VI. Legislative Updates
Federal Legislation: Democratic Representatives Bennie Thompson (Mississippi) and Robert Brady (Pennsylvania) have sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting that the committee allot $400 million for states to update and secure their voting equipment.
Florida: Rep. Cyndi Stevenson and Sen. Tom Lee have each filed legislation that would shield the personal information of voters and pre-registered minor voter registration applicants. The bill would exempt the “legal residential address, date of birth, telephone number, and e-mail address of a voter registration applicant or voter” from public records requirements, in addition to “information concerning preregistered voter registration applicants who are 16 or 17 years of age.” Election officials, as well as political candidates, committees, and parties, would have access to this information.
Georgia: Rep. Bob Trammell (D) has introduced legislation that would repeal a state law that has allowed elections officials to remove voters who haven’t recently cast ballots or had contact with state or local elections officials.
Illinois: Sens. Kwame Raoul (D) and Bill Cunningham (D) announced plans to introduce legislation that would end the state’s participation in the Interstate Crosscheck. “If the Board of Elections will not act to protect Illinois voters, then it is our duty as legislators to do so,” Raoul said in a written statement. “The right to vote is sacred, and citizens in our state should know that their information is secure when they cast their ballots.”
Montana: The Gallatin County commission has approved a resolution that would change who is in charge of the county elections. The resolution proposes splitting the elections duties from the clerk’s office to a separate, hired elections administrator.
New Hampshire: House Bill 1540 would bring ranked choice voting to New Hampshire in races where more than two candidates are seeking a seat.
An amendment to House Bill 372 that would limit voting to New Hampshire residents passed a Senate committee this week. The proposed change would require residency in the state, setting a higher bar for eligibility than present election law, which requires only that voters be “domiciled.”
New York: The New York City Council has approved a bill that will require the New York City Campaign Finance Board to create a secure website and app so that residents may register, or update their registrations, online.
Wisconsin: Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) has introduced a bill that would allow clerks to conduct early voting using electronic voting machines, not just paper ballots. The decision would be left to local governments.
Also in Wisconsin, Sen. Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon) has introduced a bill that would legalize ballot selfies in the Badger State.