Monday, May 2, 2011

Election bills up in the Legislature Tuesday, May 3

Both the Senate and Assembly's election committees will hold hearings on Tuesday, May 3 to take up a number of bills that would impact California elections.

The Senate Elections Committee is meeting at 1:30 in Room 3191 at the State Capitol; though no webcast is available, there is an audio stream of the hearing offered online.  Bills to be taken up by this committee tomorrow include SB 397/Yee, which would allow counties to implement online voter registration; SB 334/Desaulnier, which would require the Secretary of State to identify and publish in the ballot pamphlet the top five donors supporting or opposing propositions; SB 908/Runner would allow military overseas voters and their families to submit ballots via email; SB 202/Hancock would increase the initiative filing fee from $200 to $,2000; SB 448/DeSaulnier would require initiative petition circulators to wear a badge stating whether their were volunteers or paid; and SB 348/Correa, which make vote-by-mail ballots eligible to be counted as long as they are postmarked by election day and received within six days of the election (under current law, VBM ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted); and SB 641/Calderon would provide opportunities for Californians to register and vote after the 15 day voter registration deadline.

The Assembly Elections Committee is meeting at the same time, in room 444 at 1:30 at the State Capitol on Tuesday.  The Assembly's Daily File shows numerous bills will also be heard by this committee, and an audio feed is also available online.  One bill in particular that I am paying attention to is AB 1146/Norby, which would raise the threshold for itemizing campaign contributions and independent expenditures from the current level of $100 to $200, thus enabling more donors to remain anonymous.

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