Senate File 35 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to the counting of absentee ballots and
2including applicability provisions.
3BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 53.17, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code
22019, is amended to read as follows:
   3b.  The sealed return envelope may be mailed to the
4commissioner by the registered voter or by the voter’s
5designee. If mailed by the voter’s designee, the envelope must
6be mailed within seventy-two hours of retrieving it from the
7voter or within time to be postmarked or, if applicable, to
8have the intelligent mail barcode or other means of tracking
9 traced to a date of entry into the federal mail system not
10later than the day before the election, whichever is earlier.
11   Sec. 2.  Section 53.17, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended
12to read as follows:
   132.  In order for the ballot to be counted, the return
14envelope must be received in the commissioner’s office before
15the polls close on election day or be clearly postmarked by an
16officially authorized postal service or bear an intelligent
17mail
 a barcode or other means of tracking traceable to a date
18of entry into the federal mail system not later than the day
19before the election and received by the commissioner not later
20than noon on the Monday following the election.
21   Sec. 3.  Section 53.17, subsection 4, paragraph f, Code 2019,
22is amended to read as follows:
   23f.  A statement that the completed absentee ballot will
24be delivered to the commissioner’s office within seventy-two
25hours of retrieving it from the voter or before the closing of
26the polls on election day, whichever is earlier, or that the
27completed absentee ballot will be mailed to the commissioner
28within seventy-two hours of retrieving it from the voter or
29within time to be postmarked or, if applicable, to have the
30intelligent mail barcode or other means of tracking traced to a
31date of entry into the federal mail system not later than the
32day before the election, whichever is earlier.
33   Sec. 4.  Section 53.22, subsection 6, paragraph b, Code 2019,
34is amended to read as follows:
   35b.  Absentee ballots voted under this subsection shall be
-1-1delivered to the commissioner no later than the time the polls
2are closed on election day. If the ballot is returned by mail
3the return envelope must be received by the time the polls
4close, or be clearly postmarked by an officially authorized
5postal service or bear an intelligent mail a barcode or other
6means of tracking
traceable to a date of entry into the federal
7mail system not later than the day before the election and
8received by the commissioner no later than the time established
9for the canvass by the board of supervisors for that election.
10   Sec. 5.  APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to all elections
11taking place on or after July 1, 2019.
12EXPLANATION
13The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
14the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   15This bill relates to the counting of absentee ballots.
16The bill requires county commissioners of elections to count
17all mailed absentee ballots received by noon on the Monday
18following election day that include a barcode or other means of
19tracking that confirms that the ballot was mailed by the day
20before election day. The bill applies to all elections taking
21place on or after July 1, 2019.
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