VI. Legislative Updates
District of Columbia: By a unanimous vote of the Council of the District of Columbia, DC became the sixth “state” this week to approve automatic voter registration. Although Mayor Muriel Bowser has not indicated whether she will sign it or not, the D.C. Board of Elections did testify in favor of the legislation back in January.
New York: New York City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Queens) sponsored a bill that would require the city’s jail system to provide absentee ballots to inmates awaiting trial. The bill was approved 50-1. Wills pointed out that the ballots would be given only to those convicted of misdemeanors or awaiting trial, not convicted felons who are not eligible to vote while behind bars.
Also in New York, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and Senator Brady Holyman announced plans to introduce the #IVoted Bill, which if approved, would legalize ballot selfies.
Pennsylvania: Legislators are considering bill that would allow for 15 days of early voting in the Commonwealth. Under the bill early voting would be available at select polling places in each county and polls would be open 8 hours per day on the weekdays and at least 8 hours total on the weekends.
Texas: Senator Lois Kolkhorst is considering re-introducing legislation she introduced in 2007 when she was a member of the House of Representatives that would require the state to add printers to all of the state’s voting machines.