AN ACT TO CODIFY THE COMMON LAW REQUIREMENT FOR UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP TO QUALIFY AS A JUROR, TO ALLOW A CLERK OF COURT TO HEAR JURY EXCUSES IF SO DESIGNATED BY THE CHIEF DISTRICT COURT JUDGE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF PERSONS REQUESTING TO BE EXCUSED FROM JURY DUTY BASED ON DISQUALIFICATION SHALL BE SHARED WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IF THE DISQUALIFICATION IS DUE TO UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP.
House committee substitute to the 5th edition makes the following changes.
Amends GS 9-3, adding United States citizenship to the qualifications of prospective jurors.
Further amends GS 9-6, adding new subsection (a1) to require all applications for excuses from jury duty to be made on a form developed and furnished by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Specifically requires the applications to allow prospective jurors to specify the reason for excusal based on disqualification, including lack of United States citizenship. Makes additional clarifying changes.
Further amends GS 9-6.1 to make technical changes.
Modifies proposed GS 9-6.2, regarding reports of excusals from jury duty based on disqualification. Makes organizational changes and adds to the information the clerk must include in the electronic quarterly report to the State Board of Elections (State Board) regarding juror disqualifications based on US citizenship, to include the disqualified person's date of birth and other personal information from the master jury list. Clarifies that the records retained by the State Board are public records, despite the provisions of GS 20-43.4(c), concerning the confidentiality of the list of licensed drivers provided by the Division of Motor Vehicles to jury commissions.
Deletes the proposed changes to GS 163A-877, regarding maintenance of the list of registered voters. Instead, amends GS 163-82.14, concerning list maintenance (SL 2018-146 recodified GS 163A-877 as GS 163-82.14). Adds a new subsection to establish a procedure for the State Board to review the electronic quarterly reports transmitted by the clerks of superior court regarding juror disqualifications due to citizenship pursuant to new GS 9-6.2. Requires the State Board to, within 30 days of receipt of the report, review the voter registration and citizenship status of each person identified in the report, and distribute to each appropriate county board of elections a report of those identified persons, along with the specified electronic file and identifying information. Prohibits including in the reports persons determined to have become US citizens after the disqualification, unless the State Board determines the prospective juror voted prior to obtaining US citizenship, in which case the State Board is required to furnish the district attorney a copy of its investigation for prosecution of the violation pursuant to GS 163-278. Requires county boards to, within 30 days of a report from the State Board, give 30 days' written notice to the voter prior to removal from the county's registration records. Provides for a voter to object to the removal within 30 days, as specified. Deems the records under new subsection (c1) public records and requires the State Board and county boards to retain the electronic records for four years, allowing for the records to be destroyed only when they are no longer public records. Makes further clarifying and technical changes.
Makes conforming changes. Clarifies that the act does not exempt records held by the Administrative Office of the Courts from the public records laws of GS Chapter 132, except as provided in proposed GS 9-6.2, as enacted.
Changes the act's long title.