Nevada, Texas Go Opposite Ways: Ballots & Boundaries (Corrected)

(Corrects description of Connecticut law)

Nevada’s legislature voted to make mail balloting a permanent part of their elections while Texas lawmakers came within a whisker — or more precisely, a quorum call — of voting to eliminate some absentee ballot options that contributed to record turnout in 2020.

End-of-session action in those Southwestern states couldn’t have been more different.

Gov. Steve Sisolak (D-Nev.) is getting a chance to sign into law an expansive measure that would require election officials to send ballots to every voter without waiting to be asked (A.B. 321).

Down in Austin, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) is threatening retribution after Democrats used a strategic disappearance to prevent final passage of a bill that, among other things, would have criminalized sending an absentee ballot application to a voter who didn’t request one and added new restrictions on who can qualify to vote absentee (S.B. 7).

Get caught up:

Meanwhile, an Arizona bill (H.B. 2792) that would criminalize sending mail-in ballots to voters who didn’t request them was vetoed Friday, at least temporarily. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he won’t sign any laws until legislators pass the state budget. — Brenna Goth and Paul Stinson

ILLINOIS: HOLIDAY VOTING

Illinois legislators have sent Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) legislation that would make Nov. 8, 2022, a state and school holiday.

The bill (S.B. 825) also would move the state’s 2022 general primary to June 28 from March 15, with early in-person voting beginning May 19. The Board of Elections would be required to prepare a one-page document explaining to high school students how to register to vote, and there would be state-mandated monthly cyber vulnerability scans on election systems. — Stephen Joyce

CONNECTICUT: INCHING TOWARD IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING

Connecticut took a step toward allowing in-person early voting with passage of a measure (H.J. 59) to permit the electorate to decide whether to amend the state’s constitution.

If Gov. Ned Lamont (D) agrees, voters would consider the amendment in the November 2022 election. Connecticut is one seven states, along with Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, that requires voters casting ballots in person to do so on Election Day. — Adrianne Appel

CONNECTICUT: HOMETOWNS COUNT

Connecticut is joining at least 13 other states that have ended “prison gerrymandering,” after Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed a bill (S.B. 753) May 26 banning the practice. Going forward, most inmates in Connecticut will be counted as living in the communities they resided in before being incarcerated instead of where the prison’s located. — Adrianne Appel

COLORADO: REDISTRICTING LOBBYISTS, NOW HEAR THIS …

Name. Business address. Email. Phone number. Provide same information for all clients, details of contracts, compensation.

This is the information redistricting lobbyists are required to provide to Colorado, after the Secretary of State’s Office updated the rules. Lobbyists must file whether they’re registered professionals or unpaid volunteers. — Tripp Baltz.

LOUISIANA: TRACK THE REMAP

A resolution (H.C.R. 90) setting minimum standards for Louisiana’s redistricting plans—contiguous districts, respecting existing political boundaries, etc.—is on track for state House approval later today. And anyone who’s interested will be able to keep up with the redistricting process at a new website, redist.legis.la.gov. — Jennifer Kay

CALIFORNIA: DOUBLE ELECTION

Voters could see U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla‘s (D-Calif.) name twice on California’s 2022 primary and general election ballots—to serve a six-year term starting in 2023, and also to ride out the 56 days between Nov. 8, 2022, and the start of the 118th Congress—under a bill (A.B. 1495) intended to bring the state in line with the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The measure, which is ready for state Senate consideration, would require the governor to schedule an election to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy on the next regularly scheduled statewide primary election. Current state law permits Padilla, appointed last December to replace Vice President Kamala Harris in the Senate, to hold office for the remainder of Harris’s term ending Jan. 3, 2023. — Tiffany Stecker

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Ballots & Boundaries is your weekly check-in on what states are doing to change voting laws and reconfigure political boundaries in once-a-decade redistricting.

With assistance from Greg Giroux and Kimberly Wayne

To contact the reporters on this story: Brenna Goth in Phoenix at bgoth@bloomberglaw.com; Paul Stinson in Austin, Texas at pstinson@bloomberglaw.com; Tripp Baltz in Denver at abaltz@bloomberglaw.com; Adrianne Appel in Boston at aappel@bloomberglaw.com; Jennifer Kay in Miami at jkay@bloomberglaw.com; Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at tstecker@bgov.com; Stephen Joyce in Chicago at sjoyce@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com

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