House Study Bill 551 - Introduced SENATE/HOUSE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED SECRETARY OF STATE BILL) A BILL FOR An Act relating to programs and activities administered by the 1 secretary of state, including the safe at home program, 2 special election dates, candidate and voter registration 3 filing requirements, election audits, voting systems, 4 and civil office vacancies, and including effective date 5 provisions. 6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 7 TLSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ Section 1. Section 9E.2, subsection 6, paragraph b, Code 1 2018, is amended to read as follows: 2 b. For purposes of this subsection , a person determined to 3 be a sexually violent predator pursuant to section 229A.7 , a 4 person required to register as a sex offender under chapter 5 692A, or a person determined to be a sexually violent predator 6 or required to register as a sex offender pursuant to similar 7 law laws of another state is not an eligible person. 8 Sec. 2. Section 39.2, subsection 4, paragraph c, Code 2018, 9 is amended to read as follows: 10 c. For a school district or merged area, in the odd-numbered 11 year, the first Tuesday in February, the first Tuesday in 12 April, the last Tuesday in June, or the second Tuesday in 13 September. For a school district or merged area, in the 14 even-numbered year, the first Tuesday in February, the first 15 Tuesday in April, the second Tuesday in September, or the first 16 second Tuesday in December. 17 Sec. 3. Section 44.4, subsection 2, paragraph a, 18 subparagraph (1), Code 2018, is amended to read as follows: 19 (1) Those filed with the state commissioner, not less than 20 seventy-four sixty-eight days before the date of the election. 21 Sec. 4. Section 48A.2, Code 2018, is amended by adding the 22 following new subsection: 23 NEW SUBSECTION . 1A. “Document” means, for purposes of 24 satisfying proof of residence under this chapter, information 25 that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an 26 electronic record and is retrievable in perceivable form. 27 Sec. 5. Section 48A.30, subsection 1, paragraph a, Code 28 2018, is amended to read as follows: 29 a. The registered voter dies. For the purposes of this 30 subsection , the commissioner may accept as evidence of death a 31 notice from the state registrar of vital statistics forwarded 32 by the state registrar of voters, a written statement from a 33 member of the registered voter’s household person related to 34 the registered voter within the second degree of consanguinity 35 -1- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 1/ 7
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ or first degree of affinity , an obituary in a newspaper or 1 that appears on the internet site of a funeral establishment 2 licensed under chapter 156 or by the proper authority of 3 another state , a written statement from an election official 4 or personal representative of the registered voter’s estate , 5 or a notice from the county recorder of the county where the 6 registered voter died. 7 Sec. 6. Section 48A.7A, subsection 1, paragraph c, Code 8 2018, is amended to read as follows: 9 c. In lieu of paragraph “b” , a person wishing to vote may 10 establish identity and residency in the precinct by written 11 oath of a person who is registered to vote in the precinct. 12 Before signing an oath under this paragraph, the attesting 13 registered voter shall present to the precinct election 14 official proof of the voter’s identity, as described in section 15 49.78, subsection 2 or 3 . The registered voter’s oath shall 16 attest to the stated identity of the person wishing to vote 17 and that the person is a current resident of the precinct. 18 The oath must be signed by the attesting registered voter in 19 the presence of the appropriate precinct election official. 20 A registered voter who has signed an oath on election day 21 attesting to a person’s identity and residency as provided in 22 this paragraph is prohibited from signing any further oaths as 23 provided in this paragraph on that day. 24 Sec. 7. Section 49.78, subsection 5, Code 2018, is amended 25 to read as follows: 26 5. The form of the written oath required of a registered 27 voter attesting to the identity and residency of the voter 28 unable to present a form of identification shall read as 29 follows: 30 I, ...... (name of attesting registered voter), do solemnly 31 swear or affirm all of the following: 32 I am a preregistered voter in this precinct or I registered to 33 vote in this precinct today, and a registered voter did not 34 sign an oath on my behalf. I have not signed will not sign more 35 -2- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 2/ 7
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ than one oath two oaths attesting to the identity and residence 1 of any other person in this election. 2 I am a resident of the ... precinct, ... ward or township, 3 city of ....., county of ....., Iowa. 4 I reside at ....... (street address) in ..... (city or 5 township). 6 I personally know ..... (name of voter), and I personally know 7 that ..... (name of voter) is a resident of the ... precinct, 8 ..... ward or township, city of ....., county of ....., Iowa. 9 I understand that any false statement in this oath is a class 10 “D” felony punishable by no more than five years in confinement 11 and a fine of at least seven hundred fifty dollars but not more 12 than seven thousand five hundred dollars. 13 ............. 14 Signature of Attesting Registered Voter 15 Subscribed and sworn before me on ..... (date). 16 ............. 17 Signature of Precinct Election Official 18 Sec. 8. Section 50.51, subsection 2, Code 2018, is amended 19 to read as follows: 20 2. The state commissioner shall determine the number of 21 counties and precincts to be audited and shall select the 22 precincts to be audited by lot. The absentee ballot and 23 special voters precinct for each county, established pursuant 24 to section 53.20 , shall be included with all other precincts of 25 the county for selection by lot. In every precinct selected, 26 the commissioner shall conduct a hand count of all ballots cast 27 in the preceding general election for president of the United 28 States or governor, as the case may be. The hand count shall 29 be observed by a representative selected by each of the two 30 political parties whose candidates received the highest number 31 of votes statewide in the preceding general election may be of 32 less than all ballots cast, in accordance with rules adopted by 33 the state commissioner . 34 a. A representative selected by each of the two political 35 -3- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 3/ 7
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ parties whose candidates received the highest number of votes 1 statewide in the preceding general election shall be invited 2 to observe the hand count. The commissioner shall notify the 3 county chairperson of each political party a minimum of two 4 days before the hand count of the time and place of the hand 5 count. 6 b. If an invited representative does not appear at the hand 7 count, the commissioner shall notify the state commissioner. 8 Sec. 9. Section 52.4, subsection 2, Code 2018, is amended 9 to read as follows: 10 2. At least one of the examiners shall have been trained 11 in computer programming and operations or cybersecurity . 12 The other two members shall be directly involved in the 13 administration of elections and shall have experience in the 14 use of optical scan voting systems. 15 Sec. 10. Section 53.10, subsection 2, Code 2018, is amended 16 to read as follows: 17 2. a. Each person who wishes to vote by absentee ballot 18 at the commissioner’s office shall first sign an application 19 for a ballot including the following information: name, 20 current address, voter verification number, and the election 21 for which the ballot is requested. The person may report a 22 change of address or other information on the person’s voter 23 registration record at that time. The registered voter shall 24 immediately mark the ballot; enclose the ballot in a secrecy 25 envelope, if necessary, and seal it in the envelope marked 26 with the affidavit; subscribe to the affidavit on the reverse 27 side of the envelope; and return the absentee ballot to the 28 commissioner. The commissioner shall record the numbers 29 appearing on the application and affidavit envelope along with 30 the name of the registered voter. 31 b. For purposes of this subsection, “voter verification 32 number” means the registered voter’s driver’s license number 33 or nonoperator’s identification card number assigned to the 34 voter by the department of transportation or the registered 35 -4- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 4/ 7
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ voter’s identification number assigned to the voter by the 1 state commissioner pursuant to section 47.7, subsection 2. 2 Sec. 11. Section 69.2, subsection 1, paragraph f, Code 2018, 3 is amended to read as follows: 4 f. The conviction of the incumbent of a felony , an 5 aggravated misdemeanor, or of any public offense involving the 6 violation of the incumbent’s oath of office. 7 Sec. 12. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act, being deemed of 8 immediate importance, takes effect upon enactment. 9 EXPLANATION 10 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 11 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 12 This bill alters the laws governing the safe at home program, 13 elections, voter registration, and civil office vacancies. 14 The bill bars a person who is a registered sex offender 15 pursuant to Code chapter 692A from enrolling in the safe at 16 home program, which prevents the addresses of survivors of 17 domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking, or 18 violent crimes from appearing on public records by providing 19 substitute addresses. 20 The bill also moves the permissible December special 21 election date for school districts or merged areas in 22 even-numbered years from the first to the second Tuesday of 23 the month in order to resolve a potential conflict with the 24 prohibition on special elections being held on the first four 25 Tuesdays following a general election. 26 The bill changes the deadline for filing an objection to the 27 legal sufficiency of a certificate of nomination or nomination 28 petition or the eligibility of a candidate from 74 to 68 days 29 before an election. 30 The bill defines “document” for the purpose of proving 31 residency under Code chapter 48A (voter registration) to 32 explicitly allow the use of documents in an electronic format. 33 The bill alters the type of evidence sufficient to cancel 34 a voter’s registration following the voter’s death. The bill 35 -5- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 5/ 7
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ allows the county commissioner of registration to accept as 1 proof of death a written statement from the registered voter’s 2 family member within the second degree of consanguinity or 3 first degree of affinity, an obituary posted on the internet 4 site of a funeral establishment licensed in Iowa or another 5 state, or a written statement from the personal representative 6 of the registered voter’s estate. 7 The bill allows a voter who registers on election day by 8 providing sufficient proof of identity to attest for another 9 individual’s identity pursuant to Code section 48A.7A(1)(c). 10 The bill also allows a registered voter to attest for the 11 identity of two people on election day rather than one. 12 The bill alters the process by which the state commissioner 13 of elections conducts election audits. The bill removes 14 the current requirement that all ballots in precincts to be 15 audited be counted by hand. The bill also allows the hand 16 count to continue in the absence of one or both invited party 17 representatives, so long as the party representatives receive 18 two days’ notice and the county commissioner of elections 19 informs the state commissioner of elections of the absence. 20 The bill changes the requirements for membership on the 21 board of examiners for voting systems, allowing one member 22 to have been trained in cybersecurity rather than requiring 23 training in computer programming and operations. 24 The bill requires a person voting by absentee ballot at the 25 office of the county commissioner of elections to include that 26 person’s voter verification number in the application for a 27 ballot, as is currently required of voters requesting a ballot 28 by mail. 29 Under current law, a civil office is vacated if the incumbent 30 is convicted of a felony, an aggravated misdemeanor, or a 31 public offense involving the violation of the incumbent’s 32 oath of office. The bill provides that a civil office is 33 not vacated upon an incumbent’s conviction of an aggravated 34 misdemeanor. 35 -6- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 6/ 7
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ The bill takes effect upon enactment. 1 -7- LSB 5327XD (5) 87 ss/jh 7/ 7