Bill Summaries: S724 (2021)

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Jun 16 2021 - View summary

    Senate amendment makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Deletes the content of previous Part II., which enacted GS 163-82.5A to allow for online voter registration and made conforming changes to GS Chapter 163.

    Instead, amends GS 163-82.19, which governs voter registration at driver's license offices. Enacts new subsection (a1), directing the State Board of Elections (State Board) and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to jointly develop and maintain an online voter registration system allowing applicants to complete an application to register to vote or update an existing voter registration (excluding updates to gender or ethnicity), regardless of whether the applicant is also simultaneously conducting a transaction, so long as the online system complies with form requirements set forth in state law. Limits online registration application eligibility to individuals who are either eligible to register to vote in the state or currently registered to vote in the state, and who have been previously issued a driver's license or a special identification card for a nonoperator's license pursuant to GS Chapter 20. Makes the DMV responsible for validating the applicant's identity, protecting and securing data maintained in the online system, and maintaining the security of the online system. Makes the State Board responsible for forwarding the online registration applications to the appropriate county board. Makes organizational changes. Makes conforming changes to the remainder of the statute, making the registration application procedures for driver's license offices applicable to online voter registration. Expands the Class I felony offense for willfully and knowingly and with fraudulent intent giving false information on a voter registration application completed at a driver's license office to include online applications. Makes further technical and conforming changes. 


  • Summary date: Jun 9 2021 - View summary

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Part I.

    Amends proposed GS 163-231.1, by adding that the State Board of Elections (State Board) must establish and maintain a portal for the visually impaired to vote an absentee ballot in accordance with the statute. Requires that completed absentee ballots cast through the visually impaired portal be counted in accordance with GS 163-230.1 and GS 163-234 (was, absentee ballots cast under this statute must comply with all other provisions of the Article, and if so, the ballot must be counted under those same statutes). Deletes the provision allowing, when submitting absentee ballots through the visually impaired portal, for the visually impaired voter and witness to sign the application electronically. Instead, provide that when submitting voted absentee ballots through the visually impaired portal, (1) the voted absentee ballots must be returned electronically to the county board of elections by 7:30 pm on the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election; (2) the voted absentee ballot must be witnessed in accordance with the specified statute, provided that a notary must not be permitted unless remote notarization is allowed by State law; and (2) the signatures of the visually impaired voter and witness must be submitted at the same time as the voted ballots and requires the State Board to adopt rules to address signatures.

    Part II.

    Amends proposed GS 163-82.5A as follows. Requires the State Board to notify the individual that the application cannot be processed and submitted (was, denial of the application and notification of the denial) if the State Board cannot verify the driver's license, date of birth or Social Security number, and requires the notification to state the deficiencies which the individual needs to cure. Requires that the individual be given an opportunity to cure those deficiencies or to otherwise register to vote. Makes an additional clarifying change.

    Deletes the proposed changes to GS 163-82.10(a1) that added specified identifying information submitted during the online voter registration application process to the information that is confidential.

    Makes Section 2 of the act effective January 1, 2022. Allows the State Board to begin rulemaking to implement the new statute's provisions before January 1, 2022 (was, December 1, 2021), so long as no temporary or permanent rule becomes effective prior to that date. Authorizes the State Board to initiate any needed requests for proposals for development of the secure internet site prior to January 1, 2022 (was, December 1, 2021). 


  • Summary date: Jun 7 2021 - View summary

    Part I.

    Enacts GS 163-231.1, allowing visually impaired eligible voters to request to vote by absentee ballot and vote by absentee ballot online using the visually impaired portal maintained by the State Board of Elections (State Board). Requires indication of the desire to access the portal on the request, as well as compliance with all other state law requirements concerning absentee ballot requests. Directs county boards to communicate with the requester by email and send a link to the portal. Provides for electronic signatures to be used for the voter and witnesses using the portal. Makes conforming changes to GS 163-230.2 (regarding written request for absentee ballots) and GS 162-231 (regarding the transmission of executed absentee ballots). 

    Part II.

    Enacts GS 163-82.5A allowing an individual to register to vote online if the individual: (1) is either registered or eligible to register to vote and (2) possesses a current and valid North Carolina driver's license (including a learner's permit or provisional license) or a special identification card for nonoperators. Requires the State Board to establish a secure website for the completion and submission of voter registration applications to register or update registration. Specifies information that the website must allow an individual to submit, including the individual's email address. Requires the State Board, upon receipt of an online application and all required information, to verify specified applicant information. Requires the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to transfer the applicant's digital signature in the DMV records to the State Board if the State Board verifies the driver's license or Social Security number, and the State Board to forward the application to the appropriate county board for verification. Requires the State Board to deny the application if the State Board cannot verify the driver's license, date of birth or Social Security number. Authorizes the State Board to adopt implementing rules. Specifies that the State Board is not prohibited from adopting rules that provide for immediate verification of the individual's application. Makes conforming and technical changes to GS 163-82.6 (regarding the acceptance of voter registration forms). Allows the State Board to begin rulemaking to implement the new statute's provisions before December 1, 2021, so long as no temporary or permanent rule becomes effective prior to that date. Authorizes the State Board to initiate any needed requests for proposals for development of the secure internet site prior to December 1, 2021. 

    Makes conforming changes and corrects a statutory cross-reference in GS 163-82.3, regarding the acceptance of voter registration forms.

    Amends GS 163-82.10 to add specified identifying information submitted during the online voter registration application process to the information that is confidential.

    Part III.

    States legislative intent to fund a program in the 2021-22 budget for the State Board to identify individuals who need photo ID to vote in person, which can include a mobile component to enable registration for individuals identified.