Bill Summary for H 646 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Apr 10 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 646 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Intro. by Lewis, Hawkins, Hardister, Russell.

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Bill summary

Recodifies GS 163A-1145.1(a)(1)e. as GS 163A-1145.1(a)(2)c. to now allow a tribal enrollment card issued by a State or federal recognized tribe to be presented as voter identification, regardless of whether the identification contains a printed expiration or issuance date (previously under subdivision (1), required a tribal enrollment card to be valid and unexpired, or expired for one year or less).

Amends GS 163A-1145.2 (Approval of student identification cards for voting registration). Modifies and adds to the criteria that must be met for the State Board of Elections (State Board) to approve the use of student identification cards (student IDs) issued by a UNC constituent institution, a community college, or eligible private postsecondary institution for voting identification. Now requires the university or colleges to submit documentation satisfactory to the State Board that the specified requirements have been met and will not knowingly be violated with regard to student IDs issued during the approval period (previously required a signed letter of the chancellor, president, or registrar to the Executive Director of the State Board to attest that the specified criteria have been met and are true under penalty of perjury). Requires the letter to attest that the IDs issued by the university or college contain photographs obtained (was, taken) by the university or college or its agents/contractors, and that the photograph is a frontal image that includes the student's face and represents a clear, accurate likeness of the student to whom the card is issued (previously not specified). Adds that if the photo is produced by the university, college, or its agents, the university or college must explain in detail the process used to ensure the photo is that of the student to whom the ID is issued. Specifies that the ID cards must be issued after enrollment or other process (previously, only after enrollment) that includes one or more methods of confirming the student's identity using data (previously, that includes methods of confirming the student's identity, and did not specify confirmation using data). Requires restricting access to the equipment for producing the identification cards through security measures (was, be kept in a secure location). Qualifies the university's or college's duty to report any misuse of the ID card equipment to law enforcement as specified to only when they have knowledge of the misuse. Requires ID cards issued on or after January 1, 2021, to contain an expiration date (was, effective on that date). Requires the university or college to provide copies of student IDs (was, standard IDs) to the State Board to assist with training. Requires the college or university to provide an electronic link or a copy to students issued the student ID of a document developed by the State Board detailing the specified voting requirements (was, a copy to student when issued the student ID card). Directs the State Board to establish a schedule for submissions and approvals of the documentation. Requires the State Board to permit a university or college to submit a statement indicating no changes have been made by the university or college since the prior election cycle's approval. Provides that approval of students' IDs for voting identification purposes under the statute is valid from January 1 of an odd-numbered year through December 31 of the next even-numbered year. Now requires the State Board to produce a list of participating universities and colleges every two years rather than every four years. 

Amends GS 163A-1145.3 (Approval of employee identification cards for voting identification). Makes identical changes to those made to GS 163A-1145.2. Additionally, makes clarifying changes to include employee IDs issued by charter schools in the statute's provisions (previously stated in the general provisions of subsection (a), but not specifically included in the documentation requirements of subdivision (1)).

Amends Section 1.2(f) of SL 2018-144, as amended, requiring the State Board to approve the tribal enrollment cards, student ID cards, and employee ID cards for use as voting identification under GS 163A-1145.1 by November 1, 2019 (was, March 15, 2019), for use in primaries and elections held in 2020 (was, for elections held in 2019 and 2020, and again by May 15, 2021, for elections held on or after that date). Further, requires the State Board to adopt temporary rules on reasonable security measures for use of student or employee ID cards for voting in GS 163A-1145.2 and GS 163A-1145.3 no later than September 15, 2019 (was, February 1, 2019). Requires the State Board to produce the list (previously the initial list) of participating institutions and employing entities for use in primaries and elections held in 2020 (was, pursuant to the act by April 1, 2019, with no specific purpose identified).

Amends Section 1.2(g) of SL 2018-44, as amended, to prohibit denial of approval of a student or employee ID card under GS 163A-1145.2 or GS 163A-1145.3 solely for lack of a printed expiration date; limited to elections held in 2020 only. Now specifies that an approved student or employee ID (previously did not require approval) without a printed expiration date is eligible to use in any election held before January 1, 2021.

Establishes that any student or employee ID issued by an entity with approval of the State Board on or before March 15, 2019, for use in elections held on or after January 1, 2019, until December 31, 2022, continues to be eligible for use in an election prior to December 31, 2022, without further submission by the entity. Allows any entity denied approval on or before March 15, 2019, to submit a revised application, of which the State Board must approve the IDs for use as voting identification no later than December 1, 2019, for use in primaries in 2020.

Enacts GS 163A-1303(e) to authorize county boards of elections to propose a Plan for Implementation by unanimous member vote providing for sites for absentee ballots to be applied for and cast in elections conducted in odd-numbered years, which must contain the hours of operation for all elections conducted in the county for that year. Allows the State Board to adopt a Plan for Implementation upon petition by a member or members when unanimity is not reached. Requires any Plan approved to have uniform locations, days, and hours for all sites through the one-stop voting period required under subsection (a) of the statute.