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2013 SESSION

13104633D
SENATE BILL NO. 1256
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections
on January 29, 2013)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Obenshain)
A BILL to amend and reenact 24.2-404, 24.2-411.1, 24.2-643, and 24.2-701 of the Code of Virginia, relating to voter identification requirements; photo ID.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 24.2-404, 24.2-411.1, 24.2-643, and 24.2-701 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

24.2-404. Duties of State Board.

A. The State Board shall provide for the continuing operation and maintenance of a central recordkeeping system, the Virginia Voter Registration System, for all voters registered in the Commonwealth.

In order to operate and maintain the system, the Board shall:

1. Maintain a complete, separate, and accurate record of all registered voters in the Commonwealth.

2. Require the general registrars to enter the names of all registered voters into the system and to change or correct registration records as necessary.

3. Provide to each general registrar, voter registration cards for newly registered voters and for notice to registered voters on the system of changes and corrections in their registration records and polling places and voter registration cards containing the voter's photograph and signature for free for those voters who do not have one of the forms of identification specified in subsection B of 24.2-643. The Board shall promulgate rules and regulations authorizing each general registrar to obtain a photograph and signature of a voter who does not have one of the forms of identification specified in subsection B of 24.2-643 for the purpose of providing such voter a registration card containing the voter's photograph and signature. The Board shall provide each general registrar with the equipment necessary to obtain a voter's signature and photograph and no general registrar shall be required to purchase such equipment at his own expense. Photographs and signatures obtained by a general registrar shall be submitted to the Board. The Board may contract with an outside vendor for the production and distribution of voter registration cards containing the voter's photograph and signature.

4. Require the general registrars to delete from the record of registered voters the name of any voter who (i) is deceased, (ii) is no longer qualified to vote in the county or city where he is registered due to removal of his residence, (iii) has been convicted of a felony, (iv) has been adjudicated incapacitated, (v) is known not to be a United States citizen by reason of reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to 24.2-410.1, or (vi) is otherwise no longer qualified to vote as may be provided by law. Such action shall be taken no later than 30 days after notification from the Board. The Board shall promptly provide the information referred to in this subdivision, upon receiving it, to general registrars.

5. Retain on the system for four years a separate record for registered voters whose names have been deleted, with the reason for deletion.

6. Retain on the system permanently a separate record for information received regarding deaths, felony convictions, and adjudications of incapacity pursuant to 24.2-408 through 24.2-410.

7. Provide to each general registrar, at least 16 days prior to a general or primary election and three days prior to a special election, an alphabetical list of all registered voters in each precinct or portion of a precinct in which the election is being held in the county, city, or town. These precinct lists shall be used as the official lists of qualified voters and shall constitute the pollbooks. The State Board shall provide instructions for the division of the pollbooks and precinct lists into sections to accommodate the efficient processing of voter lines at the polls. Prior to any general, primary, or special election, the State Board shall provide any general registrar, upon his request, with a separate electronic list of all registered voters in the registrar's county or city. If electronic pollbooks are used in the locality or electronic voter registration inquiry devices are used in precincts in the locality, the State Board shall provide a regional or statewide list of registered voters to the general registrar of the locality. The State Board shall determine whether regional or statewide data is provided. Neither the pollbook nor the regional or statewide list of registered voters shall include the day and month of birth of the voter, but shall include the voter's year of birth.

8. Acquire by purchase, lease, or contract equipment necessary to execute the duties of the Board.

9. Use any source of information that may assist in carrying out the purposes of this section. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall cooperate with the State Board in procuring and exchanging identification information for the purpose of maintaining the voter registration system. The State Board may share any information that it receives from another agency of the Commonwealth with any Chief Election Officer of another state for the maintenance of the voter registration system.

10. Reprint and impose a reasonable charge for the sale of any part of Title 24.2, lists of precincts and polling places, statements of election results by precinct, and any other items required of the State Board by law. Receipts from such sales shall be credited to the Board for reimbursement of printing expenses.

B. The State Board shall be authorized to provide for the production, distribution, and receipt of information and lists through the Virginia Voter Registration System by any appropriate means including, but not limited to, paper and electronic means.

C. The State Board shall institute procedures to ensure that each requirement of this section is fulfilled. As part of its procedures, the State Board shall provide that the general registrar shall mail notice of any cancellation pursuant to clause (v) of subdivision A 4 to the person whose registration is cancelled.

D. The State Board shall promulgate rules and regulations to ensure the uniform application of the law for determining a person's residence.

24.2-411.1. Offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

A. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall provide the opportunity to register to vote to each person who comes to an office of the Department to:

1. Apply for, replace, or renew a driver's license;

2. Apply for, replace, or renew a special identification card; or

3. Change an address on an existing driver's license or special identification card.

B. The method used to receive an application for voter registration shall avoid duplication of the license portion of the license application and require only the minimum additional information necessary to enable registrars to determine the voter eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration and election laws. A person who does not sign the registration portion of the application shall be deemed to have declined to register at that time. The voter application shall include a statement that, if an applicant declines to register to vote, the fact the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.

Each application form distributed under this section shall be accompanied by the following statement featured prominently in boldface capital letters: "WARNING: INTENTIONALLY MAKING A MATERIALLY FALSE STATEMENT ON THIS FORM CONSTITUTES THE CRIME OF ELECTION FRAUD, WHICH IS PUNISHABLE UNDER VIRGINIA LAW AS A FELONY. VIOLATORS MAY BE SENTENCED TO UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON, OR UP TO 12 MONTHS IN JAIL AND/OR FINED UP TO $2,500."

Any completed application for voter registration submitted by a person who is already registered shall serve as a written request to update his registration record. Any change of address form submitted for purposes of a motor vehicle driver's license or special identification card shall serve as notification of change of address for voter registration for the registrant involved unless the registrant states on the form that the change of address is not for voter registration purposes. If the information from the notification of change of address for voter registration indicates that the registered voter has moved to another general registrar's jurisdiction within the Commonwealth, the notification shall be treated as a request for transfer from the registered voter. The notification and the registered voter's registration record shall be transmitted as directed by the State Board of Elections to the appropriate general registrar who shall send a voter registration card as confirmation of the transfer to the voter pursuant to 24.2-424. The Department and State Board shall cooperate in the prompt transmittal by electronic or other means of the notification to the appropriate general registrar.

C. The completed voter registration portion of the application shall be transmitted as directed by the State Board not later than five business days after the date of receipt. The Department and State Board shall cooperate in the prompt transmittal by electronic or other means of the voter registration portion of the application to the appropriate general registrar.

D. The State Board of Elections shall maintain statistical records on the number of applications to register to vote with information provided from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

E. A person who provides services at the Department of Motor Vehicles shall not disclose, except as authorized by law for official use, the social security number, or any part thereof, of any applicant for voter registration.

F. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall provide assistance as required in providing voter registration cards containing the voter's photograph and signature as provided in subdivision A 3 of 24.2-404.

24.2-643. Qualified voter permitted to vote; procedures at polling place; voter identification.

A. After the polls are open, each qualified voter at a precinct shall be permitted to vote. The officers of election shall ascertain that a person offering to vote is a qualified voter before admitting him to the voting booth and furnishing an official ballot to him.

B. An officer of election shall ask the voter for his full name and current residence address and repeat, in a voice audible to party and candidate representatives present, the full name and address stated by the voter. The officer shall ask the voter to present any one of the following forms of identification: his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Virginia driver's license, his concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to 18.2-308 valid United States passport, or any other photo identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; any valid student identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia; or any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter.

Any voter who does not show one of the forms of identification specified in this subsection shall be offered a provisional ballot under the provisions of 24.2-653. The State Board of Elections shall provide an ID-ONLY provisional ballot envelope that requires no follow-up action by the registrar or electoral board other than matching submitted identification documents from the voter for the electoral board to make a determination on whether to count the ballot.

If the voter's name is found on the pollbook, if he presents one of the forms of identification listed above, if he is qualified to vote in the election, and if no objection is made, an officer shall enter, opposite the voter's name on the pollbook, the first or next consecutive number from the voter count form provided by the State Board, or shall enter that the voter has voted if the pollbook is in electronic form; an officer shall provide the voter with the official ballot; and another officer shall admit him to the voting booth. Each voter whose name has been marked on the pollbooks as present to vote and entitled to a ballot shall remain in the presence of the officers of election in the polling place until he has voted. If a line of voters who have been marked on the pollbooks as present to vote forms to await entry to the voting booths, the line shall not be permitted to extend outside of the room containing the voting booths and shall remain under observation by the officers of election.

A voter may be accompanied into the voting booth by his child age 15 or younger.

C. If the current residence address stated by the voter is different from the address shown on the pollbook, the officer of election shall furnish the voter with a change of address form prescribed by the State Board. Upon its completion, the voter shall sign the prescribed form, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to 24.2-1016, which the officer of election shall then place in an envelope provided for such forms for transmission to the general registrar who shall then transfer or cancel the registration of such voter pursuant to Chapter 4 ( 24.2-400 et seq.).

D. At the time the voter is asked his full name and current residence address, the officer of election shall ask any voter for whom the pollbook indicates that an identification number other than a social security number is recorded on the Virginia voter registration system if he presently has a social security number. If the voter is able to provide his social security number, he shall be furnished with a voter registration form prescribed by the State Board to update his registration information. Upon its completion, the form shall be placed by the officer of election in an envelope provided for such forms for transmission to the general registrar. Any social security numbers so provided shall be entered by the general registrar in the voter's record on the voter registration system.

E. For federal elections held after January 1, 2004, this subsection shall apply in the case of any voter who is required by subparagraph (b) of 42 U.S.C.S. 15483 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to show identification the first time the voter votes in a federal election in the state. At such election, such voter shall present (i) a current and valid photo identification or (ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. Such individual who desires to vote in person but who does not show one of the forms of identification specified in this subsection shall be offered a provisional ballot under the provisions of 24.2-653. Neither the identification requirements of subsection B, nor the identification requirements of subsection A of 24.2-653, shall apply to such voter at that election. The State Board of Elections shall provide instructions to the electoral boards for the handling and counting of such provisional ballots pursuant to subsection B of 24.2-653 and this section.

24.2-701. Application for absentee ballot.

A. The State Board shall furnish each general registrar with a sufficient number of applications for official absentee ballots. The registrars shall furnish applications to persons requesting them.

The State Board shall implement a system that enables eligible persons to request and receive an absentee ballot application electronically through the Internet. Electronic absentee ballot applications shall be in a form approved by the State Board.

Except as provided in 24.2-703, a separate application shall be completed for each election in which the applicant offers to vote. An application for an absentee ballot may be accepted the later of (i) 12 months before an election or (ii) the day following any election held in the twelfth month prior to the election in which the applicant is applying to vote.

An application that is completed in person at the same time that the applicant registers to vote shall be held and processed no sooner than the fifth day after the date that the applicant registered to vote; however, this requirement shall not be applicable to any person who is qualified to vote absentee under subdivision 2 of 24.2-700.

Any application received before the ballots are printed shall be held and processed as soon as the printed ballots for the election are available.

For the purposes of this chapter, the general registrar's office shall be open a minimum of eight hours between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on the first and second Saturday immediately preceding all general elections, except May general elections held in towns, and on the Saturday immediately preceding any primary election, May general election held in a town, or special election.

Unless the applicant is disabled, all applications for absentee ballots shall be signed by the applicant who shall state, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to 24.2-1016, that to the best of his knowledge and belief the facts contained in the application are true and correct and that he has not and will not vote in the election at any other place in Virginia or in any other state. If the applicant is unable to sign the application, a person assisting the applicant will note this fact on the applicant signature line and provide his signature, name, and address.

B. Applications for absentee ballots shall be completed in the following manner:

1. An application completed in person shall be made not less than three days prior to the election in which the applicant offers to vote and completed only in the office of the general registrar. The applicant shall sign the application in the presence of a registrar or a member of the electoral board. The applicant shall provide one of the forms of identification specified in subsection B of 24.2-643. Any applicant who does not show one of the forms of identification specified in subsection B of 24.2-643 shall be offered a provisional ballot under the provisions of 24.2-653. The State Board of Elections shall provide instructions to the electoral boards for the handling and counting of such provisional ballots pursuant to subsection B of 24.2-653 and this section.

For federal elections held after January 1, 2004, this paragraph shall apply in the case of any voter who is required by subparagraph (b) of 42 U.S.C.S. 15483 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to show identification the first time that voter votes in a federal election in the state. After completing an application for an absentee ballot in person, such voter shall present (i) a current and valid photo identification or (ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. Such individual who desires to vote in person but who does not show one of the forms of identification specified in this subdivision shall be offered a provisional ballot under the provisions of 24.2-653. Neither the identification requirements of subsection B of 24.2-643, nor the identification requirements of subsection A of 24.2-653, shall apply to such voter at that election. The State Board of Elections shall provide instructions to the electoral boards for the handling and counting of such provisional ballots pursuant to subsection B of 24.2-653 and this section.

2. Any other application may be made by mail, electronic or telephonic transmission to a facsimile device if one is available to the office of the general registrar or the office of the State Board if a device is not available locally, or other means. The application shall be on a form furnished by the registrar or, if made under subdivision 2 of 24.2-700, may be on a federal postcard application prescribed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)(2). The federal postcard application may be accepted the later of (i) 12 months before an election or (ii) the day following any election held in the twelfth month prior to the election in which the applicant is applying to vote. The application shall be made to the appropriate registrar no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day prior to the election in which the applicant offers to vote.

C. Applications for absentee ballots shall contain the following information:

1. The applicant's printed name, the last four digits of the applicant's social security number, and the reason the applicant will be absent or cannot vote at his polling place on the day of the election;

2. A statement that he is registered in the county or city in which he offers to vote and his residence address in such county or city. Any person temporarily residing outside the United States shall provide the last date of residency at his Virginia residence address, if that residence is no longer available to him. Any person who makes application under subdivision 2 of 24.2-700 who is not a registered voter may file the applications to register and for a ballot simultaneously;

3. The complete address to which the ballot is to be sent directly to the applicant, unless the application is made in person at a time when the printed ballots for the election are available and the applicant chooses to vote in person at the time of completing his application. The address given shall be (i) the address of the applicant on file in the registration records; (ii) the address at which he will be located while absent from his county or city; or (iii) the address at which he will be located while temporarily confined due to a disability or illness. No ballot shall be sent to, or in care of, any other person; and

4. In the case of a person, or the spouse or dependent of a person, who is on active duty as a member of the uniformed services as defined in 24.2-452, the branch of service to which he or the spouse belongs, and his or the spouse's rank, grade, or rate, and service identification number; or

5. In the case of a student, or the spouse of a student, who is attending a school or institution of learning, the name and address of the school or institution of learning; or

6. In the case of any duly registered person with a disability, as defined in 24.2-101, who is unable to go in person to the polls on the day of the election because of his disability, illness, or pregnancy, the nature of the disability, illness, or pregnancy; or

7. In the case of a person who is confined awaiting trial or for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, the name and address of the institution of confinement; or

8. In the case of a person who will be absent on election day for business reasons, the name of his employer or business; or

9. In the case of a person who will be absent on election day for personal business or vacation reasons, the name of the county or city in Virginia or the state or country to which he is traveling; or

10. In the case of a person who is unable to go to the polls on the day of election because he is primarily and personally responsible for the care of an ill or disabled family member who is confined at home, the name of the family member and the nature of his illness or disability; or

11. In the case of a person who is unable to go to the polls on the day of election because of an obligation occasioned by his religion, his religion and the nature of the obligation; or

12. In the case of a person who, in the regular and orderly course of his business, profession, or occupation, will be at his place of work and commuting to and from his home to his place of work for 11 or more hours of the 13 hours that the polls are open pursuant to 24.2-603, the name of his business or employer, address of his place of work, and hours he will be at the workplace and commuting on election day; or

13. In the case of a law-enforcement officer, as defined in 18.2-51.1; firefighter, as defined in 65.2-102; volunteer firefighter, as defined in 27-42; search and rescue personnel, as defined in 18.2-51.1; or emergency medical services personnel, as defined in 32.1-111.1, that he is a first responder; or

14. In the case of a person who has been designated by a political party, independent candidate, or candidate in a primary election to be a representative of the party or candidate inside a polling place on the day of the election pursuant to subsection C of 24.2-604 and 24.2-639, the fact that he is so designated and the name of the party chairman or candidate who designated him.  

2. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on July 1, 2014.