House File 708 - Enrolled




                                             HOUSE FILE 708

                             AN ACT
 RELATING TO ABSENTEE BALLOTS DELIVERED TO APPLICANTS WHO ARE
    PATIENTS OR RESIDENTS OF HOSPITALS OR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES.

 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:

    Section 1.  Section 53.8, subsection 3, Code 2009, is
 amended to read as follows:
    3.  a.  When an application for an absentee ballot is
 received by the commissioner of any county from a registered
 voter who is a patient in a hospital in that county or a
 resident of any facility in that county shown to be a health
 care facility by the list of licenses provided the
 commissioner under section 135C.29, the absentee ballot shall
 be delivered to the voter and returned to the commissioner in
 the manner prescribed by section 53.22.  However, if
    b.  (1)  If the application is received more than five days
 before the ballots are printed and the commissioner has
 elected to have the ballots personally delivered during the
 ten=day period after the ballots are printed, the commissioner
 shall mail to the applicant within twenty=four hours a letter
 in substantially the following form:
    Your application for an absentee ballot for the election to
 be held on .................... has been received.  This
 ballot will be personally delivered to you by a bipartisan
 team sometime during the ten days after the ballots are
 printed.  If you will not be at the address from which your
 application was sent during any or all of the ten=day period
 immediately following the printing of the ballots, the ballot
 will be personally delivered to you sometime during the
 fourteen days preceding the election.  If you will not be at
 the address from which your application was sent during either
 of these time periods, contact this office and arrangements
 will be made to have your absentee ballot delivered at a time
 when you will be present at that address.
    (2)  If the application is received more than ten fourteen
 calendar days before the election and the commissioner has not
 elected to mail absentee ballots to the applicant applicants
 as provided under section 53.22, subsection 3, and has not
 elected to have the absentee ballots personally delivered
 during the ten=day period after the ballots are printed, the
 commissioner shall mail to the applicant within twenty=four
 hours a letter in substantially the following form:
    Your application for an absentee ballot for the election to
 be held on .................... has been received.  This
 ballot will be personally delivered to you by a bipartisan
 team sometime during the ten fourteen days preceding the
 election.  If you will not be at the address from which your
 application was sent during any or all of the ten=day
 fourteen=day period immediately preceding the election,
 contact this office and arrangements will be made to have your
 absentee ballot delivered at a time when you will be present
 at that address.
    b. c.  Nothing in this subsection nor in section 53.22
 shall be construed to prohibit a registered voter who is a
 hospital patient or resident of a health care facility, or who
 anticipates entering a hospital or health care facility before
 the date of a forthcoming election, from casting an absentee
 ballot in the manner prescribed by section 53.10 or 53.11.
    Sec. 2.  Section 53.22, subsection 1, paragraph a,
 subparagraph (1), Code 2009, is amended to read as follows:
    (1)  A registered voter who has applied for an absentee
 ballot, in a manner other than that prescribed by section
 53.10 or 53.11, and who is a resident or patient in a health
 care facility or hospital located in the county to which the
 application has been submitted shall be delivered the
 appropriate absentee ballot by two special precinct election
 officers, one of whom shall be a member of each of the
 political parties referred to in section 49.13, who shall be
 appointed by the commissioner from the election board panel
 for the special precinct established by section 53.20.  The
 special precinct election officers shall be sworn in the
 manner provided by section 49.75 for election board members,
 shall receive compensation as provided in section 49.20, and
 shall perform their duties during the ten calendar days after
 the ballots are printed if the commissioner so elects, during
 the ten fourteen calendar days preceding the election, and on
 election day if all ballots requested under section 53.8,
 subsection 3, have not previously been delivered and returned.
    Sec. 3.  Section 53.22, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code
 2009, is amended to read as follows:
    b.  If an applicant under this subsection notifies the
 commissioner that the applicant will not be available at the
 health care facility or hospital address at any time during
 the ten=day period after the ballots are printed, if
 applicable, or during the ten=day fourteen=day period
 immediately prior to the election, but will be available there
 at some earlier other time prior to the election or on
 election day, the commissioner shall direct the two special
 precinct election officers to deliver the applicant's ballot
 at an appropriate time prior to the ten=day period immediately
 preceding the election or on election day.  If a person who so
 requested an absentee ballot has been dismissed from the
 health care facility or hospital, the special precinct
 election officers may take the ballot to the voter if the
 voter is currently residing in the county.
    Sec. 4.  Section 53.22, Code 2009, is amended by adding the
 following new subsection:
    NEW SUBSECTION.  6.  Observers representing candidates,
 political parties, or nonparty political organizations, or
 observers who are opponents or proponents of a ballot issue to
 be voted on at the election are prohibited from being present
 at a hospital or health care facility during the time the
 special precinct election officers are delivering absentee
 ballots to the residents of such hospital or health care
 facility.


                                                             
                               PATRICK J. MURPHY
                               Speaker of the House


                                                             
                               JOHN P. KIBBIE
                               President of the Senate

    I hereby certify that this bill originated in the House and
 is known as House File 708, Eighty=third General Assembly.


                                                             
                               MARK BRANDSGARD
                               Chief Clerk of the House
 Approved                , 2009


                            
 CHESTER J. CULVER
 Governor

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