Government affairs

Legislative Updates

More state legislatures advance vote-by-mail initiatives

In 1998, voters in Oregon passed the first state-based initiative requiring all elections to be conducted by mail, reducing the cost of elections and dramatically increasing voter turnout throughout the state. Washington and Colorado followed suit and are experiencing similar results.

Now, legislatures in Hawaii and Maryland are looking at doing the same. Vote-by-mail legislation introduced in Hawaii (H.B. 1653) on Jan. 20 gained significant traction and was passed by the Hawaii’s House on March 8. It now sits with the state’s Senate, where members will continue to hold hearings on the bill.

Maryland’s vote-by-mail bill (S.B. 0938) was assigned to the state’s Senate committee on Education, Health, and Environment Affairs, where members are also holding hearings.

Vote-by-mail does more than just improve democracy; it also strengthens the U.S. Postal Service by increasing mail volume and postal revenue.  Increasing mail volume is important for USPS’ continued financial recovery from the effects of the Great Recession.

Please let the NALC’s Department of Legislative and Political Affairs about any similar activity in your state.

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