Every week, State of Elections brings you the latest news in state election law.
– The Kentucky House has voted overwhelmingly to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would restore felon voting rights in that state. Currently, the governor must approve the restoration of voting rights, but the proposal would automatically restore voting privileges upon the completion of their sentence.
– In Texas, a lawsuit has been filed over the creation of new city council districts. The new districts were created without distinguishing between voting citizens and non-citizens, so according to the plaintiffs, there are wide disparities in the number of voting age citizens from district to district. They claim the new districts, due to this disparity, are a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause
– The Hawaiian legislature has struck down two bills that would have significantly changed how elections are conducted in that state. Hawaiian elections are overseen by an appointed chief elections officer and the office of elections, but given the recent problems in that state, the legislature is looking for new ways to handle elections. The bills would have put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to create a new office of Secretary of State to oversee elections.
– The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that state election codes do not automatically pre-empt local laws. The controversy began when voters in Florida’s Sarasota County approved a proposal that banned touch screen voting machines. The state government banned touch screen machines some time later, but the state questioned the constitutionality of the Sarasota County proposal, claiming that state election codes trumped local legislation. The Court rejected this argument, and upheld the right of local officials to take steps to ensure the accuracy of elections.
– Adam Fogel at Fairvote has written this article about the growing controversy over universal voter registration.