Five pieces of testimony on six bills

On Friday the GAE Committee held testimony on a raft if bills. This is just the first hearing, and first wave this year.

There is a risky trend in the last couple of years that bills are sketchy drafts at hearing stage. So there is no detailed text to comment on and correct details and improve. This means that advocates on all sides have little chance to help the General Assembly avoid errors. So, I find myself testifying more about potential improvements at a high level, while trying to anticipate important details to advise on. And I find others providing short general testimony in favor or against rather than detailed suggestions or critiques.

The bills, and links to my testimony: (Take a look at all the testimony today <here>.)

H.B.6045 and H.B.5818 Election Day Registration. The bills propose fixing the civil rights violation in Election Day Registration caused by the Secretary of the State’s ruling that those in line have no right to register and vote. As usual I expect heavy opposition from the registrars of voters. I also emphasize a method that can accommodate their objections by providing 48 hours to count EDR votes submitted after 8:00pm. I don’ t think they will like that, yet in the end we should not continue violating civil rights. I also point out transparency and security flaws in our election laws that should be fixed, along with suggested fixes.

H.B.5817 Checker Announcing Voter ID for Unofficial Checkers. Expensive, useless concept. Might be well intended, yet will gum up the works for voters and officials.

H.B.6047 Multi-District Polling Places. This is aimed at addressing the problems with a multi-district polling place in Stratford last November. I support the mandate for different color ballots in such polling places for each district. My testimony asks for an exception for emergency ballot copies and recommends against other more drastic solutions.

S.B.265 Cut Moderator Certification in Half. I testify that we need more training, not less. This is an example of where I use one bill to make a bigger point in hopes of educating the members of the GAE, perhaps sooner of later leading to better legislation.

S.B.479 Election Day Holiday. In general I support this bill. I ask to make a school holiday mandatory and suggest its extension to primaries.

 

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