IV. Legislative Updates
Alabama: Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Semmes) is proposing amending the state’s constitution so that if a vacancy for public office occurs in the last two years of term, the governor will appoint someone rather than having the state conduct a costly special election.
California: Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed legislation into law that allows San Diego to change its charter and move county elections to a top two primary, even if one candidate clearly wins the majority of votes.
Brown also signed Assembly Bill 918 into law which will require local elections officials to provide more voting materials in the languages of the community’s voters, including sample ballots. The new law will require more copies of non-English sample ballots in specific precincts, and more signs in these polling places notifying voters with limited English skills of these election materials. The new law also requires more help for these voters who cast ballots by mail, and more information to be posted on local election websites about getting a copy of a “facsimile ballot.”
Illinois: A group of citizens are collecting signatures to put a referendum on the March 18, 2018 primary ballot that, if approved, would eliminate the Aurora Election Commission.
Iowa: Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) held a hearing this week to discuss the rules that will govern the implementation of the state’s voter ID law. "The bill is the law now," Daniel Zeno with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa said at the hearing according to The Des Moines Register. "The goal of the rules, we believe, should be to make sure it's crystal clear so that voter registration organizations, same-day registrants, pre-registered voters all know what the rules are and that we're protecting the voting rights of all Iowans."
Maine: During a special session of the Legislature, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee held a public meeting on a proposal that would implement parts of the voter-approved initiation to move Maine to ranked choice voting. According to Maine Public Radio, some lawmakers want to delay implementation of the law, or repeal it altogether.