House File 2065 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 2065 BY HUNTER A BILL FOR An Act authorizing certain cities to conduct city elections by 1 absentee ballot. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 5803HH (4) 85 aw/sc
H.F. 2065 Section 1. Section 376.1, Code 2014, is amended to read as 1 follows: 2 376.1 City election held —— absentee ballot elections 3 authorized . 4 1. A city shall hold a regular city election on the first 5 Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each odd-numbered 6 year. A city shall hold regular, special, primary, or runoff 7 city elections as provided by state law. 8 2. The mayor or council shall give notice of any special 9 election to the county commissioner of elections. The county 10 commissioner of elections shall publish notice of any city 11 election and conduct the election pursuant to the provisions of 12 chapters 39 to 53 , except as otherwise specifically provided 13 in chapters 362 to 392 . The results of any election shall be 14 canvassed by the county board of supervisors and certified 15 by the county commissioner of elections to the mayor and the 16 council of the city for which the election is held. 17 3. a. The council of a city with a population of two 18 hundred or less according to the most recent federal decennial 19 census may adopt an ordinance providing that elections be 20 conducted by absentee ballot. If the city council adopts 21 such an ordinance, the clerk shall notify the commissioner 22 of elections of the adoption of the ordinance, and the 23 commissioner shall mail an absentee ballot application form 24 by forwardable mail to each registered voter within the city 25 who is on active status pursuant to section 48A.37 no fewer 26 than twenty-five days before each regular city election or 27 special election for the city. The commissioner shall also 28 enclose a postage paid return envelope and a notice in the form 29 prescribed by the state commissioner informing the voter that 30 voting in person on election day will also be available at the 31 commissioner’s office during the time the polls are open. The 32 commissioner may designate one additional site as an election 33 day polling place for a city that adopts an ordinance pursuant 34 to this subsection. The location of the additional polling 35 -1- LSB 5803HH (4) 85 aw/sc 1/ 3
H.F. 2065 place shall be included in the notice to the voter. 1 b. The additional polling place designated under this 2 subsection is subject to the requirements of section 49.21 3 relating to accessibility to persons with disabilities 4 and relating to the posting of signs. The location of the 5 additional polling place shall be published by the county 6 commissioner of elections as required by section 49.53. 7 c. The provisions of chapter 53, insofar as applicable, 8 shall apply to absentee ballot elections authorized under this 9 subsection. 10 d. The county commissioner of elections conducting an 11 election pursuant to this subsection shall submit a report 12 to the state commissioner of elections within sixty days 13 following the election. The report shall include information 14 on the number of voters who were sent an absentee ballot, the 15 number of returned absentee ballots, the number of voters who 16 cast ballots at the county commissioner’s office, whether 17 an additional site was made available as a polling place 18 on election day pursuant to paragraph “a” , and, if such an 19 additional site was made available, the number of voters who 20 cast ballots at that site, and any obstacles encountered in the 21 voting process for the election. The state commissioner shall 22 submit a copy of the report to the chairpersons and ranking 23 members of the general assembly’s standing committees on state 24 government within ten days following the receipt of the report. 25 EXPLANATION 26 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 27 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 28 This bill authorizes certain cities to conduct city 29 elections by absentee ballot. 30 The bill allows cities with populations of 200 or less to 31 adopt an ordinance providing that city elections be conducted 32 by absentee ballot. The bill requires the county commissioner 33 of elections responsible for conducting elections for such a 34 city to mail an absentee ballot application form by forwardable 35 -2- LSB 5803HH (4) 85 aw/sc 2/ 3
H.F. 2065 mail to each active status registered voter within the city 1 no fewer than 25 days before each regular city election or 2 special election for that city. The bill requires that the 3 county commissioner of elections also enclose a postage paid 4 return envelope and a notice that in-person voting will also 5 be available at the county commissioner’s office on the day of 6 the election and, if applicable, the location of the additional 7 polling place. The bill allows the county commissioner to 8 designate one additional election day polling place for such 9 cities. 10 The bill further requires the county commissioner of 11 elections to submit a report on the city election to the 12 state commissioner of elections within 60 days following the 13 city election. The bill further requires that the state 14 commissioner submit a copy of the report to the chairpersons 15 and ranking members of the general assembly’s standing 16 committees on state government. 17 -3- LSB 5803HH (4) 85 aw/sc 3/ 3