Bill Summary for H 1169 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

May 27 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1169 (Public) Filed Friday, May 22, 2020
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE LAWS RELATED TO ELECTIONS AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.
Intro. by Grange, Dahle, D. Hall, Harrison.

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Bill summary

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

Section 1

Makes a technical change regarding the container-return envelopes for absentee ballots for the 2020 general election to include space for the one witness's signature (was, signatures). 

Concerning the authorization for the appointment of registered voters from other precincts in the same county to fill the other two chief judge or judge positions in the precinct who are not required to meet the precinct residency requirement for the 2020 general election, clarifies that the appointees must meet all other qualifications to be a chief judge or judge other than residency.

Adds additional authorization to allow a multipartisan team member trained and authorized by the county board pursuant to state law to serve as a witness for the casting of absentee ballots.

Section 2

Amends the directive of the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) and the State Board of Elections (State Board) to more specifically direct the entities to jointly develop a program to safely allow multipartisan teams to assist registered voters within hospital, clinic, nursing homes, assisted living or other congregate living situations in the 2020 elections during the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with state law (previously, required the entities to develop how to safely allow trained and authorized multipartisan team members to access hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and rest homes under quarantine to assist voters in requesting, voting, and returning absentee ballots). Defines multipartisan teams. Maintains the previously specified reporting requirements with a deadline of August 1, 2020.

Enacts GS 163-226.3 to specify that a multipartisan team consists of at least two registered voters of the county with the two political parties with the highest number of affiliated voters required to be represented, and unaffiliated voters or voters affiliated with other recognized parties permitted to be team members if the team has more than two members, or if the county board of elections unanimously votes to appoint an unaffiliated team member due to an insufficient number of voters available to meet the standard two party representation requirement.

Section 5

Amends the proposed changes to GS 163-230.2, as amended, to allow voters to call the State Board, in addition to a county board office, and request that the blank absentee ballot request form be sent to the voter by mail, e-mail, or fax.

Section 8

Makes a clarifying change to proposed GS 163-237(d7), making it a Class I felony for any member (rather than person) serving on, or as an employee of, the State Board or a county board to knowingly send or deliver an absentee ballot to any person who has not requested it in accordance with state law. 

Section 11

Makes changes throughout the Section to refer to "allocations" to county boards of elections rather than "grants." Makes conforming changes to reflect this terminology.

Regarding allocations for early one-stop voting expenses, specifies that the counties must adopt uniform early one-stop voting plans in accordance with GS 163-227.6 (previously, did not reference the governing statutory provisions).

Defines registered voter as the term is used in the Section, defining the term by referencing the meaning of a voter registered in accordance with Article 7A, GS Chapter 163 as of May 8, 2020.

Section 11.2

Adds a new directive requiring the State Board to report on any funds spent from the County Reimbursement Account, created by the act, in a confidential report to the specified NCGA committee chairs. Requires an initial report by August 15, 2020, and a follow up report by December 1, 2020. Specifies that the report is not public record.

Finally, adds to the NCGA committees the State Board is required to report to on the funds appropriated under Sections 11.1 through 11.3 to include the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government. Maintains the February 1, 2021, reporting deadline.

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