2009 Election legislation update

The NCSL has just distributed their most recent newsletter, and the update on pending legislation is pretty interesting.  According to their legislative database, there are 71 early voting bills pending in 23 states, 11 states considering either no-excuse absentee or fully vote by mail elections, and 12 states considering going permanent no-excuse absentee balloting.

Finally, UOCAVA changes are under consideration in 15 states.

The details are quoted below, and the full newsletter is here:

Early Voting

During the 2007-2008 biennium, there were 122 bills introduced in 23 states addressing early voting.  Thirteen states considered new early voting programs (none passed).  Five
states passed legislation expanding existing early voting programs, and another five states considered but did not pass such legislation.

Given the high level of media attention directed toward early voting in late 2008, and its evident popularity in many of the states that operated early voting programs last year, this is an area where a high level of activity is occurring in state legislatures this year.  Currently, 71 early voting bills are pending in 23 states.  Fourteen of these are states that do not presently operate an early voting program; the remainder are bills that would amend existing programs.

No excuse absentee voting and all mail elections

In 2007-2008, 12 states considered implementing no-excuse absentee voting.  In 2009, 11 states have legislation pending so far.  Also, 12 states are considering bills that would permit a voter to become a permanent absentee voter.

Voting by military and overseas citizens

There is a noticeable trend this year in efforts to facilitate voting for military and other overseas voters.  Twenty-eight bills are currently pending in 15 states.  Bills in 10 states would provide electronic access for overseas and/or military voters (Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Virginia)