IV. Legislative Updates
Federal Legislation: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) has introduced the Democracy Restoration Act of 2017 that would restore voting rights to individuals after they have completed the terms of their sentence and returned to their communities.
Arkansas: The executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislation Council approved the state Board of Election Commissioners emergency rule enforcing the state’s new voter, photo ID law.
Illinois: At press time, there was confusion as to whether or not Gov. Bruce Ruaner will sign the automatic voter registration bill approved by the Legislature. According to NBC5, the governor had planned to sign the bill during the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention, but then did not.
New Mexico: By a 6-2 vote, the Santa Fe city council has once again voted to postpone the implementation of ranked choice voting.
New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) issued an executive order this week requiring all state agencies to mail or provide voter registration forms to any member of the public whose contact information is on file. Previously only the DMV and certain social agencies provided voter registration forms.
Texas: A bill that would increase the penalties for some offenses related to illegally assisting an elderly person with voting or illegally handling or harvesting a ballot has been approved by the Senate during the Legislature’s special session.
Utah: Sen. Karen Mayne (D-West Valley) is introducing new legislation to review voter privacy measures during the next session of the Legislature. Mayne’s legislation would make sure that birthdates are automatically exempt from all open records requests. “I think we need to protect or look into how we can protect those voter rights, especially the date of birth — and the month and the day — is concerning to me,” she told KUER. “So we’re going to venture there.”