Election Reform Packages in the States

Several states are either developing legislative election reform packages for the 2006 legislative sessions or have issues on the ballot in November. I have excerpted from several articles below on this issue and we will continue to update these and other reforms over the next 6 months, when legislative activity is at its peak.

Wisconsin is considering legislation whereby voter registration groups could no longer pay employees based on the number of voters they sign up and the state would require training for county clerks and poll workers. One key legislator said that lawmakers left the photo ID provision out of the package while they pursue a constitutional amendment that would require it. He said calls to end same-day registration in Wisconsin would also be considered separate of the package.

In Ohio, a group called the Ohio First Voter Education Fund has hired the ad agency that brought you the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads against Senator John Kerry to fight election reform in Ohio. The reform package in Ohio, which will be voted on by citizens this November, consists of four constitutional amendments. The four proposed amendments, backed primarily by Democrats and unions, would make it easier to cast absentee ballots, reduce caps on campaign contributions, change the way the state and federal legislative districts are drawn and create a bipartisan election oversight commission.

In California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Proposition 77, which takes the process of drawing legislative boundaries out of the hands of lawmakers and gives it to three retired judges, is trailing, with 50 percent saying they will vote “no” and just 36 percent saying they will vote “yes.”