Voting Access and Processes including Election Laws and Redistricting

LWVAL Action Priority Level I (Highest) - Monitoring and action of highest priority. Major area for resource expenditures.

Click a bill to see sponsor(s), synopsis, link to the bill, League action and justification for that action, and progress of the bill through the legislative process.

Legend:
thumbs_up_icon.jpg = LWVAL's support for the legislation.
thumbs_down_icon.jpg = LWVAL's opposition to the legislation.
green-right-arrow.jpg = 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.

Contact information for legislators and committees referenced in the bills below:
Representatives   Standing House Committees   Senators   Standing Senate Committees   Find my legislators
LWVAL has taken a position on these bills:

thumbs_up_icon.jpgHB30 - Elections, early voting, authorize voting during four to six day period immediately preceding election day

Sponsor(s): Representative Ford

Synopsis: Each county would be required to establish at least one early voting location, to be open from 4-6 days immediately preceding Election Day, from 9-5 Monday-Saturday and 1-5 Sunday.


League Action and Justification: Support. This action would be an important step toward League’s goals of making democracy work for all and achieving maximum involvement in the election process.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017: First Read and assigned to House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

thumbs_up_icon.jpgHB31 - Voting, early voting procedure established, all elections

Sponsor(s): Representative Ford

Synopsis: Each county would be required to establish at least one early voting location, to be open at least 5 days during the 14 days preceding Election Day, for at least 10 hours a day. For statewide races, the location would have to be open the two Saturdays preceding Election Day.


League Action and Justification: Support. This action would be an important step toward League’s goals of making democracy work for all and achieving maximum involvement in the election process.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017: First Read and assigned to House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)


thumbs_up_icon.jpgHB79 - Voter registration, automatic, authorized

Sponsor(s): Representative Hall

Synopsis: Anyone who applies for a driver's license or applies to renew a driver's license shall, if qualified, be automatically registered to vote. If the applicant is at least 17 years and six months old, the registration may be held until the applicant is qualified by age to register. Registration addresses shall be automatically updated when licenses are renewed.


League Action and Justification: Support. This bill makes it easier to register to vote.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017: First Read and assigned to House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

green-right-arrow.jpgthumbs_up_icon.jpgSB23 - Law Enforcement Agency, drivers' license office, operational in each county a minimum of one day each week

Sponsor(s): Senator Sanders

Synopsis: This bill would require the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency to operate at least one drivers' license office in each county that would be open at least one day a week. These offices are also where one obtains an official state photo ID that many used as the ID needed to vote.


League Action and Justification: Support. League supports equitable access to the election process.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

02/07/2017:
First Read and assigned to Senate committee on Governmental Affairs (GA)

02/28/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd read and favorable from GA; Reported from Governmental Affairs as Favorable

03/14/2017: Third Reading Passed; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted by Roll Call
House Action:

03/14/2017: Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security (PS&HS)



thumbs_up_icon.jpgHB140 - Elections, notification of absentee voter of defective and uncounted ballot, Sec. 17-11-10 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Representative Ball

Synopsis: If an absentee ballot is rejected because the voters' affidavit signature is not properly witnessed, the voter must be notified about what happened within 10 days of the election.


League Action and Justification: Support. This action promotes transparency.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017: First Read and referred to House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

thumbs_up_icon.jpgSB45 - Elections, qualification of electors, not serving court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, eligible to register and vote, Sec. 17-3-30 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Senator Sanders

Synopsis: Rather than requiring those convicted of felonies to seek restoration of rights, this bill would automatically include those not currently serving court-order imprisonment for conviction of a felony to vote, as long as they are otherwise qualified as an elector.


League Action and Justification: Support. This would expand enfranchisement.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

thumbs_up_icon.jpgSB47 - Election, voter registration, allowed any day board of registrars has office hours, Sec. 17-3-50 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Senator Sanders

Synopsis: This bill would eliminate the 14-day window prior to elections during which a person cannot register to vote.


League Action and Justification: Support. Expands access to the vote.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

green-right-arrow.jpgthumbs_up_icon.jpgSB77 - Voting, early voting procedure established, all elections

Sponsor(s): Senator Smitherman

Synopsis: This bill would require each county to have at least one location open for early voting for at least 5 days during the 14 day period prior to an election and for the two Saturdays prior to a statewide election. The voting site shall be open at least 10 hours a day.

Synopsis of SB77 Substitute: The substitute is an entirely different bill that refers only to absentee ballots. It allows absentee ballots to be cast, without the need to show why it cannot be cast in person. It requires a copy of photo ID to be submitted when the application for the ballot is submitted, and again when the ballot is cast.


League Action and Justification: Support. Expands access to the vote.

League Action on Substitute Bill: Support. League supports the SB77 Substitute since it broadens the availability of absentee ballots, but not as wholeheartedly as we would support the original legislation which allowed for early voting.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

03/16/2017: 2nd Read and place on the calendar with 1 Substitute (183427-2); pending 3rd Read and Favorable from CE&E with 1 Substitute; CE&E 1st Substitute Offered.


thumbs_up_icon.jpgSB102 and HB278 - Nondriver ID cards, parolees, Commissioner of Dept. of Corrections and Secretary of the ALEA, authority to establish program to issue nondriver ID to resident parolees upon release

SB102 Sponsor(s): Senator Ross
HB278 Sponsor(s): Representative Hall

Synopsis: The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, in coordination with the Secretary of the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, shall develop a program to issue nondriver IDs to resident parolees, upon their release from prison.


League Action and Justification: Support. Expands access to the vote.


Bill Progress in Legislature:

SB102

02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to the Senate committee on Governmental Affairs (GA)

02/14/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending third read and pass

02/16/2017: 3rd Read Passed; Ross Amendment (182545-1) offered ; Ross motion to Adopt adopted by Roll Call; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass Adopted by Roll Call, Engrossed.

[Note: The Ross amendment has the regulations appropriately implemented by the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency in consultation with the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections rather than the other way around as worded in the original bill.]

House Action:

02/16/2017: Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security (PS&HS)

03/02/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and Favorable from PS&HS


H278

02/21/2017: Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security (PS&HS)

03/02/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd read and favorable from PS&HS



thumbs_up_icon.jpgSB161 - Voter registration, automatic, authorized

Sponsor(s): Senator Coleman

Synopsis: This would provide for automatic voter registration when a person applies for or renews a drivers' license or when a person applies for a nondriver ID. Registration information would be automatically updated if a change is made when a person renews the drivers' license.


League Action and Justification: Support. Expands access to the vote

Bill Progress in Legislature:
02/09/2017:
First Read and referred to Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

green-right-arrow.jpgthumbs_up_icon.jpgSB190 - Elections, notification of absentee voter of defective and uncounted ballot, Sec. 17-11-10 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Senators Figures, Dunn, Smith, Singleton, Ross, Coleman-Madison, Sanders, Beasley, Whatley, Allen, Marsh and Pittman

Synopsis: Under existing law, if a voter's affidavit signature or mark on the affidavit envelope containing an absentee ballot is not properly witnessed, the ballot is not removed or counted.

This bill would require the absentee election manager to notify voters by mail after an election of the reason why his or her absentee ballot was not counted.


League Action and Justification: Support. This action promotes transparency.

B
ill Progress in Legislature:
02/14/2017: Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

03/16/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar with 1 Amendment (183749-2); pending 3rd Read and Favorable from CE&E with 1 Amendment; CE&E 1st Amendment Offered [Note: the amendment has the rejected ballot sent to the board of registrars with the board sending the rejection notice and explanation to the voter.]


thumbs_up_icon.jpgHB186 - Voter identification, exemption for religious objection, created, Sec. 17-9-30 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Representative Rich

Synopsis: This bill creates an exemption to the need to present a photo ID in order to vote. Electors who have a religious objection to being photographed and present an affidavit of identity, under penalty of perjury are exempted.


League Action and Justification: Support. This appears to be a reasonable religious accommodation to the voter ID requirement that League opposes anyway,

Bill Progress in Legislature:

02/14/2017:
Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

02/23/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar 1 amendment (182826-2); Pending 3rd Read and Favorable from CC&E with 1 1 amendment; CC&E 1st Amendment Offered.

thumbs_up_icon.jpgHB388 - Presidential and vice presidential electors, elected in direct proportion to popular vote, Sec. 17-14-34 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Representatives McClammy and Knight

Synopsis: This bill would provide that, beginning with the 2020 presidential election, electors would be sent to the Electoral College in proportion to the popular vote in Alabama, rather than using a "winner take all" process.


League Action and Justification: Support. This action would be in compliance with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which is supported by LWVUS.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

03/09/2017: Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)


LWVAL is monitoring these bills:

SB53 and HB128 - Constitutional Amendment - Term limits, members of Senate and House of Representatives limited to three consecutive full terms, const. amend.

SB53 Sponsor(s): Senators Pittman, Orr, Shelnutt, Chambliss, Brewbaker, Albritton, Allen, Glover, Marsh, Reed, Stutts, Waggoner, Hightower and Bussman
HB128 Sponsor(s): Representative Beckman


Synopsis:
These bills would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 that would provide that no person may be elected to either house of the Legislature for more than three full consecutive terms. An election to either the Senate or the House for at least two years would be equivalent to the election for a full term in that respective body.

Service in the Senate and service in the prior to [November 2017 in SB53 and November 2018 in HB128] would not disqualify, in whole or in part, a person from service in that respective body following that date.



League Action and Justification: Monitor. LWVAL has no position on term limits but is monitoring the legislation for member and public information purposes.

Bill Progress in Legislature:
SB53
02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE &E)
02/16/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and favorable from CE&E.

HB128
02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

HB339 - Constitutional Amendment - Term limits, members of the Alabama Legislature, election to limited to four full terms, const. amend.

Sponsors: Representatives Fridy, Rowe, Treadaway, Todd, Farley, Hanes, Ainsworth, Mooney, Ledbetter, Williams (P), Weaver, Harper, Shedd, Whorton (I), Brown and Holmes (M)

Synopsis: This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 that would provide that no person may be elected to the Alabama Legislature for more than four full terms. An election to either the Senate or the House for at least two years would be equivalent to the election for a full term in that respective body.

Service in the Senate and service in the House prior to November 2014 would not disqualify, in whole or in part, a person from service in that respective body following that date.


League Action and Justification: Monitor. League has no position on term limits.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

02/02/2017: First Reading and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections CC&E)

HB300 Constitutional Amendment - Legislature, term limits, members of Senate and House of Representatives limited to two full terms, const. amend.

Sponsor(s): Representatives Ainsworth, Holmes (M), Crawford, Whorton (I), Shedd, Hanes, Williams (JW), Ledbetter, Standridge, Farley, Treadaway, Fridy, Patterson, Williams (P), Tuggle, Wadsworth, Fincher, Hill, Brown, Wingo, Mooney, Carns,Garrett, Ford, Ingram, Sells, Beckman and Henry

Synopsis: This bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 that would provide that no person may be elected to either house of the Legislature for more than two full terms. An election to either the Senate or the House for at least two years would be equivalent to the election for a full term in that respective body. Service in the Senate and service in the House of Representatives prior to November 2018 would not disqualify, in whole or in part, a person from service in that respective body following that date


League Action and Justification: Monitor. League has no position on term limits.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

02/23/2017: First Read and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

HB148 and SB177 - Elections, Election Emergency Act, establish, suspension or delay election in emergency, authorized, Secs. 17-9-70 to 17-9-72, inclusive, added

HB148 Sponsor(s): Representative Standridge
SB177 Sponsor(s): Senator Scofield

Synopsis: If there is imminent threat of an emergency situation, the Governor may suspend or delay elections. The election shall be rescheduled for a time no more than 10 days later, or as soon as practicable. The Secretary of State shall develop procedures for the orderly conduct of a rescheduled election.



League Action and Justification: Monitor. While this is a useful goal, the devil is in the details of the procedures to be worked out.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

HB148

02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

02/16/2017:
2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and favorable from CC&E


SB177

02/14/2017: Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

02/28/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and favorable from CE&E

03/09/2017: 3rd Reading Carried Over; Motion to Carry Over adopted by Voice Vote; FurtherConsideration





SB108 and HB372 - Elections, primary runoff elections, voter prohibited from switching parties between primary elections

SB108 Sponsor(s): Senator Whatley
HB372 Sponsor(s): Representative Mooney

Synopsis: This bill would prohibit a voter from voting in a primary runoff election if he or she did not vote in the primary of the same political party in which the runoff is being held.



League Action and Justification: Monitor. No LWVUS or LWVAL positions on primary elections.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

SB108

02/07/2017:
First Read and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections (CE&E)

03/02/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar with 1 Amendment (183170-2); pending 3rd Read and favorable from CE&E with 1 Amendment; CE&E 1st Amendment Offered.


HB372

03/07/2017:
Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)

green-right-arrow.jpgSB166 - Constitutional Amendment - Constitution of Alabama of 1901, proposed state and local constitutional amendment, and state and local referendums shall be held at statewide primary or general election, const. amend.

Sponsor(s): Senator Whatley

Synopsis: This bill would provide that any Constitutional amendment or any referendum proposed by a law or by a governmental body must be submitted to be voted on at the same time as either a statewide primary election or a statewide general election.


League Action and Justification: Monitor. This bill would save the cost of a special election and would most likely draw more voters to consider the amendment.

Bill Progress in Legislature:

02/09/2017: First Read and referred to the Senate committee on County and Municipal Government

02/23/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar with 1 Amendment (182777-2); pending 3rd Read and favorable rom C&MG; C&MG 1st Amendment Offered.

03/16/2017: 3rd Read Carried Over to Call of the Chair; Whatley motion to Carry Over to the Call of the chair adopted by Voice Vote; Further Consideration


HB189 and SB223 - Voter Registration lists, process to update current address information revised based on information supplied by United States Postal Service, Sec. 17-4-30 am'd.

Sponsor(s): Representative Beckman


Synopsis: Rather than sending postcards to registered voters to find out if they have changed address, the board of registrars would rely on change of address information provided by the Post Office. If the information provided shows a change of address, a forwardable notice is to be sent, containing a pre-addressed and prepaid card on which the elector can verify his or her address. The notice also provides information about how to update registration. If the voter does not return the card and does not vote in an election within the period of time during which there are 2 federal elections, he or she shall be removed from the registered voting roles.

League Action and Justification: Monitor. This may increase efficiency in the process.


Bill Progress in Legislature:

HB189

02/14/2017:
Read for the first time and referred to the House committee on Constitution, Campaigns and Elections (CC&E)


SB223

02/21/2017:
Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections

03/02/2017: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and favorable from CE&E

03/07/2017: 3rd Read Carried Over to Call of the Chair; Bussman motion to Carry Over to the Call of the Chair adopted by Voice Vote; Further Consideration.





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