Friday, June 22, 2007

Voting 6-22-07

A House bill that cleared the Senate this week is expected to increase voter turnout by allowing people to register and vote on the same day in the final 2½ weeks before an election. Existing law cuts off voter registration 25 days before an election. The bill, House Bill 91, now returns to the House for concurrence on changes made in the Senate, which include a requirement that all ballots be printed in English.

As the cost of statewide campaigns balloons, a House committee has approved a bill that would provide public financing for three Council of State jobs. The bill was endorsed by Insurance Commissioner Jim Long and state schools Superintendent June Atkinson. Their races and that of State Auditor Les Merritt would be eligible for public money if the bill becomes law. Candidates would have to receive at least 750 contributions of $10 to $200 to be eligible for public financing. The bill, House Bill 1517, now goes to the Appropriations Committee.

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