LWVAL Action Priority Level I (Highest) - Monitoring and action of highest priority. Major area for resource expenditures.
Click a bill to see sponsor(s), summary (including link to full text), League action and justification for that action, and progress of the bill through the legislative process.
Legend: = LWVAL's support for the legislation. = LWVAL's opposition to the legislation. = new bill activity; change from previous week's report such as new progress in the legislature and/or League action. Bill may be one newly added to the report. These updates are in green font.
Summary/Synopsis: Under existing law, a computerized statewide voter registration list is maintained by the Secretary of State; that list is part of the public record. This bill would require, upon written affidavit, the omission of the residential and mailing address of any registered voter who is a victim of domestic violence or who is the custodian of a minor victim of domestic violence. This would not affect the lists kept at the polling place.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL supports HB230.This change would be implemented uniformly throughout the state and protects the voter registration and election processes while at the same time protecting the victim(s) of violent crime.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 2/08/2012: First reading and referred to the
02/16/2012: 2nd reading and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd reading and favorable from CC&E. 4/03/2012: 3rd reading passed; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted (98-0-0) 4/05/2012: Read in the Senate for the first time and referred to the
4/24/2012: On CCFE&E calendar, Room 727, 2:00 p.m. 4/24/2012: CCFE&E 1st Amendment (141610-2) Offered; Read for a 2nd time and placed on the calendar with 1 Amendment; pending 3rd reading and favorable from CCFE&E with 1 Amendment.
Note: The amendment substitutes a domestic violence order issued by a judge or magistrate pursuant to the Domestic Violence Protection Order Enforcement Act for the written affidavit..
HB236/SB288 - Elections, write-in candidates, procedure for counting write-in votes, Sec. 17-6-28 am'd.
Sponsor(s): HB236 - Representative C. Newton SB288 - Senator Taylor
Summary/Synopsis: This bill provides for the procedure for collecting and then counting write-in votes at a central location in the county. The count must occur within 7 days of the election. The votes are to be tabulated in the same way as provisional ballots.
02/23/2012: 2nd reading and placed on the calendar with one amendment (137622-1); pending 3rd reading on day 8 Favorable from CC&E. Note: Amendment 137622-1 calls for a vote counted: “If the number of write-in ballots to be counted equals or exceeds 5 percent of the votes cast in the county,” 03/08/2012: 3rd Reading passed; CC&E Amendment (137622-1) offered; Motion to Adopt adopted; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted ( 95-0-0); Engrossed 03/15/2012: Read for the 1st time in the Senate and referred to the
03/21/2012: on CCFE&E schedule in Room 325, 3:30 p.m. 03/22/2012: Read for the 2nd time and placed on the calendar with 1 Amendment (139747-1) from CCFE&E; pending 3rd reading and Favorable from CCFE&E with 1 Amendment.
Note: The underlined section in the following is the wording removed by the amendment. “The write-in ballots shall thereafter be tabulated and canvassed in the same manner as provisional ballots pursuant to Section 17-10-2.”
SB288: 2/09/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the
2/14/2012: 2nd reading and placed on calendar with one CCFE&E amendment (136991-2); pending 3rd reading and favorable from CCFE&E. This bill was on the committee calendar for 02/21/2012 in Room 609-A at 3:30 p.m. 02/28/2012: 3rd reading carried over; CCFE&E amendment (136991-2) offered; Taylor motion to Carry Over Temporarily adopted by Voice Vote; Further Consideration.
5/9/2012: Indefinitely postponed.
HB 369 - Elections, absentee voting authorized to appy for and vote by absentee ballot, ballot to include primary caretaker of physically incapacitated person and person incarcerated but not yet convicted, emergency absentee voting permitted for caretaker of a person who requires emergency medical treatment and person with personal business emergencies, and to authorize Secretary of State rulemaking authority, Secs. 17-11-3, 17-11-4, 17-11-5, 17-11-7, 17-11-18 am'd
Sponsor(s): Representative Beckman
Summary/Synopsis: This bill expands the class of people who may apply for an absentee ballot. It adds those who work as caretakers for someone who is physically incapacitated or in need of emergency medical care, those who are incarcerated for non-disqualifying crimes, and those with personal business emergencies.
3/21/2012: on CC&E calendar at 9:00 a.m., Room 123.
SB522 - Elections, U. S. President, Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote, compact adopted
Sponsor(s): Senator Bedford
Summary/Synopsis: This bill would adopt the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote Compact, to provide for the designation and certification by the chief election official of each state of the presidential slate which received the greatest number of popular votes in the state.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL supports SB522. From the LWVUS website: "The 2008 Convention voted to conduct a study of the National Popular Vote proposal, which would establish the popular election of the President through a compact among the states governing how they would cast their votes in the Electoral College. The 2010 Convention amended the national position to support the National Popular Vote compact as another method of selecting the President until such time as the Electoral College is abolished."
Bill Action in Legislature: 4/17/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the
HB56/SB201 - Elections, board of registrars, prohibited time of registering any person as a qualified elector extended from 10 to 17 days prior to election, Sec. 17-3-50 am'd.
Sponsor(s): HB56: Representative Long SB201: Senator Taylor
Summary/Synopsis: This bill changes the cutoff date for voter registration. Under current law, voters may register up to 11 days before an election. Under this law, they must register at least 18 days before election. This change is not effective for counties of at least 600,000 (Jefferson County has 658,466).
02/16/2012: 2nd reading and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd reading and Favorable from CC&E. Note: ALISON lists 03/14/2012 as the last action day but bill history does not show any activity on that date.
5/09/2012: Indefinitely postponed
SB201 - 02/07/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the
Summary/Synopsis: Under existing law, an elector may choose which party's primary to vote in [open primary]. This bill would require an elector to register a party affiliation in order to receive the party's ballot in the primary election [closed primary].
This bill would allow an elector who remains unaffiliated to vote only in non-partisan races in a primary. The act would become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or otherwise becoming law.
League Action and Justification: LWVAL opposes SB525. Closed primaries restrict voting participation.
Note: Election laws are generally altered by a political party or its supporters in order to achieve an election advantage or to retain power when party popularity is in decline. The closed primary in a one party state or a one party dominated state (Alabama today) leaves true Independents—those who reject the existing party labels for whatever reason—with two choices: lie about their party choice and register as a party member or sit out the election that will basically determine the general election outcome before the election is even held.
Supporters of closed primaries often argue the open party primary allows crossover voting wherein members of one party vote in the other party’s primary in an attempt to get the weakest candidate nominated and thereby assist their real party’s choice in the general election. There is little sound empirical research evidence that indicates such actions impact election outcomes.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 4/17/2012: Read for the first time and referred to the
4/27/2012: Read for the 2nd time and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd reading and favorable from CCFE&E 5/3/2012: 3rd reading Carried Over to Call of the Chair; Singleton motion to Carry Over Temporarily; Singleton motion to Carry Over Tabled (20-9-0); Beason motion to Carry Over to the Call of the Chair Granted; Further Consideration.
5/09/2012: Indefinitely postponed.
LWVAL is monitoring these bills.
HB367, HB463 and SB422 - Elections, absentee voter, identification at time of application required, Secs. 17-10-1, 17-10-2 am'd
HB367 Sponsor(s): Representative Beckman HB463 Sponsor(s): Representative Hill SB422 Sponsor(s): Senator Taylor Summary/Synopsis: This bill would require a voter voting an absentee ballot to submit personal identification when making the application to vote by absentee ballot. Such identification is already required when an absentee ballot is submitted.