IV. Legislative Updates
Colorado: This week, lawmakers in Colorado began debating legislation that would move the state from a presidential caucus system to a presidential primary system. The House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee advanced the bill 5-4. It now heads to appropriations to address an estimated $5 million cost.
Hawaii: The House and Senate have each passed versions of bills that would automatically register Hawaiians to vote when they apply for a new or renewal license and would create a vote-by-mail system. The two chambers are now working out the differences between their respective versions of the legislation.
Louisiana: The House approved two bills this week that will set qualifications for voter registrars. House Bill 471 requires registrars to meet at least one of four qualifications—baccalaureate degree from accredited university and two years full-time professional work experience; associate degree with four years of work experience; seven years of work experience or five years of employment in the state’s registrar’s office. The second bill is the constitutional amendment that would put those qualifications in the state constitution.
Minnesota: According to Minnesota Public Radio senators have again gone on the record in favor of restoring voting rights more quickly to felons no longer incarcerated.
Mississippi: Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said that he wants the Legislature to re-address his election reform proposal during an upcoming special session. "It makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat," Hosemann told the Hattiesburg American. "It's good, bipartisan legislation that we worked on with dozens of Mississippians to get there." The legislation was initially approved by both chambers, but upon second reading the House voted it down due to campaign finance amendments added by the Senate.
New Hampshire: The Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on a proposal to allow a pilot program of an electronic voter checklist in three communities this fall in both the September primary and November general election. If approved by the committee it will go before the full Senate on May 5.
Also in New Hampshire, the Senate is considering legislation that would allow caregivers use an absentee to vote for an adult, child or an infirmed adult in their care.
New York: Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Sen. Ruben Diaz have introduced legislation that would require election officials to have proof that a voter has died or moved before those voters may be purged from voter rolls. The proposed changes would make it a felony to dump voter registrations unless there's "confirmation" that the person has died or moved.