB 450 is sponsored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla and authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) has been approved by the State Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee. The bill would move California to the Colorado model of elections which mails a ballot to every voter and limits election day voting to vote centers and include countywide ballot drop boxes.
New Jersey: This week, the Senate approved legislation that will allow 17-year-olds, who will be 18 by the time of the general election, to vote in primaries. The bill was approved 31-8. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Chris Christie.
Also in New Jersey, legislation is also headed to Christie’s desk that would automatically register voters who apply for a new or renew their driver’s license.
Wisconsin: The Dane County board of supervisors has approved a resolution to help homeless residents obtain the necessary documents in order to vote. The resolution clarifies what the Job Center—where many of the county’s approximately 3,000 homeless people receive their mail—may accept (packages that include license plates and driver’s licenses). The resolution will also allow residents to list the Jobs Center as their permanent address.