Bill Summaries: H994 TOP FOUR OPEN PRIMARY/ELECTIONS.

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  • Summary date: Apr 26 2019 - More information

    Sets out the purpose of the act. Provides that the procedures described in the act apply to election of any State or federal office, but not to any candidate for president. Requires that in order to appear on the primary ballot, candidates meet any petitioning requirements set by State law for nomination. Requires the open primary to allow every eligible voter, irrespective of party affiliation or unaffiliated status, to vote for any candidate, irrespective of their party affiliation, and allows voters to vote for one candidate. The four candidates with the most votes from the primary advance to the general election. Allows minor parties that are qualified for the general election to choose their nominee by party convention; therefore, general election may consist of the four highest-polling primary candidates and any minor party and unaffiliated candidates who meet state ballot access requirements. Requires the general election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in even-number years and requires it to be conducted by ranked-choice voting under which voters rank candidates in order of preference. Candidates with the fewest first-preference votes are eliminated and votes are redistributed to candidates that voters have marked as their next preferences.

    Requires the State Board of Elections (State Board) to research and develop an optimal method for conducting and counting a ranked-choice voting election that includes a review of the specified issues. As part of the process, also requires the State Board to research and design an easy-to-understand ballot for ranking preferred candidates. 

    The above provisions are effective December 1, 2019. 

    Appropriates $410,000 in nonrecurring funds for each year of the 2019-2021 biennium from the General Fund to the State Board for implementation, education, and training related to ranked-choice elections. Requires that $210,00 of those funds be allocated to information technology development work related to election reporting and ballot changes to integrate into the current Statewide Elections Information Management System and $200,000 be used for statewide education and training. Effective July 1, 2019.


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