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April 1965

October 1965

Election Laws (Nan Lowers)
Legislative News on Election Laws (Sue Thorndike)
Our First State Convention
Program of the League of Women Voters
State Board
President's Message (Marguerite Simson)

State Program 1965-1967

Legislative News on Election Laws

Forty-five bills touching on some aspect of elections are now in the hopper. If the number of bills introduced on one subject has any relation to the prospect for action, we are likely to see lively discussion in the area of residency requirements. Prime interest seems to lie in the highly publicized problem of registration of military personnel. There are two basic approaches to this: One would remove all special tests of residency now required of servicemen personnel living on or off the base.

The other provides for an affidavit of intent for anyone wishing to establish permanent residence. Such affidavit would be accepted as presumptive evidence but its absence would not necessarily mean the absence of intent.

Other proposed changes in residence requirements include the reduction from one year to six months for all state or local elections; reduction from three months to one for residence in the voter's district and provision for new residents to vote for President and Vice President in national elections.

Residency of candidates assumes great importance because of the dislocations that will be caused by reapportionment. One bill stiffens residency for filing while another completely eliminates requirement of residency in the district.

Primaries are another area of lively interest. There are two bills to abolish the direct primary, another to keep the primary as it is operated this year but to repeal provisions for eventual permanent party registration. On non-partisan candidates, two bills have been introduced which set up a separate non-partisan ballot for primaries. Other important areas include reduction of the minimum voting age to eighteen, to require voters signature at polls, the inclusion of all languages in the literacy test, provision for write-in candidates in general elections, initiative and referendum, the establishment of a commission on registration and voting, the election of precinct workers and straight ticket voting.

Sue Thorndike

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