III. Legislative Updates
California: The Los Angeles city council has approved a resolution urging Gov. Jerry Brown to sign AB 1461—the California New Motor Voter Act that would automatically register all eligible residents who do business with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. According to Secretary of State Alex Padilla there are nearly 1.2 million people in Los Angeles County that are eligible to vote, but are not registered.
Delaware: Under legislation proposed by Sen. Karen Peterson (D-Stanton), all school-related elections would be conducted by mail and all school-related elections would be conducted on the same day.
Maine: A group gathering signatures to put a ranked choice voting initiative on the 2016 ballot have gathered more than 75,000 signatures, which should be enough to get the initiative on the ballot following a review.
Massachusetts: Current state law has the 2016 statewide primary scheduled for September 20, but Secretary of State William Galvin has asked that the date be moved to comply with the MOVE Act. Lawmakers agree that it should be moved, just not on when it should be moved to. The House is supporting moving the primary to Thursday, September 8, 2016 and a Senate committee is supporting a September 6, 2016 primary.
Michigan: State Reps. Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights), John Chirkun (D-Roseville) and Derek Miller (D-Warren) have introduced a package of legislation that would automatically register residents to vote who receive a driver’s license or state identification card.
New Hampshire: Although the Senate maintained Gov. Maggie Hassan’s veto of Senate Bill 179 by a 13-11 vote, report for the legislation still remains high in the Granite State. Under Senate Bill 179, residents would have been required to prove that they have lived in the state for at least 30 days before being allowed to register to vote. A new WMUR poll shows that residents support the failed legislation 2 to 1.
New York: Under proposed legislation in New York, voters would be automatically registered to vote when conducting business with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and 16-and 17-year olds would be preregistered to vote.
Utah: Although it’s proved popular where offered, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said there could be some changes to the state’s vote-by-mail system. Some of the issues that may be addressed in the upcoming legislative session are shortening the window between mailing out ballots and election day and when ballots are counted.
Texas: San Antonio Councilman Ron Nirenberg is pushing legislation that would move the city’s nonpartisan municipal elections to November in even-numbered years. Nirenberg said the move would help increase turnout.
Wisconsin: The week Republican members of the state Legislature kept their promise to introduce legislation that would revamp the state’s Government Accountability Board. Under the bill, the GAB would be split into two commissions, one for ethics and the other for the administration of elections. The commissions would be lead by partisan leaders appointed by the Legislature and governor.