A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT BY ESTABLISHING THE VOTER INFORMATION VERIFICATION ACT TO PROMOTE THE ELECTORAL PROCESS THROUGH EDUCATION AND INCREASED REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AND BY REQUIRING VOTERS TO PROVIDE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION BEFORE VOTING TO PROTECT THE RIGHT OF EACH REGISTERED VOTER TO CAST A SECURE VOTE WITH REASONABLE SECURITY MEASURES THAT CONFIRM VOTER IDENTITY AS ACCURATELY AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT RESTRICTION, AND TO FURTHER REFORM THE ELECTION LAWS.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Provides that the Voter Information Verification Advisory board (VIVA) is established within the State Board of Elections.
Directs VIVA to advise the State Board of elections on the specifiedactions (was, directed VIVA to do all of the specified acts). Makes adjustments in language and organization to reflect the modification from "doing" to "advising." Deletes provision permitting the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections to instruct the State Board of Elections tohire up to 14 persons to assist the VIVA Board established under this Part. Instead, directs the Executive Director to assign staff to support theVIVA board in fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of this act. Directs the State Board of Elections to disseminate information about voter ID requirements for voting and obtaining appropriate photo identification (was, directed the State Board to utilize staff in disseminating information).
Requiresthat every person voting in accordance with Article 14A of GS Chapter 163,163-82.6A, 163-166.7, 163-166.9, 163-227.2, or 163-182.1A must present photo identification that reasonably resembles that voter to a local election official before voting. Makes the following exceptions: (1) permits a voter who is voting curbside topresent identification under GS 163-166.9 (curbside voting) or (2) does not require a photo identification for a voter that has filed a declaration in accordance with GS 163-82.7Aleast 25 days before the electionand hasa sincerely held religious objection to being photographed.
Deletes "tribal identification card" as an acceptable photo identification for purposes of this section and adds an identification card issued by a unit of local government, public authority, or special district as defined in GS 159-7; a card issued for a government program of public assistance; or a veterans identification cardas forms of acceptable photo identification. Deletes provision that this section does not apply to a registered voter with a permanent physical or mental disability recognized by a state or federal agency that makes such determinations.Enacts new GS 163-166.14 to provide for the evaluation of a photo identification presented that does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter. Specifies the details for the evaluation process and provides that the voter may vote on a provisional ballot ifthe judges of electionresolve by a unanimous vote that the photo presented does not resemble the voter.
Amends GS 163-82.6A(b), GS 163-166.7(a), and GS 163-227.2(b)to delete provisions that permit a voter without appropriate photo identification to vote a provisional official ballot.
Makes conforming changes to GS 163-166.9 (curbside voting). Makes organizational and clarifying changes to new GS 163-182.1A and GS 20-37.7(d). Makes clarifying changes to GS 163-87 and GS 163-229(b).Makes conforming changes toGS 130A-93.1, adding a new subsection (c) and GS 163-275(13).
Amends GS 163-230.1(a1) regardinga voter's inability to go to vote due tosickness or physical disability to provide that county board of elections may personally deliver the application and ballots.Amends GS 163-230.2 to provide that the form for requesting an absentee ballot may be reproduced. Makes additional changes to clarify the information that must be included on the request for an absentee ballot. Amends GS 163-231 to clarify that the two persons required to witness the voter's marking of an absentee ballot must also sign the application and certificate as witnesses and indicate their addresses.
Amends GS 163-226, defining the term verifiable legal guardian to mean an individual appointed guardian under GS Chapter 35A. Provides that for a corporation appointed guardian under that chapter, the corporation may submit a list of 10 named individuals to the State Board of Elections who may act for that corporation under Article 35A.
Makes further changes to provide additional guidelines to be applied should the State Board of Elections choose to publish a voter guide to present the voter identification proceduresand requirements. Directs the State Board of Elections to reimburse the Division of Motor Vehicles, the State Registrar, and the county registers of deeds for direct costs incurred in administering the fee waivers authorized in Sections 13 and 14 of this act. Requires the State Board of Elections to include a statement onall forms, prominently displayed, declaring that submitting falsely or fraudulently completed declarations is a Class I felony under GS Chapter 163.
Part I of this act (establishing VIVA) is effective July 1, 2013 (was, when it becomes law),and expires December 31, 2016. Section 13 of this act, amending GS 20-37.7(d)and Section 14, amending GS 130A-93.1 and GS 161-10(a)(8),iseffective October 1, 2013. Section 16, amending GS 163-229(b) andGS 163-230.1, is effective January 1, 2014, and applies to primaries and elections conducted on or after that date.
Provides that at any election betweenOctober 1, 2013, and January 1, 2016, anyregistered voter may present that voter's photo identification to the elections officials at the voting place but may not be required to do so. At each election between October 1, 2013, and January 1, 2016, each voter presenting in person shall be notified that photo identification will be needed to vote beginning in 2016 and be asked if that voter has one of the forms of photo identification appropriate for voting.
Unless otherwise specified, effective when the act becomes law.
Provides that this act is effective only if the General Assembly appropriates funds in the Current Operations Appropriations Act of 2013 to implement it.
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