This year, voters in a number of states will make decisions on how to conduct elections.
Montana adopted Election Day Registration (EDR) in 2005, and in 2011 Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed a legislature-passed bill that would have eliminated EDR. Last year, the legislature approved a legislatively-referred state statute for this year’s ballot to bring the issue to the voters. If approved, LR-126 will change the registration deadline from poll closing on Election Day to 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before Election Day.
In Connecticut, voters are considering expanding early voting. Question 1 asks “Shall the Constitution of the state be amended to remove restrictions concerning absentee ballots and to permit a person to vote without appearing at a polling place on the day of an election?” If passed, the measure would allow the legislature to eliminate restrictions on early voting and allow residents greater access to absentee ballots.
Amendment 6 in Missouri would establish a six-day long early voting period starting in 2016. “Unlike the six-week period of absentee voting in Missouri, residents wouldn’t need an excuse to vote–in-person or with mail-in ballots–early.” Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow residents to vote early without an excuse or justification.
In Illinois, a Right to Vote Amendment would “prohibit any law that disproportionately affects the rights of eligible Illinois citizens to register to vote or cast a ballot based on the voter’s race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income.” In order to be ratified, this measure must be approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the question or by a majority of people voting in the election.
Measure 90 in Oregon would create a top-two system of general election voting where all voters receive the same primary ballot that shows all candidates, regardless of political party. Candidates would be allowed to include on the ballot their party registration and if they’ve been endorsed by a party. The top two candidates, regardless of political party, would then be voted upon in the general election.