The House today passed a compromise election reform bill that was approved by the Senate last week and has now been sent to the governor for his consideration.

The bill (S. 2924) would make many pandemic-related election changes permanent, expanding some voting opportunities in time for the next statewide election in September. The bill does not include same-day voter registration, a sticking point between the House and Senate in earlier versions of the bills.

The compromise bill would change the voter registration deadline from 20 days before an election to 10 days.

The bill would also allow mail-in ballots for presidential, state and municipal elections, while allowing municipalities to opt out of mail-in voting for elections that are not held on the same day as a state or federal election. Municipalities could, however, allow in-person early voting for those elections if desired.

While these provisions would take effect 30 days after the bill is signed into law, likely in time for the state’s Sept. 6 primary election, the bill includes some provisions that would not go into effect until January 2023. These provisions include automatic voter registration, and expanded voting access procedures for incarcerated individuals.

The Senate passed an election reform bill, known as the VOTES Act, in October 2021, and the House passed its version of the VOTES Act in January. A House-Senate conference committee resolved differences between the two bills.

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