Bill Summaries: H605 (2021)

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Apr 28 2021 - View summary

    House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Makes technical changes throughout GS 163-166.7A, proposed GS 163-307, and GS 163-307, to refer to the "State Board" rather than the State Board of Elections. 

    Revises the required information of placards mandated by new subsection (c) of GS 163-166.7A, to include a statement indicating that voters can bring electronic or paper voting guides, notes, and informational materials inside the voting booth (previously did not specify form), and a statement indicating the voter can access the State Board's website, rather than the State Board, for more information on voting. 

    Adds to proposed GS 163-307 to require the State Board to provide training to county boards of elections staff for local elections in accordance with the training required of county boards of elections staff for federal or State offices with regard to voter education information placard requirements of GS 163-166.7A(c) pursuant to GS 163-166.7A(d), which requires training at least 90 days before the beginning of each voting period and permits virtual training. 

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 163-22, revising the time the mandated toll-free telephone must be staffed and operated by a State Board staff member to (1) beginning with the first day voting places are open pursuant to GS 163-227.2(b) through the Monday prior to election day, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. each calendar day, and (2) on election day, from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (was from the time that voting places must be open through 30 minutes after the polls are closed each day during the period from the first day ballots are available for voting pursuant to GS 163-227.10 through election day).

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 163-82.24, regarding training and certification of election officials, as well as the appropriation to the State Board for purposes of staffing the toll-free telephone number. Makes conforming changes. 


  • Summary date: Apr 21 2021 - View summary

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Amends GS 163-166.7A, by adding that the State Board of Elections (State Board) is also required to develop the placard that contains voter education information in addition to ensuring that it is displayed as required by the act. Amends the required minimum content of the placard to clarify: (1) that unaffiliated voters may participate in a primary or second primary election for a political party of their choosing only if the party allows unaffiliated voters to participate in its primary; and (2) that the Board's phone number is toll free. Adds the requirement that the Board train the county boards of elections staff on the items on the placard at least 90 days before the beginning of each voting period; allows the training to be conducted virtually.

    Amends GS 163-22 to require the State Board's telephone number for voting questions to be staffed by a State Board employee and operated at least from the time that voting places must be open through thirty minutes after the polls are closed (was, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) each day during the period from the first day ballots are available for voting under GS 163-227.10 (was, the first day mail-in absentee ballots are sent to voters) through election day.

    Amends GS 163-82.24 to allow the State Board's trainings on voter education information as described in GS 163-166.7A, to be conducted virtually. 

    Adds an appropriation of $20,000 in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 biennium from the General Fund to the State Board for staffing the phone number for answering citizen calls on voting questions. Effective July 1, 2021.


  • Summary date: Apr 19 2021 - View summary

    Adds the following requirements to GS 163-166.7A, which provides for voter education regarding elections involving candidates for federal or State office. Requires the State Board of Elections (State Board) to ensure a placard is prominently displayed at the entrance of each voting place during all hours the site is open for on-stop absentee voting and on election day containing information on the right to vote and how to vote, specific to that election. Specifies minimum required information of the placards, such as the right to vote a provisional official ballot and a statement indicating that voters can bring voting guides and information materials inside the voting booth. Makes technical changes.

    Enacts GS 163-307 requiring county boards of elections to post the voter education information required in GS 163-166.7A(a), subject to State Board approval, and the State Board to ensure placement of an informational placard with information required in GS 163-166.7A(c), as enacted, at voting sites for elections held for any municipality, special district, or school administrative unit, as specified. 

    Adds the following to GS 163-22, regarding State Board powers and duties. Requires the State Board to establish and maintain a webpage with a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding voting rights, including applicable deadlines and time frames, with required review and updating at least 90 days before the beginning of each voting period and on an as-needed basis. Requires the State Board to establish a toll-free phone number for voting questions which must be staffed by a State Board employee and operated at least 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day during the period from the first day mail-in absentee ballots are sent to voters through election day. Directs the State Board to establish a quick response barcode that can be scanned by a mobile phone and links to the State Board's webpage for frequently asked questions, and include the quick response barcode on mailings or voter guides produced by the State Board or county boards. Requires the State Board to include voter education information in its advising of county boards.

    Amends GS 163-82.24 to require the State Board to include voter education information as described in GS 163-166.7A, as amended, in its training programs. Requires the State Board's certification of election officials to include voter education information as described in GS 163-166.7A, as amended. 

    Applies to elections held on or after October 1, 2021.