Senate File 331 - Introduced




                                 SENATE FILE       
                                 BY  COMMITTEE ON STATE
                                     GOVERNMENT

                                 (SUCCESSOR TO SSB
                                     1152)

                                      A BILL FOR

  1 An Act permitting electronic voter registration and including
  2    penalties and effective date provisions.
  3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
    TLSB 1882SV (3) 86
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PAG LIN



  1  1    Section 1.  Section 39A.2, subsection 1, paragraph a,
  1  2 subparagraph (2), Code 2015, is amended to read as follows:
  1  3    (2)  Falsely swears to an oath required pursuant to section
  1  4 48A.7A or section 48A.8A.
  1  5    Sec. 2.  NEW SECTION.  48A.8A  Electronic registration.
  1  6    1.  An eligible elector may apply to register to vote by
  1  7 electronic means by completing and submitting an electronic
  1  8 voter registration form accessible to the registrant through
  1  9 the state commissioner's internet site, maintained by the
  1 10 state commissioner in cooperation with the department of
  1 11 transportation. Each commissioner of registration's internet
  1 12 site shall provide an electronic link to the electronic voter
  1 13 registration form on the state commissioner's internet site
  1 14 provided under this subsection.
  1 15    2.  Each internet site described in this section and the
  1 16 electronic voter registration form accessible through the state
  1 17 commissioner's internet site shall meet the requirements of 29
  1 18 U.S.C. {794d and 42 U.S.C. {12131 et seq. to ensure access to
  1 19 and usability for eligible electors with disabilities.  The
  1 20 state commissioner shall consult with accessibility experts
  1 21 in developing the electronic voter registration form provided
  1 22 under this section. The state commissioner shall present the
  1 23 electronic voter registration form and the state commissioner's
  1 24 internet site to the clinical law program for disability law at
  1 25 the university of Iowa to verify conformity of those electronic
  1 26 materials with the requirements of this subsection.
  1 27    3.  An electronic voter registration form completed pursuant
  1 28 to this section shall require that a registrant:
  1 29    a.  Provide the information and attestation required pursuant
  1 30 to section 48A.11.
  1 31    b.  Provide an Iowa driver's license number, an Iowa
  1 32 nonoperator's identification card number, or a social security
  1 33 number.
  1 34    c.  Attest to a statement that lists each eligibility
  1 35 requirement and affirm that the registrant meets all of the
  2  1 requirements.
  2  2    d.  Affirmatively authorize the state commissioner to use
  2  3 the registrant's signature obtained from the department of
  2  4 transportation if the registrant has a current and valid
  2  5 driver's license or nonoperator's identification card that was
  2  6 issued by the department.
  2  7    e.  Affirmatively authorize the state commissioner to use the
  2  8 digitally typed signature obtained pursuant to section 48A.13
  2  9 if the applicant does not have a current and valid driver's
  2 10 license or nonoperator's identification card that was issued by
  2 11 the department of transportation.
  2 12    f.  If a registrant submits an electronic voter registration
  2 13 form after the voter registration deadline under section
  2 14 48A.9, the state commissioner shall, immediately following
  2 15 the submission, provide the registrant with notice through
  2 16 the state commissioner's internet site of election day and
  2 17 in=person absentee registration procedures under section
  2 18 48A.7A.  If the state commissioner is required to provide
  2 19 notice under this paragraph, the state commissioner shall also
  2 20 send a notice by mail advising the registrant of election day
  2 21 and in=person absentee registration procedures under section
  2 22 48A.7A.
  2 23    g.  The electronic registration form developed by the state
  2 24 commissioner shall provide a registrant with the ability to
  2 25 print the form for completion and submission to the appropriate
  2 26 commissioner of registration.
  2 27    4.  a.  The department of transportation shall, upon request,
  2 28 provide to the state commissioner a copy of the registrant's
  2 29 signature in electronic format if the registrant's signature is
  2 30 on record with the department of transportation.
  2 31    b.  A voter registration agency shall, upon request, provide
  2 32 to the state commissioner a copy of the registrant's signature
  2 33 in electronic format if the registrant's signature is on record
  2 34 with that agency.
  2 35    c.  A commissioner of registration shall, upon request,
  3  1 provide to the state commissioner a copy of the registrant's
  3  2 signature in electronic format if the registrant's signature is
  3  3 accepted and on record with the commissioner of registration
  3  4 pursuant to section 48A.13.
  3  5    5.  The state commissioner and the department of
  3  6 transportation shall transmit to the appropriate commissioner
  3  7 of registration a registrant's completed voter registration
  3  8 form not later than the next business day following the
  3  9 registrant's electronic submission of the form or by the next
  3 10 applicable voter registration deadline under section 48A.9,
  3 11 whichever is earlier.
  3 12    6.  An electronic voter registration form completed under
  3 13 this section shall be accompanied by the following statement
  3 14 featured prominently on the internet site in boldface capital
  3 15 letters prior to submission of the form:
  3 16    WARNING:  I UNDERSTAND THAT ANY FALSE STATEMENT IN THIS OATH
  3 17 IS A CLASS "D" FELONY PUNISHABLE BY NO MORE THAN FIVE YEARS IN
  3 18 CONFINEMENT AND A FINE OF AT LEAST SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS
  3 19 BUT NOT MORE THAN SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.
  3 20    7.  An eligible elector who registers pursuant to this
  3 21 section and who has not previously voted in an election for
  3 22 federal office in the county of registration shall be treated
  3 23 as a registrant by mail and is subject to the provisions of
  3 24 section 48A.8, subsections 2 through 4.
  3 25    8.  For the purposes of this section:
  3 26    a.  "Digitally typed signature" means the registrant's
  3 27 electronic signature that is made by typing the registrant's
  3 28 name and the current date and provided by the registrant
  3 29 to affirmatively verify the truthfulness and legitimacy of
  3 30 the information provided by the registrant on the completed
  3 31 electronic voter registration form.
  3 32    b.  "State commissioner" means the state commissioner of
  3 33 elections.
  3 34    c.  "Voter registration agency" means a voter registration
  3 35 agency under section 48A.19 or voter registration agencies
  4  1 designated by another state pursuant to 42 U.S.C. {1973gg=1.
  4  2    Sec. 3.  Section 48A.13, Code 2015, is amended to read as
  4  3 follows:
  4  4    48A.13  Electronic signatures on voter registration records.
  4  5    Electronic Digitally typed signatures shall be accepted.
  4  6 However, before the use of electronic signatures is accepted
  4  7 on voter registration forms, the state voter registration
  4  8 commission shall prescribe by rule the technological
  4  9 requirements for guaranteeing the security and integrity
  4 10 of electronic signatures.  The state voter registration
  4 11 commission may adopt rules to require a registrant, in order
  4 12 to submit an electronic voter registration form pursuant to
  4 13 section 48A.8A, to affirmatively verify the truthfulness and
  4 14 legitimacy of the information provided by the registrant on a
  4 15 completed electronic voter registration form. The state voter
  4 16 registration commission may prescribe by rule additional means
  4 17 of providing an electronic signature on voter registration
  4 18 forms.
  4 19    Sec. 4.  Section 48A.27, subsection 1, Code 2015, is amended
  4 20 to read as follows:
  4 21    1.  Any voter registration form received by any voter
  4 22 registration agency, driver's license station, including
  4 23 county treasurer's offices participating in county issuance of
  4 24 driver's licenses under chapter 321M, the state commissioner
  4 25 of elections or the department of transportation pursuant to
  4 26 section 48A.8A, or the commissioner shall be considered as
  4 27 updating the registrant's previous registration.
  4 28    Sec. 5.  Section 48A.27, subsection 2, paragraph a, Code
  4 29 2015, is amended by adding the following new subparagraph:
  4 30    NEW SUBPARAGRAPH.  (6)  A voter registration form submitted
  4 31 as provided in section 48A.8A.
  4 32    Sec. 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Act takes effect January 1,
  4 33 2016.
  4 34                           EXPLANATION
  4 35 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
  5  1 the explanation's substance by the members of the general assembly.
  5  2    This bill permits electronic voter registration, electronic
  5  3 updating of voter registration information, and electronic
  5  4 correction of voter registration information, all from the
  5  5 state commissioner of elections' internet site.
  5  6    The bill allows an eligible elector to apply to register to
  5  7 vote or allows a registered voter to update or correct voter
  5  8 registration information by electronic means by completing and
  5  9 submitting an electronic voter registration form accessible
  5 10 to the registrant on the internet site for the secretary of
  5 11 state, serving as the state commissioner of elections. The
  5 12 bill also requires that the state commissioner of elections
  5 13 maintain the internet site in cooperation with the department
  5 14 of transportation.
  5 15    The bill requires that an electronic voter registration
  5 16 form provide space for all the information that is currently
  5 17 required on printed voter registration forms.  The bill also
  5 18 requires that a registrant seeking to use the electronic voter
  5 19 registration form provide an Iowa driver's license number, Iowa
  5 20 nonoperator's identification card number, or a social security
  5 21 number.
  5 22    The bill requires that a registrant attest to a statement
  5 23 that lists each voter registration eligibility requirement,
  5 24 that the registrant meets all of the requirements, and requires
  5 25 the electronic signature of the registrant as described in the
  5 26 bill.
  5 27    The bill requires that the registrant authorize the state
  5 28 commissioner of elections to use the applicant's signature
  5 29 obtained from the department of transportation.
  5 30    The state commissioner of elections is required to notify a
  5 31 registrant by mail within five business days if a copy of the
  5 32 registrant's signature cannot be obtained and is required to
  5 33 include a voter registration form with that notice.
  5 34    The bill requires that a registrant authorize the state
  5 35 commissioner of elections to use a digitally typed signature
  6  1 under certain circumstances and provides a definition.
  6  2    The bill requires the state commissioner of elections to
  6  3 transmit to the appropriate commissioner of registration a
  6  4 registrant's completed voter registration application and
  6  5 electronic signature not later than the next business day after
  6  6 the date of submission of the application and signature or by
  6  7 the next applicable voter registration deadline, whichever is
  6  8 earlier.
  6  9    The bill requires that the electronic registration form be
  6 10 accompanied by a statement featured prominently in boldface
  6 11 capital letters informing the registrant of the penalty
  6 12 for providing false information on a voter registration
  6 13 application.
  6 14    The bill also requires that an electronic voter registration
  6 15 registrant who has not previously voted in an election for
  6 16 federal office in the county of registration must follow the
  6 17 voting requirements of Code section 48A.8 for registrants
  6 18 submitting applications by mail under current law and who
  6 19 have not previously voted in an election for federal office
  6 20 in the county of registration. Code section 48A.8 requires
  6 21 that a mail registrant who has not previously voted in an
  6 22 election for federal office in the county of registration is
  6 23 required to provide identification documents when voting for
  6 24 the first time in the county, unless the registrant provided on
  6 25 the registration form the registrant's Iowa driver's license
  6 26 number, the registrant's Iowa nonoperator's identification
  6 27 card number, or the last four numerals of the registrant's
  6 28 social security number and such information provided matches
  6 29 an existing state or federal identification record with the
  6 30 same number, name, and date of birth.  Code section 48A.8
  6 31 also provides that a registrant who votes in person at the
  6 32 polls or by absentee ballot at the commissioner's office
  6 33 or at a satellite voting station shall provide a form of
  6 34 identification specified in that Code section. Code section
  6 35 48A.8 also requires that if a registrant is voting for the
  7  1 first time following mail registration and votes an absentee
  7  2 ballot by mail, the registrant shall provide a photocopy of the
  7  3 identification document when returning the absentee ballot.
  7  4 Code section 48A.8 also allows a registrant voting in person
  7  5 for the first time following submission of a registration form
  7  6 by mail to vote a provisional ballot if the voter does not
  7  7 provide the required identification documents.
  7  8    The bill provides that the crime of voter registration fraud
  7  9 includes fraudulent electronic registration. Registration
  7 10 fraud is a class "D" felony. A class "D" felony is punishable
  7 11 by confinement for no more than five years and a fine of at
  7 12 least $750 but not more than $7,500.
  7 13    The bill takes effect January 1, 2016.
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