This post summarizes the status of election bills that MACo took a position on during the 2015 Regular Session.
Days of Early Voting: HB 218 would change early voting days of operation to begin the Thursday before Election Day and end the Sunday before Election Day.
MACo opposed the bill as ending the early voting period on Sunday, two days prior to election day, would make it extremely difficult for small jurisdictions to update epollbooks, and practically impossible in larger jurisdictions. MACo also believes more time is needed to examine the cost implications and logistical issues before making changes to the specified days for early voting.
FINAL STATUS: The bill was withdrawn by the sponsor.
Audit of Election Results: HB 1064 would mandate an onerous manual count auditing procedure to be completed prior to an election certification now that the State is moving back to a paper ballot voting system. The bill also specifies that if there is a discrepancy between the machine count and the manual count, the manual count should be considered the official result.
MACo opposed the bill citing fiscal and administrative concerns. The manual count process would be extremely difficult to complete within the 10 day timeframe to certify the election and individuals would be able to challenge the results more easily. MACo would prefer that sufficient time be given to the State Board of Elections to work with the local boards to develop a manageable manual count process, instead of mandating one that would be difficult to perform properly in the allotted time.
FINAL STATUS: The bill was heard by the House Ways and Means Committee and no further action was taken.