House File 54 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 54 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 1828YH (3) 87 aw/sc
H.F. 54 Section 1. Section 376.1, Code 2017, 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 12 of chapters 39 to through 53 , except as otherwise specifically 13 provided in chapters 362 to through 392 . The results of any 14 election shall be canvassed by the county board of supervisors 15 and certified by the county commissioner of elections to the 16 mayor and the council of the city for which the election is 17 held. 18 3. a. The council of a city with a population of two 19 hundred or less according to the most recent federal decennial 20 census may adopt an ordinance providing that elections be 21 conducted by absentee ballot. If the city council adopts 22 such an ordinance, the clerk shall notify the commissioner 23 of elections of the adoption of the ordinance, and the 24 commissioner shall mail an absentee ballot application form by 25 forwardable mail to each registered voter within the city whose 26 status is designated as active pursuant to section 48A.37 no 27 fewer than twenty-five days before each regular city election 28 or special election for the city. The commissioner shall also 29 enclose a postage paid return envelope and a notice in the form 30 prescribed by the state commissioner informing the voter that 31 voting in person on election day will also be available at the 32 commissioner’s office during the time the polls are open. The 33 commissioner may designate one additional site as an election 34 day polling place for a city that adopts an ordinance pursuant 35 -1- LSB 1828YH (3) 87 aw/sc 1/ 3
H.F. 54 to this subsection. The location of the additional polling 1 place shall be included in the notice to the voter. 2 b. The additional polling place designated under this 3 subsection is subject to the requirements of section 49.21 4 relating to accessibility to persons with disabilities 5 and relating to the posting of signs. The location of the 6 additional polling place shall be published by the county 7 commissioner of elections as required by section 49.53. 8 c. The provisions of chapter 53, insofar as applicable, 9 shall apply to absentee ballot elections authorized under this 10 subsection. 11 d. The county commissioner of elections conducting an 12 election pursuant to this subsection shall submit a report 13 to the state commissioner of elections within sixty days 14 following the election. The report shall include information 15 on the number of voters who were sent an absentee ballot, the 16 number of returned absentee ballots, the number of voters who 17 cast ballots at the county commissioner’s office, whether 18 an additional site was made available as a polling place 19 on election day pursuant to paragraph “a” , and, if such an 20 additional site was made available, the number of voters who 21 cast ballots at that site, and any obstacles encountered in the 22 voting process for the election. The state commissioner shall 23 submit a copy of the report to the chairpersons and ranking 24 members of the general assembly’s standing committees on state 25 government within ten days following the receipt of the report. 26 EXPLANATION 27 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 28 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 29 This bill authorizes certain cities to conduct city 30 elections by absentee ballot. 31 The bill allows cities with populations of 200 or less to 32 adopt an ordinance providing that city elections be conducted 33 by absentee ballot. The bill requires the county commissioner 34 of elections responsible for conducting elections for such a 35 -2- LSB 1828YH (3) 87 aw/sc 2/ 3
H.F. 54 city to mail an absentee ballot application form by forwardable 1 mail to each active status registered voter within the city 2 no fewer than 25 days before each regular city election or 3 special election for that city. The bill requires that the 4 county commissioner of elections also enclose a postage paid 5 return envelope and a notice that in-person voting will also 6 be available at the county commissioner’s office on the day of 7 the election and, if applicable, the location of the additional 8 polling place. The bill allows the county commissioner to 9 designate one additional election day polling place for such 10 cities. 11 The bill further requires the county commissioner of 12 elections to submit a report on a city election conducted by 13 absentee ballot to the state commissioner of elections within 14 60 days following the city election. The bill further requires 15 that the state commissioner submit a copy of the report to the 16 chairpersons and ranking members of the general assembly’s 17 standing committees on state government. 18 -3- LSB 1828YH (3) 87 aw/sc 3/ 3