IV. Legisative Updates
Federal Legislation: A bill that was approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee would no longer require colleges and universities to inform students about registering to vote. According to The Hill, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act would nix language requiring that schools request voter registration forms from their state at least 120 days before the voter registration deadline, and send students an “electronic communication” exclusively about voter registration. It also eliminates language specifying schools are required to follow these requirements for general and special federal elections, state gubernatorial elections and elections for chief executives within the state.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) have announced plans to introduce a bill to improve and streamline information about cyber threats between state and federal entities. The bill, which will include resources for states, is also intended to help states identify and prepare against cyber attacks.
Montana: The Gallatin County commission voted this week to stick with an elected elections administrator instead of making this position an appointed one. Although they voted down the idea this time, they left the door open to taking up the matter again in the future once they had hammered out more details about the new role.
Nebraska: State Sen. John Murante said that he will once again introduce legislation to enact voter ID. He provided no details about the bill in advance of its introduction.
New Jersey: Sen. Ron Rice (D-Essex) has announced his intentions to introduce legislation in 2018 that would allow convicted felons, those on probation, people on parole and incarcerated individuals to vote in elections.
New York: Mayor Bill Be Blasio has signed a bill into law that will allow New York City residents to register online to vote from any computer even without a DMV-issued ID.
North Dakota: Fargo City Commission voted 3-2 against putting a measure on the June ballot to reform the city’s election process. The election reform recommendations were made by a task force formed more than a year ago.
Also in North Dakota, the Burleigh County commission voted to drop a plan for universal vote centers after the state’s attorney informed the commission that the city of Bismarck has the jurisdiction to draw the precinct lines within city limits.
Tennessee: House Democrats have announced their intentions to push a repeal or change to state voting laws in the 2018 session including the state’s 2011 voter photo ID law.