Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday signed a package of bills aimed at increasing voter access in Washington state, including a measure to preregister 16- and 17-year-olds and another that allows in-person voter registration to occur the same day of an election. “I’m proud of our state for making it easier to vote, not harder,” Inslee told the crowd of students and other supporters at Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington, where the bill signing ceremony was held. Under one of the measures , starting on July 1, 2019, people can preregister to vote starting at age 16, though they won’t be added to the list of registered voters until the next election at which they’ll be 18.
Massachusetts’ top court on Tuesday weighed whether it should declare a requirement that people must register to vote 20 days before an election unconstitutional, in a case that could impact the ability of thousands of citizens to cast ballots. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments in an appeal by the state’s top election official of a ruling by a lower-court judge in July holding that the registration cutoff violates the state’s constitution. Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, a Democrat who oversees the state’s elections, appealed the ruling, arguing that the 20-day rule did not impose a severe burden on voting rights.
Massachusetts: Supreme Judicial Court to consider voter registration, campaign finance cases | masslive.com
Massachusetts’ highest court will hear arguments Tuesday in two major election-related cases. The Supreme Judicial Court will consider a challenge to a Massachusetts law that requires voters to register at least 20 days before an election. It will also consider a separate case challenging a campaign finance law that prohibits businesses from making political contributions. In the voter registration challenge, Chelsea Collaborative vs. William Galvin, a group of voting rights organizations and individuals argue that a 1993 law requiring voter registration 20 days before an election is unconstitutional.
Washington: Nearly 7,000 Washington Voters Will Get Last Minute Ballots Due To Motor Voter Error | NW News Network
A batch of late-arriving ballots is going out to nearly 7,000 Washington voters in advance of next Tuesday’s special election. That’s because of an error in the state’s Motor Voter system that allows people to register to vote when they get a drivers license. Washington’s Department of Licensing said a software error prevented Motor Voter information from being transmitted to the Secretary of State’s office. The error affects people who changed their names on their driver’s license and in the process were assigned a new license number. The Department of Licensing said it identified and fixed the error in late January, but it’s just now being made public.
Texas: Displaced Harvey Victims With Suspended Registration Can Still Vote In The 2018 Primary Elections | Houston Public Media
Many Houstonians who’ve been forced to live in hotels or an Airbnb since their home was flooded by Hurricane Harvey may find out online that their voter registration has been suspended. But that won’t stop displaced residents from being able to vote in the March primaries. “Absolutely, they can still vote,” said Sue Hastings, Manager of Voter Registration at the Harris County Tax Assessor’s Office.
As advocates prepare efforts register hurricane-displaced Puerto Ricans to vote in the U.S. mainland, the chief elections officer in Connecticut is putting the weight of her office behind drives to sign up as many eligible newcomers as possible. Residents of the Caribbean island are U.S. citizens, but they are barred from voting for president unless they are registered in the U.S. mainland. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, a Democrat, said Wednesday that her office will work with local governments and community groups to identify and register those eligible to vote. She said registration is important for civic engagement and to give the newcomers a say in public affairs, including the federal government’s relief work on the island.
South Carolina: Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant calls for voters to register by party affiliation | Greenville News
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant called Monday for changing voter-registration rules to protect the “integrity” of the state’s elections.
Bryant, a pharmacist from Anderson who is running for governor, wants South Carolina voters to register by party affiliation. Under his proposal, voters then would be restricted to casting ballots in their identified party’s primary.
Primaries in the state have been open to all voters for decades. The state’s voter-registration laws do not include any party-affiliation requirement.
Bryant said that 60,000 voters who cast ballots in South Carolina’s 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary took part months later in the Republican primary for state elections.
“I have no business voting in a Democratic primary. I am a Republican,” Bryant said during a speech to members of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.
The change that he is seeking is part of a seven-point campaign platform that Bryant describes as a “Contract with South Carolina.” He discussed several of the ideas during his appearance Monday.
West Virginia is undergoing what appears to be a voter registration revolution as the state legislature continues to make strides to simplify access to the ballot box. The following post aims to discuss these advancements in an effort to summarize the current state of voter registration in the Mountain State. In 2013, former-Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, signed into law SB 477, which amended the state constitution to allow for online voter registration (OVR). The state was not quick to implement the OVR system, as the Secretary of State’s Office did not unveil an official program until the latter half of 2015. In essence, the now-implemented OVR application requires a registrant to supply the same information required on the paper registration cards: full name, birthdate, location, citizenship status, last four digits of the registrant’s social security number, and the registrant’s driver’s license/state-issued ID number. If a registrant does not have a state-issued ID or driver’s license, they must instead complete and submit a standard paper form. As a result, while OVR streamlines the process for certain registrants, it does so only for those who would likely have already taken advantage of the “motor voter” provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or the state’s newer electronic voter registration system at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
National: How cities are bypassing states to explore registering hundreds of thousands to vote | Mic
States govern American elections. Officials there certify election results. They decide when and how people can vote. They influence who can cast a ballot. Since Republicans in 2010 began their march toward control of the legislature and governor’s office in 26 states, voting rights advocates and Democrats say the state-by-state election system has led voter suppression efforts to run rampant. Since 2010, 23 states have passed laws that make it more difficult to vote, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
DMV Director Terri Albertson said a letter sent to her office late Friday by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske came “as a complete surprise.” In a written response to Cegavske, Albertson said, “you and your office have reviewed, contributed to, and approved the processes you are expressing concerns about.” The Republican secretary of state late Friday announced an investigation into alleged voter fraud, saying her office has uncovered evidence that noncitizens had cast ballots in the November election. Non-U.S. citizens who are in the country legally and live in Nevada can obtain a state driver’s license. Those without legal status can obtain a driver authorization card, which cannot be used as formal identification. Neither are eligible to vote.