IV. Legislative Update
Arizona: As expected, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed legislation into law that repeals a 2013 election reform law and puts an end to a citizen referendum on the law.
Colorado: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed into law HB 1164 that reforms the municipal elections process.
District of Columbia: Councilmember David Grosso (I) introduced an elections reform package that includes three pieces of legislation, one of which would move the city to an instant runoff voting system. A second piece of legislation would create open primaries and the third piece of legislation is campaign-finance related.
Georgia: A Senate bill that will reconstitute the Douglas County board of elections and registration effective Jan. 1, 2015 received final approval. Under the new law, the five members of the board will be chosen by each major political party (2 Democrats and 2 Republicans) and the county board of commissioners will pick the fifth member.
Iowa: The Senate unanimously approved Senate File 2278 which would allow the secretary of state’s office to establish online voter registration. The bill moves next to the House.
Maine: A bill proposing a constitutional amendment to allow Maine residents to early vote failed in the House of Representatives by an 87-57 vote, which was shy of the two-thirds vote necessary.
Massachusetts: An elections-reform bill is making its way through the State House that would provide online voter registration, pre-registration for 16-and 17-year-olds as well as allow for early voting.
Michigan: Rep. Woodrow Stanley, D-Flint has once again introduced legislation that would allow for no-excuse absentee voting. Stanley has introduced similar legislation each session since 2009.
Minnesota: The House Elections Committee unanimously approved legislation that will allow online voter registration. Although the state is already accepting registration online, the governor and legislative auditor said a law to allow it was required.
Mississippi: A bill that would have reformed the municipal elections process died in committee two weeks after being introduced.
Missouri: With the next presidential election season less than two years away, some states, including Missouri, are trying to figure out their 2016 elections calendar.
New York: The New York City Council has identified ending the city’s runoff elections process and instead instituting an instant runoff voting system as a top legislative priority and will be lobbying the state legislature on behalf of the change.
Utah: A Senate committee advanced a bill that would expand a pilot program to allow disabled voters to cast a ballot online.
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck has once again introduced a bill that would allow county clerks to pilot an election-day registration program.