Thursday, March 24, 2011

KS Senate/OH and TX House approve Voter ID Bills

AZ: Tucson moving to all mail-in ballots for elections -

The Tucson City Council has given preliminary approval for future mail-in ballot elections. Before it's finalized, the council plans to hold a public hearing. Forty-six percent of all registered voters signed up to receive their ballot by mail in 2011. In the 2009 city election and 2010 general election, about 65 percent of voters cast ballots by mail. Read More

CO: Overseas voting bill clears committee - The Longmont Times-Call

Boulder Democratic Rep. Claire Levy’s House Bill 1219 got a unanimous vote of approval from members of the Colorado House’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, according to the House Democratic staff. “It’s essential that we bring uniformity to voting laws for military personnel and civilians abroad,” Levy said in a statement. Levy said her bill, co-sponsored by Colorado Springs Democratic Rep. Pete Lee, “will help clear up uncertainties in the law and help to more fully enfranchise U.S. voters who are abroad.” Read More

GA: Lawmakers consider shorter voting period | Atlanta Business Chronicle

Many communities are pushing for a shorter voting period to save money, and members of both chambers of the Georgia Assembly are behind the move. A house bill passed out of a senate committee on Tuesday that would shorten the time Georgia voters can cast early ballots from 45 days to three weeks and one Sunday, Georgia Public Broadcasting reports. There are a lot voters at many polling sites across the state during big elections, but only a handful at some locations during special elections, lawmakers said. The cost for some smaller communities to provider early voting is as much as $100 per voter, The Association of County Commissioners told lawmakers, according to GPB. Read More

KS: Senate Approves Voter ID Bill -

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill containing Secretary of State Kris Kobach's proposal to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The vote Wednesday was 36-3. The Senate version of the bill still includes Kobach's proposal to require people registering to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove they're citizens, but that would be delayed until 2013. Kobach and the House wanted that provision to take effect next year. The Senate's version of the bill also omits proposals from Kobach to increase penalties for election crimes and to give the secretary of state's office the authority to file and prosecute voter fraud cases in state courts. Read More

NC: Local Reaction To NC Voter ID Bill - WBTV 3 News

Critics have said all along that North Carolina's voter ID bill has the potential of putting the political process out of reach for the disenfranchised. Kojo Natambu heads the local NAACP and he feels that some groups may be shut out. "Students, elderly, and of course the people who don't have the opportunity to get there," he said. It is not a welcome piece of legislation within the local civil rights community, and Dr. Patrick Graham who heads the Urban League of the Central Carolinas calls it a throwback to a time when African Americans were denied the right to vote. Graham said, "You would have a class of people who are legal residents who would not be able to vote simply because they don't have a state issued ID." Before anyone in our state visits the ballot box, it is a legal requirement that they provide proof of identification when they register. Read More

OH: Amid rancor, voter-ID bill moves to Senate | The Columbus Dispatch

With Democrats invoking racist images of the nation's past and accusing Republicans of trying to disenfranchise minorities and the poor, the Ohio House voted yesterday along party lines to impose a new requirement that voters show a photo ID at the polls. House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said he was "a little bit embarrassed by the floor debate," which featured passionate speeches mixed with repeated mentions by Democrats of Jim Crow laws and how the bill represents a modern-day poll tax. Read More

RI: Commission would examine challenges of election reform - The Brown Daily Herald

Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections, a coalition of organizations that advocate for publicly financed elections, is working to pass legislation creating a commission to study the challenges facing state election reform. Bills proposing such a commission are currently under debate in the state House of Representatives and Senate. The proposed commission would consist of three House members, three Senate members, the executive director of the Board of Elections and potentially "one outside expert" in public finance, said John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island. The bill's efforts represent a "stepping stone" on the path toward achieving the coalition's larger goal of taking the money out of politics, said Emily Koo '13, co-coordinator of the student group Democracy Matters, one of the leaders of the coalition. Publicly funded elections similar to those already in place in Maine, Connecticut and Arizona "would allow you to run for office without being a really wealthy person or relying on money from special interests," Koo said. Read More

TX: Emotional voter ID bill debate ends in passage -

Democrats in the usually congenial Texas House gave heated speeches Wednesday - sometimes with raised voices - against the Republicans' voter ID bill, which they said discriminates against minorities. But after a long day and night of debate, Democrats just didn't have to votes to significantly change or derail the measure. The bill passed 101-48. The Senate passed its version earlier in the legislative session. Both chambers were tasked by Gov. Rick Perry with making voter ID legislation a priority. The measure would require Texans to show a valid photo ID - such as a driver's license or state-issued ID card, a military ID or a passport - to vote. The measure in the House is more stringent than the Senate version. Speaking against the bill, Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas , said there is "intentional disenfranchising of African Americans and Latinos" in the bill. Read More

WI: Absentee ballots cut lines, add paperwork | Green Bay Press Gazette |

Green Bay area municipalities spent time and money before and after Election Day to process absentee ballots submitted either in person or via mail. More than half a million Wisconsin voters cast absentee ballots in the Nov. 4 presidential election — or about 18 percent of the voters who turned out. That was a big increase from the 360,000 who voted absentee in the 2004 presidential election. Wisconsin is one of 31 states that offer some form of early voting. Read More


Scytl Launches New Patented Solutions for Overseas Voting (Scytl Press Release) | Business Wire

Scytl today announced that two new patented solutions for overseas voting are now commercially available with Scytl’s Pnyx.SecureBallot online ballot delivery and marking platform. Both solutions are designed specifically to improve the processes for election officials supporting overseas voters as required under the federally-mandated Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. The innovative technology implemented in both solutions is protected by patents and available for licensing to other election technology providers. “We are pleased to provide our latest absentee ballot technology that has worked so well in King County, Washington to election jurisdictions and technology providers throughout the country,” said Hugh Gallagher, Scytl’s Managing Director, Elections in the U.S. “Our goal has always been to provide secure and cost-effective solutions that increase the speed and efficiency of ballot processing.” Read More


Sri Lanka: UNP wants electronic voting -m Daily Mirror

Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga stressed yesterday in parliament the need to introduce an electronic voting system into Sri Lanka as has been done in India. “In India, electronic voting is carried out even in remote areas. When there is such a system in place, no one can make allegations of malpractices such as impersonation. We ask the government to take steps to introduce such a system at least for the next election,” he said. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, who moved the adjournment motion in this respect, said that state resources including vehicles and helicopters had been made use of even on polling day. Read More

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