III. Legislative Updates
Arizona: Under a bill proposed by Rep. Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) college students would be prohibited from registering and voting where they attend college. The bill would impact not only students who live on-campus, but also those who have apartments or houses off-campus. A similar proposal by Thorpe introduced earlier this year died when state Rep. Doug Coleman, R-Apache Junction, refused to give it a hearing in the House Government Committee which he chairs.
California: Assembly Bill 668, the Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2018 would allow the state to sell $450 million in bonds to pay for new voting equipment. The bill was sent to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee and Standing Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendment after passing out of the Assembly at the end of May.
Illinois: House Bill 539 has been approved with bipartisan support. Under the bill, counties would have the ability to reduce the number of elections judges during primary elections. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.
Maine: The House has approved a resolution that would make it more difficult to put a referendum question on a ballot. The resolution would mandate that signatures be obtained from 10 percent of the voters in each of Maine’s two congressional districts.
Also in Maine, the Senate tabled legislation that would have repealed a citizen-led initiative which created a ranked choice voting system. The Senate then voted to give initial approval to a bill that would amend the state Constitution to resolve issues with the new law that the state’s Supreme Judicial Court found.
Nevada: Included in the 41 vetoes by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) was a veto of Assembly Bill 272 which would have allowed counties to create vote centers. In his veto message, Sandoval said the current system works and because he’s heard no complaints he didn’t see the need to make any changes.
Ohio: The House has approved House Bill 41 would eliminate a requirement that absentee voters complete identification envelopes to submit ballots.
Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed 50 bills this week including House Bill 2410 that would have allowed certain small counties to conduct runoff elections by mail. Abbott cited concerns about fraud as his reason for the veto.
Washington: The Seattle city council voted 6-0 to require landlords to provide new tenants with voter registration information.
Wisconsin: The Assembly has approved a bill dictating who can/cannot request a recount. Under the legislation, only candidates within 1 percent of the winner’s vote total in an election with at least 4,000 votes would be eligible to request a recount. If an election includes fewer than 4,000 votes, the requesting candidate must be within 40 votes.