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electionlineWeekly — October 27, 2016

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 V. Legislative Updates

North Dakota: Secretary of State Al Jaeger has said that he will seek funding from the Legislature in 2017 to purchase new voting equipment for the state. "There will be a bill introduced as an agency bill," Jaeger told Prairie Public News. "Along with the counties, we will educate legislators as to its need, and how important it is."

Ohio: Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Westerville) have introduced House Bill 609 that would make ballot selfies legal in the Buckeye State. Secretary of State Jon Husted supports the idea. “This law was written before the age of selfies and social media, so it’s clear lawmakers did not intend to limit anyone’s free speech, but instead protect voters from intimidation,” Husted spokesman Josh Eck said in a statement. “The secretary does not believe posting a photo of your vote on social media is a problem and would not have an issue with the Legislature making that clarification in law. He does still recommend boards of elections consult their county prosecutor in the meantime as they would be responsible for enforcing the statute as it currently reads.”

South Carolina: Lawmakers in the Palmetto State have said that they will once again file early voting legislation when the new session begins in 2017. "I'm a strong supporter of early voting simply because it allows citizens to participate in the process as conveniently as possible. We ought not, in my opinion, be putting barriers to voting,” Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) told WLTX. “To be an industrialized country, we have some of the lowest voter participation rates in the world. We ought to all be working to try to improve that. Early voting, in my view, works toward that end."