Monday, February 7, 2011

CA Bill would return June Primary, IN Vote Center Bill, Voter ID in MN and NC

CA: Bill would return California's 2012 presidential primary to June - Los Angeles Times

For years, Sacramento lawmakers worked to give California voters a bigger say in national politics by scheduling the state's presidential primary as early as they could. The series of moves culminated in 2008 with a Feb. 5 vote, the earliest in state history. But now a legislative effort is underway to move the California primary back where it started — to June, on the last day of the 2012 nominating season — as a way to save tens of millions of dollars. "That's a lot of money," said the bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), "at a time when every penny counts." Read More

CA: Brown's budget includes cuts that could jeopardize voting by mail -

Nearly 5 million voters chose to cast their ballots by mail when California Gov. Jerry Brown was elected in November, representing almost half of all votes cast in the statewide contest. Now election officials are warning that a piece of Brown's budget proposal could put the increasingly popular form of balloting - and the integrity of the voting process - in jeopardy. As part of his plan to close a projected $25.4 billion deficit, Brown wants to stop reimbursing local governments for the costs of complying with various state laws, including the 1978 law that gives all California voters the option of casting their ballot by mail. Read More

CA: Citizens' Advisory Commission on Elections Agenda - SCC Public Portal

The Santa Clara County Citizens' Advisory Commission on Elections will host a presentation of the Trachtenberg Election Verification System (TEVS) on Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 6:00 p.m., in the Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium, First Floor, County Government Center, 70 West Hedding, San Jose. Read More

CA: Rep. Jane Harman to resign from Congress, sets up special election - Washington Post

California Rep. Jane Harman (D) will resign from Congress, a surprise announcement that will set off a special election in her 36th district. "This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on earth will never be surpassed -- nor will my relationships with my exceptional staff and colleagues in Congress," said Harman in an email sent to supporters today. Harman added that she had filed paperwork with the House to let them know she was "in discussions to succeed former Rep. Lee Hamilton as President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars." Read More

GA: Lawmakers split on shortening early voting - Times-Georgian

Georgia legislators representing Douglas County are split along party lines on legislation to shorten the early voting period. Local Democrats say they want to give voters an much opportunity possible to cast ballots, while Republicans say cutting the number of days would still allow plenty of time to vote and save small cities and counties money on election costs. House Bill (HB) 92, sponsored by Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming), would shorten the early voting period from 45 to 21 days, but would require polls to be open at least one Saturday during the early voting period. The current 45-day law makes Saturday poll opening optional. “I’m not for HB 92 at this time,” Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta), said Thursday. “I’m talking with the bill’s sponsors now to try to work with them. I understand local communities are trying to save money. However, I think we have to be very careful when we change voting opportunities of citizens.” Read More

IN: Vote center bill clears Statehouse | Journal and Courier

The House of Representatives gave final approval this afternoon to a bill that will allow vote centers to continue in Tippecanoe County. Senate Bill 32 will now head to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has indicated he will sign the legislation. Last year a bill to extend the vote center system stalled because lawmakers could not agree on absentee voting language included in the bill. Lafayette-area legislators were set on keeping this year's bill "clean" and getting it passed early in the session. Read More

MN: Voter ID could disenfranchise voters, groups tell committee | Minnesota Independent

A bill requiring voter identification cards, electronic rosters and a slew of other changes to election laws was heard in the House Government Operations and Election committee Thursday. A large number of groups testified that the bill would disenfranchise voters, especially students, the elderly and the disabled, while several testified that the bill is needed to prevent voter fraud. A presentation by Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer on the technological improvements her bill would make to the voting process was derailed when the hearing room technology failed. “You need a photo ID to buy alcohol, cigarettes, drive a car to the polling place,” said Rep. Mike Benson, a Republican from Rochester. Benson is the author of one of two bill introduced in the Minnesota House that would require photo identification for voting. Benson said his bill is intended to prevent voter fraud. “It is very easy to impersonate someone if you don’t have to show identification,” he said. “More and more you hear questions about the real integrity of the system.” Read More

MN: Voter ID is not the only troublesome issue in Kiffmeyer bill, election groups say - MinnPost

When the House Government Operations and Election Committee convenes once more Tuesday morning to tackle the controversial Voter ID issue, there will be another problematic matter on the agenda. It’s called the “electronic roster” provision in House File 210, sponsored by Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, the former Republican secretary of state, but it is also known as the electronic “pollbook.” by many election administration insiders. In Kiffmeyer’s view, the roster provision is an “improvement” that is supposed to reduce alleged voter fraud in Minnesota and that’s supposed to “modernize” the election process and, ultimately, over time, reduce the cost of election administration. Read More

MO: Judges postpone election two weeks rather than cancel it | Springfield News-Leader

A panel of appellate judges has opted to postpone the Feb. 8 City Council primary election two weeks rather than cancel it. Absentee ballots already cast for the Feb. 8 Primary Election will now be counted on Feb. 22. Greene County Clerk Richard Struckhoff had filed a request earlier asking the judges to cancel the election because of concerns recent winter weather would prevent workers and voters from safely getting to the polls. Read More

MO: State seeks to expand early voting - Waynesville Daily Guide

The Missouri state legislature is considering expanding the early voting period, which could end up costing the county thousands. At the regular meeting of the Pulaski County Commission on Monday, County Clerk Brent Bassett said the state is working on an initiative for early voting, with the intent of opening polls two to eight weeks early. Bassett said the mandate would be largely unfunded and, in a federal election year, could cost the county $100,000 to $120,000 per year in extra expenses. Bassett said the initiative is currently in committee and will go to Senate and House hearings soon. Read More

NC: 1 Million registered North Carolina voters don't have photo ID ::

A Republican-led effort to require North Carolina voters to present identification at the polls could hit a snag if lawmakers insist on a photo ID. An analysis by the State Board of Elections obtained Friday by WRAL News shows that at least 700,000 registered voters in the state don't have a driver's license or photo ID issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Records for another 300,000 people need further checking to determine if they have a license, elections officials said. That would mean the state would need to furnish photo IDs to about 1 million people so they could vote if the General Assembly approves voter identification legislation. Read More

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