MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2017 Regular Session

To: Apportionment and Elections

By: Representative Denny

House Bill 227

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 23-15-153, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE A COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO APPROVE THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR UP TO FIVE ADDITIONAL DAYS TO THE CHAIR OF THE ELECTION COMMISSIONERS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER ADDITIONAL DUTIES AS CHAIR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 23-15-153, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     23-15-153.  (1)  At the following times, the election commissioners * * *of election shall meet at the office of the registrar and carefully revise the registration books and the pollbooks of the several voting precincts, and shall erase from those books the names of all persons erroneously on the books, or who have died, removed or become disqualified as electors from any cause; and shall register the names of all persons who have duly applied to be registered and have been illegally denied registration:

          (a)  On the Tuesday after the second Monday in January 1987 and every following year;

          (b)  On the first Tuesday in the month immediately preceding the first primary election for * * *congressmen members of Congress in the years when * * *congressmen members of Congress are elected;

          (c)  On the first Monday in the month immediately preceding the first primary election for state, state district legislative, county and county district offices in the years in which those offices are elected; and

          (d)  On the second Monday of September preceding the general election or regular special election day in years in which a general election is not conducted.

     Except for the names of those persons who are duly qualified to vote in the election, no name shall * * *be permitted to remain on the registration books and pollbooks; however, no name shall be erased from the registration books or pollbooks based on a change in the residence of an elector except in accordance with procedures provided for by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 that are in effect at the time of such erasure.  Except as otherwise provided by Section 23-15-573, no person shall vote at any election whose name is not on the pollbook.

     (2)  Except as provided in this section, and subject to the following annual limitations, the election commissioners * * *of election shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of Eighty-four Dollars ($84.00), to be paid from the county general fund, for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties in the conduct of an election or actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the registration books and pollbooks as required in subsection (1) of this section:

          (a)  In counties having less than fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than fifty (50) days per year, with no more than fifteen (15) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (b)  In counties having fifteen thousand (15,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than seventy-five (75) days per year, with no more than twenty-five (25) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (c)  In counties having thirty thousand (30,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred (100) days per year, with no more than thirty-five (35) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (l) occurring in any calendar year;

          (d)  In counties having seventy thousand (70,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred twenty-five (125) days per year, with no more than forty-five (45) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (e)  In counties having ninety thousand (90,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred fifty (150) days per year, with no more than fifty-five (55) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (f)  In counties having one hundred seventy thousand (170,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred seventy-five (175) days per year, with no more than sixty-five (65) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (g)  In counties having two hundred thousand (200,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than one hundred ninety (190) days per year, with no more than seventy-five (75) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (l) occurring in any calendar year;

          (h)  In counties having two hundred twenty-five thousand (225,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than two hundred fifteen (215) days per year, with no more than eighty-five (85) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (i)  In counties having two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census but less than two hundred seventy-five thousand (275,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census, not more than two hundred thirty (230) days per year, with no more than ninety-five (95) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (1) occurring in any calendar year;

          (j)  In counties having two hundred seventy-five thousand (275,000) residents according to the latest federal decennial census or more, not more than two hundred forty (240) days per year, with no more than one hundred five (105) additional days allowed for the conduct of each election in excess of one (l) occurring in any calendar year.

     (3)  In addition to the number of days authorized in subsection (2) of this section, the board of supervisors of a county may authorize * * *, in its discretion, the payment of per diem from the county general fund in the amount provided for in subsection (2) of this section to:

          (a)  The election commissioners * * *of election to receive a per diem in the amount provided for in subsection (2) of this section, to be paid from the county general fund, for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties in the conduct of an election or actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the registration books and pollbooks as required in subsection (1) of this section, for not to exceed five (5) days.

          (b)  The chair of the election commissioners for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of his or her additional duties as chair, not to exceed five (5) days.

     (4)  (a)  The election commissioners * * *of election shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of Eighty-four Dollars ($84.00), to be paid from the county general fund, not to exceed ten (10) days for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the registration books and pollbooks * * *prior to before any special election.  For purposes of this paragraph, the regular special election day shall not be considered a special election.  The annual limitations set forth in subsection (2) of this section shall not apply to this paragraph.

          (b)  The election commissioners * * *of election shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00), to be paid from the county general fund, for the performance of their duties on the day of any general or special election.  The annual limitations set forth in subsection (2) of this section shall apply to this paragraph.

     (5)  The election commissioners * * *of election shall be entitled to receive a per diem in the amount of Eighty-four Dollars ($84.00), to be paid from the county general fund, not to exceed fourteen (14) days for every day or period of no less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days actually employed in the performance of their duties for the necessary time spent in the revision of the registration books, pollbooks and in the conduct of a runoff election following either a general or special election.

     (6)  The election commissioners * * *of election shall be entitled to receive only one (1) per diem payment for those days when the election commissioners * * *of election discharge more than one (1) duty or responsibility on the same day.

     (7)  The county registrar shall prepare the pollbooks and the county election commissioners * * *of election shall prepare the registration books of each municipality located within the county pursuant to an agreement between the county and each municipality in the county.  The county election commissioners * * *of election and the county registrar shall be paid by each municipality for the actual cost of preparing registration books and pollbooks for the municipality and shall pay each county election commissioner  * * *of election a per diem in the amount provided for in subsection (2) of this section for each day or period of not less than five (5) hours accumulated over two (2) or more days the commissioners are actually employed in preparing the registration books for the municipality, not to exceed five (5) days.  The county election commissioners * * *of election and county registrar shall provide copies of the registration books and pollbooks to the municipal clerk of each municipality in the county.  The municipality shall pay the county registrar for preparing and printing the pollbooks.  A municipality may secure "read only" access to the Statewide  * * *Centralized Voter Elections Management System and print its own pollbooks using this information; however, county election commissioners * * *of election shall remain responsible for preparing registration books for municipalities and shall be paid for this duty in accordance with this subsection.

     (8)  County election commissioners * * *of election who perform the duties of an executive committee with regard to the conduct of a primary election under a written agreement authorized by law to be entered into with an executive committee shall receive per diem as provided for in subsection (2) of this section.  The days that county election commissioners * * *of election are employed in the conduct of a primary election shall be treated the same as days county election commissioners * * *of election are employed in the conduct of other elections.

     (9)  In addition to any per diem authorized by this section, any election commissioner * * *of election shall be entitled to the mileage reimbursement rate allowable to federal employees for the use of a privately owned vehicle while on official travel on election day.

     (10)  Every election commissioner * * *of election shall sign personally a certification setting forth the number of hours actually worked in the performance of the commissioner's official duties and for which the commissioner seeks compensation.  The certification must be on a form as prescribed in this subsection.  The commissioner's signature is, as a matter of law, made under the commissioner's oath of office and under penalties of perjury.

     The certification form shall be as follows:

COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONER

PER DIEM CLAIM FORM

NAME: ____________________________    COUNTY: _______________

ADDRESS: _________________________    DISTRICT: _____________

CITY: ______________  ZIP: ________

                            PURPOSE  APPLICABLE   ACTUAL  PER DIEM

 DATE    BEGINNING  ENDING    OF      MS CODE     HOURS     DAYS

WORKED     TIME      TIME    WORK    SECTION    WORKED   EARNED

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

TOTAL NUMBER OF PER DIEM DAYS EARNED

     EXCLUDING ELECTION DAYS                        ________

PER DIEM RATE PER DAY EARNED                      X  $84.00

TOTAL NUMBER PER DIEM DAYS EARNED

     FOR ELECTION DAYS                              ________

PER DIEM RATE PER DAY EARNED                      X $150.00

TOTAL AMOUNT OF PER DIEM CLAIMED                  $_______

     I understand that I am signing this document under my oath as  * * *a an election commissioner * * *of election and under penalties of perjury.

     I understand that I am requesting payment from taxpayer funds and that I have an obligation to be specific and truthful as to the amount of hours worked and the compensation I am requesting.

     Signed this the _____day of ______________, ____.

                                  ________________________

                                  Commissioner's Signature

     When properly completed and signed, the certification must be filed with the clerk of the county board of supervisors before any payment may be made.  The certification will be a public record available for inspection and reproduction immediately upon the oral or written request of any person.

     Any person may contest the accuracy of the certification in any respect by notifying the * * *chairman chair of the commission, any member of the board of supervisors or the clerk of the board of supervisors of such contest at any time before or after payment is made.  If the contest is made before payment is made, no payment shall be made as to the contested certificate until the contest is finally disposed of.  The person filing the contest shall be entitled to a full hearing, and the clerk of the board of supervisors shall issue subpoenas upon request of the contestor compelling the attendance of witnesses and production of documents and things.  The contestor shall have the right to appeal de novo to the circuit court of the involved county, which appeal must be perfected within thirty (30) days from a final decision of the commission, the clerk of the board of supervisors or the board of supervisors, as the case may be.

     Any contestor who successfully contests any certification will be awarded all expenses incident to his or her contest, together with reasonable attorney's fees, which will be awarded upon petition to the chancery court of the involved county upon final disposition of the contest before the election commission, board of supervisors, clerk of the board of supervisors, or, in case of an appeal, final disposition by the court.  The commissioner against whom the contest is decided shall be liable for the payment of the expenses and attorney's fees, and the county shall be jointly and severally liable for same.

     (11)  Any election commissioner * * *of election who has not received a certificate issued by the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 23-15-211 indicating that the election commissioner * * *of election has received the required elections seminar instruction and that the election commissioner * * *of election is fully qualified to conduct an election, shall not receive any compensation authorized by this section * * *, Section 23-15-491 or Section 23-15-239.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.