Legislation to watch in 2006
HB383 - Sponsored by Representatives Vance, Thigpen, Boyd, Martin, Boothe and Gipson
HB727 - Sponsored by Representative McLaughlin
SB23 - Sponsored by Senators Dial and Dixon
(These are the same legislation.)
About the legislation
Bill Synopsis: "Under
existing law, voters are not permitted to submit their absentee ballot
applications or absentee ballots to the absentee ballot manager by
facsimile (fax) device.
This bill would:
Provide for a system by which military personnel,
the spouses and dependents of military personnel, and other individuals
qualified to vote by absentee ballot pursuant to the federal Uniformed
and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act may submit their absentee
ballot applications or absentee ballots to the absentee election
manager by facsimile (fax) device through the Federal Voting Assistance
Programs Electronic Transmission (Faxing) Service.
Permit multiple individuals who are qualified to vote by absentee ballot pursuant to
the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act and
who are working or deployed in a combat zone to submit their absentee
ballot materials in the same envelope or package.
Require county and municipal governing bodies to
provide the absentee election managers with a post office box or other
secure mail receptacle through which to receive absentee ballot
applications and absentee ballots, prohibit changes to the address for
the post office box or mail receptacle after October 1 of the year
immediately preceding a regularly-scheduled election year, provide that
the state shall fully reimburse the county or municipal governing
bodies for expenses associated with these requirements and would
require county and municipal governing bodies to
provide the absentee election managers a facsimile (fax) device with a
dedicated phone line for use in receiving absentee voting materials
submitted by, or in delivering absentee voting materials to, certain
categories of voters.
Change existing law to state that the work shift
must be at least 12 hours long to coincide with polling hours.
Require the Secretary of State to consult with the
Alabama League of Municipalities or its members regarding the content
of voter lists produced by the statewide voter registration list for
use in municipal elections.
Authorize the Secretary of State to providea municipal absentee election manager with
electronic access to the list of registered voters for his or her municipalitys election.
Require that the list of municipal voters who requested an absentee
ballot be maintained by the municipal clerk for a period of 60 days and
then be sealed with the municipal records of the election after the 60-day period has elapsed.
Permit a person who has applied for an absentee
ballot to vote a provisional ballot at his or her polling place and
have that ballot counted only if the voter surrenders his or her
unmarked absentee ballot to the poll worker or attests that
he or she did not receive his or her absentee ballot from the absentee
election manager and the board of registrars is able to confirm that
the absentee election manager has not received the voters marked
Clarify that the absentee ballot application
submitted by an individual qualified to vote byabsentee ballot pursuant
to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act is valid
for all primary, general, special, and municipal
elections to be held during the time period defined by the next two
regularly scheduled general election cycles for federal office and
would require the county and municipal absentee electionsmanagers to
send the voter all ballots for elections in which he or she is
qualified to vote, unless the voter states otherwise, and requires the
Secretary of State, in consultation with circuit clerks, municipal
clerks, boards of registrars, and
the Alabama Military Department, to prescribe rules for implementing these provisions.
Require the Secretary of State to provide
electronically to the general public information related to candidates
and issues to be voted upon in elections for federal and state offices
The League of Women Voters of the
United States (LWVUS) believes that voting is a fundamental citizen
right that must be guaranteed.* In its interpretation of this
"Citizen's Right to Vote" Position, the LWVUS states:
"In order to ensure integrity and
voter confidence in elections, the LWVUS supports the implementation of
voting systems and procedures that are secure, accurate, recountable
Read all LWVUS Position on Voting Rights in "Impact on Issues"
(See Voting Rights - Citizen's Right to Vote, pp. 4-8.)
The LWVAL holds this position on Election Law Reform.
* In addition to its own positions, LWV of Alabama also holds the positions of the LWV of the United States.
Progress of the Legislation
HB383 was first read in the House on 1/17/2006 and
referred to the House Committee on Constitution and Elections (House C & E).
HB727 was first read in the House on 3/2/06 and referred to the House C&E Committee.
HB383 and HB727 are on the House C&E committee agenda for 3/8/06.
It is unknown why these 2 identical House bills were introduced.
was first read in the Senate on 1/10/06 and referred to the Senate
Committee on on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections
(Senate C & E). It passed out of that committee with a favorable
report and was placed on the Senate calendar on 2/7/06.
Senate indefinitely postponed consideration of the legislation on
4/6/06 thus killing the issue for 2006. (Neither HB383 or nor HB727
were considered by the House C &E committee during the session.)
LWVAL did not take action on these bills.