“Local Option” Suggested for Expanded Early Voting

MACo submitted written testimony seeking amendments to HB 1008, Election Law – Early Voting Centers, to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on March 31, 2016.

The bill would expand the number of early voting locations in the state’s larger counties, and retain a local option for smaller counties to add a second location. MACo suggests that the local option be applied to the full bill.

From the MACo testimony,

MACo urges an amendment to HB 1008 to make the full bill a “local option,” having the expanded number of sites be a decision for each county governing body. This way, each jurisdiction could assess its demand, geography, and suitable facility locations, all with community input.

The current law contains contingent language as follows: “if the State Board, in collaboration with the local board, and the governing body of the county agree to establish an additional early voting center.” This language seems to accomplish the objective of a local option appropriately, and should be attached to the full content of HB 1008, rather than to just the smaller counties.

This bill passed the House (95-45) on March 21, 2016.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.