House File 72 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1providing for the registration of eligible electors upon
2review of electronic records received from state agencies
3and including effective date provisions.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 48A.7, Code 2019, is amended to read as
2follows:
   348A.7  Registration in person.
   4An eligible elector may register to vote by appearing
5personally and completing a voter registration form at the
6office of the commissioner in the county in which the person
7resides, at a motor vehicle driver’s license station, including
8any county treasurer’s office that is participating in county
9issuance of driver’s licenses under chapter 321M, or at any
10voter registration agency. A For paper registration forms,
11a
separate voter registration form shall be signed by each
12individual registrant.
13   Sec. 2.  Section 48A.8, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended
14to read as follows:
   151.  An eligible elector may request that a voter registration
16form be mailed to the elector. The completed form may be
17mailed or delivered by the registrant or the registrant’s
18designee to the commissioner in the county where the person
19resides or to the state commissioner of elections for a
20program participant, as provided in section 9E.6. A For paper
21registration forms, a
separate voter registration form shall be
22signed by each individual registrant.
23   Sec. 3.  Section 48A.18, subsections 1 and 3, Code 2019, are
24amended to read as follows:
   251.  Each state motor vehicle driver’s license application,
26including any renewal application or application for a
27nonoperator’s identification card, submitted to the office
28of driver services of the state department of transportation
29shall serve as an application for voter registration unless
30the commissioner of registration determines that the applicant
 31is not an eligible elector or the applicant declines to
32register to vote after receiving notification under subsection
334A
. A completed application or paper voter registration
34form submitted to the office of driver services of the state
35department of transportation shall be considered to update any
-1-1previous voter registration by the registrant.
   23.  Information relating to the refusal decision of an
3applicant for a driver’s license to apply decline to register
4to vote shall not be used for any purpose other than voter
5registration.
6   Sec. 4.  Section 48A.18, subsection 4, Code 2019, is amended
7by striking the subsection and inserting in lieu thereof the
8following:
   94.  a.  The state voter registration commission shall
10establish schedules by which the department of transportation
11shall transmit to the state registrar of voters electronic
12records containing the legal name, age, residence, and
13citizenship information for, and the electronic signature of,
14each person submitting an application under this section.
   15b.  The state voter registration commission shall establish
16schedules by which the state registrar of voters shall make
17accessible or transmit electronic records and electronic
18signatures received under paragraph “a” to the appropriate
19commissioner of registration.
   20c.  The state voter registration commission shall establish
21schedules by which the department of transportation shall
22transmit any completed paper registration forms to the
23appropriate commissioner of registration.
   24d.  The state commissioner of elections shall adopt rules,
25consistent with section 9E.6, for the registration of address
26confidentiality program participants.
   27e.  The state voter registration commission shall adopt
28rules pursuant to chapter 17A to administer and interpret this
29section, including rules to establish electronic and paper
30forms and all procedures used by the office of driver services
31for voter registration purposes, rules to establish schedules
32for transmission of electronic records, electronic signatures,
33and completed paper voter registration forms, and rules and
34forms to decline being registered to vote.
35   Sec. 5.  Section 48A.18, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
-2-1following new subsection:
2   NEW SUBSECTION.  4A.  a.  (1)  Upon receiving the electronic
3record for, and electronic signature of, a person under
4subsection 4, the state registrar of voters shall transmit or
5otherwise make accessible the electronic record and electronic
6signature of the person to the commissioner of registration
7of the county where the person resides. Upon reviewing the
8electronic record received from the state registrar of voters,
9along with any other relevant information, the commissioner of
10registration shall determine if a person is an eligible elector
11of the county. If the commissioner determines that a person is
12an eligible elector of the county and is not registered to vote
13in that county, the commissioner shall notify the person of the
14separate processes to decline being registered to vote or to
15declare a political party affiliation.
   16(2)  If the person is registered to vote in the county, the
17commissioner shall use the electronic record and information to
18update the person’s voter registration if appropriate.
   19b.  If a person notified under paragraph “a” does not decline
20to be registered to vote within twenty-one calendar days after
21the commissioner of registration issues the notification, the
22person’s electronic record and electronic signature shall
23constitute a completed voter registration form under section
2448A.11, and the commissioner of registration shall register the
25person to vote in that county. The commissioner shall send an
26acknowledgment pursuant to section 48A.26.
   27c.  A commissioner of registration shall not add a person
28subject to registration under this subsection to a voter
29registration list until at least twenty-one calendar days
30after the commissioner has issued notification to the person
31as described in paragraph “a”.
   32d.  The electronic record and electronic signature, received
33under this subsection, of a person who does not qualify
34as an eligible elector shall not constitute a completed
35voter registration form under section 48A.11 and such a
-3-1person’s application for a driver’s license or nonoperator’s
2identification card shall not be considered to be a voter
3registration application for purposes of section 39A.2,
4subsection 1, paragraph “a”.
5   Sec. 6.  Section 48A.19, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended
6by adding the following new paragraph:
7   NEW PARAGRAPH.  d.  The department of education, the board
8of regents and each institution administered by the board
9of regents, and all state offices that collect personal
10information sufficient to complete a voter registration
11application, as determined by the state commissioner.
12   Sec. 7.  Section 48A.19, subsection 4, paragraph a,
13unnumbered paragraph 1, Code 2019, is amended to read as
14follows:
   15The A voter registration agency that does not collect
16personal information sufficient to complete a voter
17registration application
shall provide a form to applicants
18that includes all of the following:
19   Sec. 8.  Section 48A.21, Code 2019, is amended to read as
20follows:
   2148A.21  Transmission of forms from agencies and driver’s
22license stations
.
   231.  The state registrar of voters shall adopt administrative
24rules regulating the transmission of completed voter
25registration forms from voter registration agencies and from
26driver’s license stations, including county treasurer’s offices
27participating in county issuance of driver’s licenses under
28chapter 321M
. All completed voter registration applications
29in the possession of a voter registration agency, a driver’s
30license station, or a county treasurer’s office that is
31participating in county issuance of driver’s licenses
at 5:00
32p.m.on the last workday of each week shall be transmitted
33to the location designated by the state registrar of voters
34by rule. Procedures or requirements for more frequent
35transmissions may be specified by rule.
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   12.  a.  The state voter registration commission shall
2establish schedules by which the voter registration agencies
3pursuant to section 48A.19 that collect personal information
4sufficient to complete a voter registration application shall
5transmit to the state registrar of voters electronic records
6containing the legal name, age, residence, and citizenship
7information for, and the electronic signature of, each person
8providing personal information as described in this section.
   9b.  The state voter registration commission shall establish
10schedules by which the state registrar of voters shall make
11accessible or transmit electronic records and electronic
12signatures received under paragraph “a” to the appropriate
13commissioner of registration.
   14c.  The state voter registration commission shall establish
15schedules by which voter registration agencies shall transmit
16any completed paper registration forms to the appropriate
17commissioner of registration.
   18d.  The state commissioner of elections shall adopt rules,
19consistent with section 9E.6, for the registration of address
20confidentiality program participants.
   21e.  The state voter registration commission shall adopt
22rules pursuant to chapter 17A to administer and interpret this
23section, including rules to establish electronic and paper
24forms and all procedures used by voter registration agencies
25for voter registration purposes, rules to establish schedules
26for transmission of electronic records, electronic signatures,
27and completed paper voter registration forms, and rules and
28forms to decline being registered to vote.
   293.  a.  (1)  Upon receiving the electronic record for, and
30electronic signature of, a person under subsection 2, the state
31registrar of voters shall transmit or otherwise make accessible
32the electronic record and electronic signature of the person to
33the commissioner of registration of the county where the person
34resides. Upon reviewing the electronic record received from
35the state registrar of voters, along with any other relevant
-5-1information, the commissioner of registration shall determine
2if a person is an eligible elector of the county. If the
3commissioner determines that a person is an eligible elector
4of the county and is not registered to vote in that county, the
5commissioner shall notify the person of the separate processes
6to decline being registered to vote or to declare a political
7party affiliation.
   8(2)  If the person is registered to vote in the county, the
9commissioner shall use the electronic record and information to
10update the person’s voter registration if appropriate.
   11b.  If a person notified under paragraph “a” does not decline
12to be registered to vote within twenty-one calendar days after
13the commissioner of registration issues the notification, the
14person’s electronic record and electronic signature shall
15constitute a completed voter registration form under section
1648A.11, and the commissioner of registration shall register the
17person to vote in that county. The commissioner shall send an
18acknowledgment pursuant to section 48A.26.
   19c.  A commissioner of registration shall not add a person
20subject to registration under this subsection to a voter
21registration list until at least twenty-one calendar days
22after the commissioner has issued notification to the person
23as described in paragraph “a”.
   24d.  The electronic record and electronic signature, received
25under this subsection, of a person who does not qualify as
26an eligible elector shall not constitute a completed voter
27registration form under section 48A.11 and such a person shall
28not be considered to have submitted a voter registration
29application for purposes of section 39A.2, subsection 1,
30paragraph “a”.
31   Sec. 9.  Section 48A.26, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code
322019, is amended to read as follows:
   33b.  (1)  For a voter registration form or change of
34information in a voter registration record submitted at a
35precinct caucus, the commissioner shall send an acknowledgment
-6-1within forty-five days of receipt of the form or change of
2information.
   3(2)  For a voter registration application or change of
4information in a voter registration record completed pursuant
5to section 48A.18 or 48A.19, the commissioner shall send an
6acknowledgment within seven working days of the person being
7registered under either section.
8   Sec. 10.  Section 48A.26, subsection 8, Code 2019, is amended
9to read as follows:
   108.  An A completed voter registration application,
11improperly transmitted under section 48A.18, subsection
124A, or under section 48A.21, subsection 2, or an
improperly
13addressed or delivered registration form shall be transmitted
14or
forwarded to the appropriate county commissioner of
15registration within two working days after it is received by
16any other official. The date of registration shall be the date
17the completed application or registration form was received by
18the first official. If the registration form was postmarked
19fifteen or more days before an election and the registration
20form was received by the first official after the close of
21registration, the registration form shall be considered on time
22for the election.
23   Sec. 11.  Section 48A.36, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended
24to read as follows:
   251.  Voter registration agencies and the office of driver
26services of the state department of transportation
may
27electronically transmit registration data to the state
28registrar of voters, who shall distribute the information,
29electronically or otherwise, to the appropriate commissioner
30in accordance with rules of the state voter registration
31commission and the state registrar of voters. The office of
32driver services of the state department of transportation and
33voter registration agencies that collect personal information
34sufficient to complete a voter registration application
35shall electronically transmit registration data to the state
-7-1registrar of voters as required pursuant to sections 48A.18
2and 48A.21.
The state agency originating the registration
3data shall permanently retain an electronic copy of the
4form completed by the registrant, including the registrant’s
5signature, and shall develop procedures for the retrieval and
6printing of that electronic document. A printed copy of an
7electronic registration document shall be made only upon the
8agency’s receipt of a court order.
9   Sec. 12.  Section 331.557A, subsection 5, Code 2019, is
10amended to read as follows:
   115.  Participate in voter registration according to the
12terms of chapter 48A, and submit completed voter registration
13forms to the state registrar of voters appropriate county
14commissioner of registration
.
15   Sec. 13.  EMERGENCY RULES.  The state voter registration
16commission, in cooperation with the department of
17transportation and voter registration agencies, may adopt
18emergency rules under section 17A.4, subsection 3, and section
1917A.5, subsection 2, paragraph “b”, to implement the provisions
20of this Act and the rules shall be effective immediately upon
21filing unless a later date is specified in the rules. Any
22rules adopted in accordance with this section shall also be
23published as a notice of intended action as provided in section
2417A.4.
25   Sec. 14.  IMPLEMENTATION OF ACT.  Section 25B.2, subsection
263, shall not apply to this Act.
27   Sec. 15.  EFFECTIVE UPON ENACTMENT.  This Act, being deemed
28of immediate importance, takes effect upon enactment.
29EXPLANATION
30The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
31the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   32This bill provides for the registration of eligible electors
33upon review of electronic records received from state agencies.
   34The bill allows for registration of eligible electors
35to vote following review of electronic records received
-8-1from driver’s license and nonoperator’s identification card
2applications by county commissioners of registration (county
3auditors).
   4The bill requires that the office of driver services of the
5department of transportation transmit to the state registrar of
6voters (the secretary of state) electronic records containing
7the legal name, age, residence, and citizenship information
8for, and the electronic signature of, each person submitting
9an application for a driver’s license or nonoperator’s
10identification card, or any renewal application. Current Code
11section 321.182 requires that an application for a license
12or card include an applicant’s full name, signature, current
13mailing address, current residential address, date of birth,
14social security number, and other information. Under current
15administrative rules of the state department of transportation,
16an applicant for a license or card is required to provide proof
17of lawful status in the United States. Also under current
18administrative rules, a person’s signature for a driver’s
19license or nonoperator’s identification card application is
20required to be captured electronically. Under current law,
21a county treasurer’s office participating in county issuance
22of driver’s licenses is required to participate in voter
23registration to the same extent as a license facility of the
24state department of transportation.
   25The bill requires the state registrar of voters to transmit
26the electronic records and electronic signatures to the county
27commissioner of registration of the county where the person
28resides. The bill requires that the county commissioner review
29the electronic record and any other relevant information to
30determine if a person is an eligible elector. If the county
31commissioner determines a person to be an eligible elector
32and the person is not registered to vote in the county, the
33county commissioner is required to notify the person of the
34separate processes to decline to register to vote or to declare
35a political party affiliation. If a notified person fails to
-9-1decline voter registration within 21 days after the county
2commissioner issued the notification, the bill provides that
3the electronic record and electronic signature shall constitute
4a completed voter registration form for that person and the
5bill requires the county commissioner to register the person to
6vote in that county and send the person an acknowledgment as
7required by current law.
   8The bill prohibits a county commissioner from adding a
9person’s name to a voter registration list until at least 21
10days after the commissioner has issued notification to the
11person. The bill requires that a county commissioner send an
12acknowledgment of registration within seven business days of
13registering a person under the bill. The bill also provides
14that the electronic record and electronic signature of a person
15who does not qualify as an eligible elector does not constitute
16a completed voter registration form. Under the bill, such a
17person submitting an application for a license or card will not
18be subject to charges for voter registration fraud under Code
19section 39A.2 for submitting such an application.
   20The bill also grants the state voter registration commission
21the authority to adopt rules to administer and interpret the
22provisions of the bill relating to voter registration at motor
23vehicle driver’s license stations. If interpretive rulemaking
24authority is clearly vested in the discretion of an agency by
25statute, the applicable judicial standard of review is whether
26the rules constitute an irrational, illogical, or wholly
27unjustifiable interpretation of law by the agency (Code section
2817A.19(10)(l)). If interpretive rulemaking authority is not
29clearly vested in the discretion of an agency, the applicable
30judicial standard of review is whether the rules constitute an
31erroneous interpretation of law (Code section 17A.19(10)(c)).
   32The bill makes changes to current law related to address
33confidentiality program participants under Code chapter
349E by requiring the state registrar to adopt rules for
35administration of registration for those participants. The
-10-1bill maintains current law to allow for submission of a paper
2voter registration form through driver’s license offices. The
3bill specifies that a requirement that separate registration
4forms be signed by each individual registrant only applies to
5paper registration forms. Under the bill, driver’s license
6offices are required to transmit voter registration forms
7to the appropriate county commissioner and to transmit all
8electronic records and electronic signatures to the state
9registrar of voters.
   10Under current law, the state registrar of voters is
11required to establish rules regulating transmission of voter
12registration forms from driver’s license stations and voter
13registration agencies. Under the bill, such rules are required
14to be established by the state commission.
   15The bill also allows for automatic voter registration
16to be completed based upon information received from voter
17registration agencies, including, under the bill, the
18department of education, the board of regents and each
19institution governed by the board of regents, and other
20state offices that collect personal information sufficient to
21complete a voter registration application.
   22The bill provides that the state voter registration
23commission, in cooperation with the department of
24transportation and voter registration agencies, may adopt
25emergency rules to implement the provisions of the bill.
   26The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code
27section 25B.3. The bill makes inapplicable Code section 25B.2,
28subsection 3, which would relieve a political subdivision from
29complying with a state mandate if funding for the cost of
30the state mandate is not provided or specified. Therefore,
31political subdivisions are required to comply with any state
32mandate included in the bill.
   33The bill takes effect upon enactment.
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