Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in so many respects, it did demonstrate that comprehensive change in our voting system to ensure and expand accessibility was both achievable and sustainable. This comprehensive legislation, supported by the ACLU and more than two dozen other advocacy groups, was introduced to build upon the successfully implemented changes of the 2020 election cycle. It included provisions that would have officially codified an early voting process; created a permanent mail ballot list and the ability to electronically request a mail ballot; and removed the onerous two-witness signature or notary requirement for mail ballots which we successfully sued over last year.
We further supported legislation from the Board of Elections (H 5744, S 625) which would have created a process for candidates to gather, as a part of the ballot nomination procedures, signatures from constituents electronically. A lawsuit filed by our affiliate on behalf of candidates seeking to collect signatures in this manner during the pandemic was successfully settled and implemented, and we encouraged the adoption of a permanent protocol for this process.
Unfortunately, all three pieces of legislation died in committee.