IV. Legislative Updates
Alaska: The Anchorage Assembly is once again considering moving the city’s election date. In February 2014, the Assembly moved city elections from April to November in order to boost turnout, but now some members say the change is too complicated. Under a proposed ordinance, city elections would be held on the same day as state elections beginning in 2017.
Connecticut: Under a budget implementation bill, approved and signed into law this week, a monitor will oversee elections in Hartford through 2017 including the upcoming mayoral and city council primaries.
Missouri: Gov. Jay Nixon signed SB150 that was combined with SB34 and will make it easier for members of military and overseas voters to cast a ballot in local elections instead of just federal elections. The new law provides a consistent definition of who is allowed to register to vote by the military-specific deadline and apply it to state and federal elections.
New Jersey: Both branches of the New Jersey General Assembly have now approved the “Democracy Act” and the legislation has been sent to Gov. Chris Christie. The bill includes more early voting options, online voter registration and automatic voter registration. Democrats expect Christie to veto the legislation and are prepare to put some version of the legislation on the ballot in 2016.
Rhode Island: Under H-6312 and S-0999, both approved before the close of the legislative session, the secretary of state’s office and not the state board of elections will now have the authority to set the specifications for purchase and oversight of new voting machines.