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electionlineWeekly — July 14, 2016

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IV. Legislative Updates

Delaware: This week, Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation into law that lifts the financial burden for ex-felons to restore their voting rights. Under the new law, felons will still have to complete the terms of their sentence before their rights are restored, but they will not have to complete paying all fines, fees and restitution they may owe.

Michigan: Rep. Gretchen Driskell, D-Saline, and Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, introduced a "voter bill of rights" resolution that would amend the constitution to allow no-reason absentee voting, early voting and automatic registration when a voter gets a driver's license or state ID card. It would also automatically send ballots to Michiganders serving in the armed forces overseas.

Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon (D) have vetoed legislation that would have required voters to show a government-issued photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Although there were provisions in the bill that would have exempted anyone born before 1946, those with disabilities or those with religious objections, Nixon said the allowances didn’t go far enough. “Due to the overwhelming evidence that photo ID requirements aren’t necessary, the proliferation of these laws is widely understood to be motivated by an attempt to suppress turnout among certain classes of voters,” Nixon said in his veto message.