III. Legislative Updates
Florida: Gov. Rick Scott (R) has signed HB 105 into law. The new law will require county elections supervisors to notify voters if their signatures on their vote-by-mail ballots and voter registration forms don’t match. The voters would then be given an opportunity to fix the problem before the ballots are counted.
Minnesota: A bill allocating $7 million for the purchase of new voting equipment has been signed into law. The bill creates a grant fund for counties to replace voting equipment by 2018. It provides up to a 50 percent match between the state and counties for mandatory equipment and up to a 75 percent match for e-poll books.
Nevada: Assembly Bill 519 would provide $8 million to the secretary of state’s elections division for the purchase of new voting equipment.
New Hampshire: The Legislature has approved SB3, a bill that that requires a person registering to vote 30 or fewer days before an election to provide the date they established their domicile in the state. Those who lack the proof would still be allowed to vote, but would have mail or present the proof of domicile within 30 days. Gov. Chris Sununu is expected to sign the bill.
Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill 5 into law. The new law will allow registered voters who lack a photo ID to cast a ballot after showing documents that list their name and address, including a voter registration certificate, utility bank, government check or work paycheck.
Also in Texas, the Legislature has approved House Bill 658 that would create a process for collecting absentee ballots at nursing homes and other such facilities. In essence, the nursing homes would essentially be turned into temporary polling places during early voting to discourage others from attempting to collect the ballots. Under the bill, judges would arrive at a nursing home with enough ballots so that any qualified voter there could fill one out. Folks who may have forgotten to request an absentee ballot could fill out the paperwork on site and cast a vote during the judges’ visit.
Washington: Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant is proposing an ordinance that would require landlords to provide voter registration information to all new tenants.