The safety of elections was on the ballot in seven states last night, as voters made decisions about early voting, allowing non-citizens to vote, voter identification requirements, and allowing outside groups to contribute to running elections.
Here’s what we know about those ballot initiatives so far.
In Arizona, 66% of ballots have been counted, and Proposition 309 is losing in a close race, 50.7% to 49.3%. The measure would tighten election security and require dates of birth and voter identification numbers for mail-in ballots. Those who vote in person would need to present a driver’s license or a government-issued ID.
We’re all waiting for Maricopa County to count those last 400,000 ballots.
In Alabama, Amendment 4 will pass, as voters currently approve the measure by a large margin of almost 80% to 20%, with 72% of votes counted. The constitutional amendment prohibits changes to election laws within six months of a general election, helping increase election integrity in the state.
Connecticut’s Question 1 amends the state constitution to authorize the state legislature to provide by law for in-person early voting before an election. The measure was approved by voters by a vote of 60.4% to 39.6%. Until now, it was one of 4 states, along with Alabama, Mississippi and New Hampshire, that did not offer early in-person voting.
Early voting means voters sometimes choose before candidates have debated and before they have all the information about candidates, says election integrity expert Hans von Spakovsky. In this election, more than 47 million votes were cast by mail-in ballot or early in-person voting.
Massachusetts’ Question 4 changes the process for non-citizens to obtain a driver’s license – which usually includes automatic voter registration. The measure passed, 53.7% to 46.3%. Those who cannot verify citizenship or legal immigration status will be allowed to present alternative ID for a driver’s license.
The question was backed by left-leaning groups like the Service Employees International Union and the ACLU. It also requires the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Secretary of the Commonwealth to make sure those non-citizens are not automatically registered to vote when they obtain a driver’s license.
Michigan voters approved Proposal 2, the Voting Policies in Constitution Amendment, by a vote of 60% to 40%. The sweeping measure creates a nine-day early voting period, allows a signed affidavit or photo ID to vote, and gives voters a right to request an absentee ballot. It prohibits any interference with a person’s right to vote.
Proposal 2 also requires the state to fund prepaid stamps for mail-in ballots, a tracking system for absentee ballots and absentee ballot drop boxes. It allows local governments to accept assistance and money from outside groups for running elections, and it provides that election officials are responsible for election audits, requiring election audits to be conducted in public, and requiring election results to be certified based on votes cast.
Nevada’s Question 3 would establish “open top-five primaries and ranked-choice voting for general elections, which would apply to congressional, gubernatorial, state executive official, and state legislative elections.” With 77% of the votes in, the measure is passing, 52% to 48%.
Ranked choice voting is where voters rank their choice of candidates in a primary. With Question 3, the top five then proceed to the general election, where voters again rank them in order of preference. The candidate who receives a majority of the highest ranking wins. If no candidate receives a majority, the bottom candidate is dropped, and the second-place rankings are added to each candidate’s total. This repeats until a candidate wins the majority.
Alaska and Maine are the other states that use ranked-choice voting, and 20 cities have this system for local elections.
Ohio Issue 2, the Citizenship Voting Requirement Amendment, was approved by a huge margin of 77% to 23%. The constitutional amendment prohibits “local governments from allowing noncitizens or those who lack the qualifications of an elector to vote in local elections.”
For Louisiana Amendment 1, the Citizen Requirement for Voting Measure, we’ll have to wait until December 10, when voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that prohibits non-citizens from registering and voting.
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