Bill Text: IA HF129 | 2019-2020 | 88th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to the administration of elections, including voter identity verification and straight party voting, and including applicability provisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 10-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-24 - Introduced, referred to State Government. H.J. 147. [HF129 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2019-HF129-Introduced.html
House File 129 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 129 BY HUNTER , STAED , STECKMAN , MASCHER , BEARINGER , OLDSON , KURTZ , LENSING , WESSEL-KROESCHELL , and JACOBY A BILL FOR An Act relating to the administration of elections, including 1 voter identity verification and straight party voting, and 2 including applicability provisions. 3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 4 TLSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh
H.F. 129 Section 1. Section 22.7, subsections 72 and 73, Code 2019, 1 are amended by striking the subsections. 2 Sec. 2. Section 48A.2, subsection 6, Code 2019, is amended 3 by striking the subsection. 4 Sec. 3. Section 48A.7A, subsection 1, paragraph c, Code 5 2019, is amended to read as follows: 6 c. In lieu of paragraph “b” , a person wishing to vote may 7 establish identity and residency in the precinct by written 8 oath of a person who is registered to vote in the precinct. 9 Before signing an oath under this paragraph, the attesting 10 registered voter shall present to the precinct election 11 official proof of the voter’s identity, as described in section 12 49.78, subsection 2 or 3 . The registered voter’s oath shall 13 attest to the stated identity of the person wishing to vote 14 and that the person is a current resident of the precinct. 15 The oath must be signed by the attesting registered voter in 16 the presence of the appropriate precinct election official. 17 A registered voter who has signed an oath on election day 18 attesting to a person’s identity and residency as provided in 19 this paragraph is prohibited from signing any further oaths as 20 provided in this paragraph on that day. 21 Sec. 4. Section 48A.38, subsection 1, paragraph f, Code 22 2019, is amended to read as follows: 23 f. The county commissioner of registration and the state 24 registrar of voters shall remove a voter’s whole or partial 25 social security number, as applicable, voter identification 26 number assigned by the state commissioner, Iowa driver’s 27 license number, or Iowa nonoperator’s identification card 28 number from a voter registration list prepared pursuant to this 29 section . 30 Sec. 5. Section 49.37, Code 2019, is amended by striking the 31 section and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 32 49.37 Arrangement of ballot. 33 1. For general elections, and for other elections in which 34 more than one partisan office will be filled, the first section 35 -1- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 1/ 8
H.F. 129 of the ballot shall be for straight party voting. 1 a. Each political party or organization which has 2 nominated candidates for more than one office shall be listed. 3 Instructions to the voter for straight party or organization 4 voting shall be in substantially the following form: 5 To vote for all candidates from a single party or 6 organization, mark the voting target next to the party or 7 organization name. Not all parties or organizations have 8 nominated candidates for all offices. Marking a straight party 9 or organization vote does not include votes for nonpartisan 10 offices, judges, or questions. 11 b. Political parties and nonparty political organizations 12 which have nominated candidates for only one office shall 13 be listed below the other political organizations under the 14 following heading: 15 Other Political Organizations. The following organizations 16 have nominated candidates for only one office: 17 c. Offices shall be arranged in groups. Partisan offices, 18 nonpartisan offices, judges, and public measures shall be 19 separated by a distinct line appearing on the ballot. 20 2. The commissioner shall arrange the ballot in conformity 21 with the certificate issued by the state commissioner under 22 section 43.73, in that the names of the respective candidates 23 for each political party shall appear in the order they 24 appeared on the certificate, above or to the left of the 25 nonparty political organization candidates. 26 3. The commissioner shall arrange the partisan county 27 offices on the ballot with the board of supervisors first, 28 followed by the other county offices in the same sequence in 29 which they appear in section 39.17. Nonpartisan offices shall 30 be listed after partisan offices. 31 Sec. 6. Section 49.53, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended 32 to read as follows: 33 1. The commissioner shall not less than four nor more than 34 twenty days before the day of each election, except those for 35 -2- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 2/ 8
H.F. 129 which different publication requirements are prescribed by law, 1 publish notice of the election. The notice shall contain a 2 facsimile of the portion of the ballot containing the first 3 rotation as prescribed by section 49.31, subsection 2 , and 4 shall show the names of all candidates or nominees and the 5 office each seeks, and all public questions, to be voted upon 6 at the election. The sample ballot published as a part of the 7 notice may at the discretion of the commissioner be reduced in 8 size relative to the actual ballot but such reduction shall 9 not cause upper case letters appearing in candidates’ names or 10 in summaries of public measures on the published sample ballot 11 to be less than nine point type. The notice shall also state 12 the date of the election, the hours the polls will be open, 13 that each voter is required to provide identification at the 14 polling place before the voter can receive and cast a ballot, 15 the location of each polling place at which voting is to occur 16 in the election, and the names of the precincts voting at each 17 polling place, but the statement need not set forth any fact 18 which is apparent from the portion of the ballot appearing as 19 a part of the same notice. The notice shall include the full 20 text of all public measures to be voted upon at the election. 21 Sec. 7. Section 49.57, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended 22 to read as follows: 23 2. In the area of the general election ballot for straight 24 party voting, the party or organization names shall be printed 25 in upper case and lower case letters using a uniform font size 26 for each political party or nonparty political organization. 27 The font size shall not be less than twelve point type. After 28 the name of each candidate for a partisan office the name of 29 the candidate’s political party shall be printed in at least 30 six point type. The names of political parties and nonparty 31 political organizations may be abbreviated on the remainder of 32 the ballot if both the full name and the abbreviation appear 33 in the “Straight Party” and “Other Political Party” areas of 34 the ballot. 35 -3- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 3/ 8
H.F. 129 Sec. 8. Section 49.77, subsection 1, unnumbered paragraph 1 1, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows: 2 The board members of their respective precincts shall have 3 charge of the ballots and shall furnish them to the voters 4 after verifying each voter’s identity pursuant to section 5 49.78 . 6 Sec. 9. Section 49.81, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended 7 by striking the subsection. 8 Sec. 10. NEW SECTION . 49.94 How to mark a straight ticket. 9 If all the candidates for whom a voter desires to vote in any 10 election other than the primary election were nominated by the 11 same political party or nonparty political organization, and 12 the voter desires to vote for all candidates nominated by that 13 political party or organization, the voter may do so in any one 14 of the following ways: 15 1. The voter may mark the voting target next to the name of 16 the political party or nonparty political organization in the 17 straight party or organization section of the ballot without 18 marking any voting target next to the name of a candidate 19 nominated by the party or organization. 20 2. The voter may mark the voting target next to the name 21 of the political party or nonparty political organization in 22 the straight party or organization section of the ballot and 23 also mark any or all of the voting targets next to the names of 24 candidates nominated by that party or organization. 25 Sec. 11. NEW SECTION . 49.95 Voting part of ticket only. 26 If all the candidates for whom the voter desires to vote were 27 nominated by the same political party or nonparty political 28 organization but the voter does not desire to vote for all of 29 the candidates nominated by the party or organization, the 30 voter shall mark the voting target next to the name of each 31 candidate for whom the voter desires to vote without marking 32 the target next to the name of the party or organization in the 33 straight party or organization section of the ballot. 34 Sec. 12. NEW SECTION . 49.96 Offices with more than one 35 -4- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 4/ 8
H.F. 129 person to be elected. 1 Where more than one person is to be elected to the same 2 office at the same election, and all of the candidates for 3 that office for whom the voter desires to vote were nominated 4 by the political party or nonparty political organization for 5 which the voter has marked a straight party or organization 6 vote, the voter need not otherwise indicate the vote for that 7 office. However, if a voter who has marked a straight party 8 or organization ticket also marks the voting targets next to 9 the names of one or more candidates for any office, only the 10 votes cast separately for individual candidates for that office 11 shall be counted. If the voter wishes to vote for candidates 12 who were nominated by different political parties or nonparty 13 political organizations, the voter must mark the voting target 14 for each candidate the voter has chosen, whether or not the 15 voter has also marked a straight party or organization vote. 16 Sec. 13. NEW SECTION . 49.97 How to mark a mixed ticket. 17 If all candidates for whom a voter desires to vote were not 18 nominated by the same political party or nonparty political 19 organization, the voter may indicate the candidates of 20 the voter’s choice by marking the ballot in any one of the 21 following ways: 22 1. The voter may mark a straight party or organization 23 vote for the party or nonparty political organization which 24 nominated some of the candidates for whom the voter desires 25 to vote and vote for candidates of other parties or nonparty 26 political organizations by marking the voting targets next to 27 their names. 28 2. The voter may vote for each candidate separately without 29 marking any straight party or organization vote. 30 Sec. 14. Section 49.98, Code 2019, is amended to read as 31 follows: 32 49.98 Counting ballots. 33 The ballots shall be counted according to the voters’ marks 34 on them as provided in sections 49.92 and 49.93 to 49.97 , 35 -5- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 5/ 8
H.F. 129 and not otherwise. If, for any reason, it is impossible 1 to determine from a ballot, as marked, the choice of the 2 voter for any office, the vote for that office shall not be 3 counted. When there is a conflict between a straight party or 4 organization vote for one political party or nonparty political 5 organization and the vote cast by marking the voting target 6 next to the name of a candidate for another political party or 7 nonparty political organization on the ballot, the mark next 8 to the name of the candidate shall be held to control, and the 9 straight party or organization vote in that case shall not 10 apply as to that office. A ballot shall be rejected if the 11 voter used a mark to identify the voter’s ballot. The For each 12 voting system, the state commissioner shall, by rule adopted 13 pursuant to chapter 17A , develop uniform definitions of what 14 constitutes a vote. 15 Sec. 15. Section 49.124, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended 16 by striking the subsection. 17 Sec. 16. Section 53.2, subsection 4, Code 2019, is amended 18 to read as follows: 19 4. a. Each application shall contain the following 20 information: 21 (1) The name and signature of the registered voter. 22 (2) The registered voter’s date of birth. 23 (3) The address at which the voter is registered to vote. 24 (4) The registered voter’s voter verification number. 25 (5) (4) The name or date of the election for which the 26 absentee ballot is requested. 27 (6) (5) Such other information as may be necessary to 28 determine the correct absentee ballot for the registered voter. 29 b. If insufficient information has been provided, including 30 the absence of a voter verification number, either on the 31 prescribed form or on an application created by the applicant, 32 the commissioner shall, by the best means available, obtain 33 the additional necessary information. A voter requesting 34 or casting a ballot pursuant to section 53.22 shall not be 35 -6- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 6/ 8
H.F. 129 required to provide a voter verification number. 1 c. For purposes of this subsection , “voter verification 2 number” means the registered voter’s driver’s license number 3 or nonoperator’s identification card number assigned to the 4 voter by the department of transportation or the registered 5 voter’s identification number assigned to the voter by the 6 state commissioner pursuant to section 47.7, subsection 2 . 7 Sec. 17. Section 53.22, subsection 8, Code 2019, is amended 8 by striking the subsection. 9 Sec. 18. Section 53.25, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code 10 2019, is amended by striking the paragraph. 11 Sec. 19. Section 53.25, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended 12 to read as follows: 13 2. If the absentee or provisional ballot is rejected prior 14 to the opening of the affidavit envelope or return envelope 15 marked with the affidavit, the voter casting the ballot shall 16 be notified by a precinct election official by the time the 17 canvass is completed of the reason for the rejection on a form 18 prescribed by the state commissioner of elections. 19 Sec. 20. REPEAL. Sections 48A.10A and 49.78, Code 2019, 20 are repealed. 21 Sec. 21. APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to elections held 22 on or after the effective date of this Act. 23 EXPLANATION 24 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 25 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 26 This bill relates to the administration of elections, 27 including voter identity verification and straight party 28 voting. The bill removes the requirement that a voter 29 establish the voter’s identity by providing certain documents. 30 The bill also removes the requirement that a registered voter 31 swearing an oath attesting to another voter’s eligibility to 32 vote prove the registered voter’s identity by providing certain 33 documents. The bill repeals the program for the automatic 34 issuance of voter identification cards to registered voters who 35 -7- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 7/ 8
H.F. 129 do not have a driver’s license or nonoperator’s identification 1 card. 2 The bill also allows a voter to vote for all candidates of 3 a single party that has multiple candidates on a ballot by 4 marking a voting target on the first section of the ballot. 5 In cases where more than one person is being elected to a 6 single office, the voter must mark each candidate for whom the 7 voter desires to vote if the candidates do not all belong to 8 the party for which the voter cast a straight party vote. If 9 there is a conflict between a straight party vote and a vote 10 for a candidate not of that party, the vote for the individual 11 candidate controls. 12 The bill removes the requirement that a voter applying for an 13 absentee ballot provide the voter’s voter verification number 14 on the application for an absentee ballot. 15 The bill applies to elections held on or after the effective 16 date of the bill. 17 -8- LSB 1444YH (3) 88 ss/jh 8/ 8
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