Bill Summary for S 824 (2017-2018)

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Summary date: 

Dec 4 2018

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 824 (Public) Filed Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Intro. by Krawiec, Ford, Daniel.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

Part II

Makes clarifying change to proposed GS 163A-869.1 (concerning voter photo ID cards) and GS 163A-1145.1 (concerning the requirement for photo ID to vote in person) to more specifically refer to a registered voter throughout the proposed language.

Amends proposed GS 163A-869.1, concerning the rules the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement (State Board) is required to adopt relating to voter photo ID cards. Now requires the State Board to adopt rules to ensure a registered voter seeking to obtain a voter photo ID card provides the registered voter’s name, date of birth, and the last four digits of the registered voter’s Social Security number (previously, did not require the voter provide the voter’s name). Further, requires the State Board to adopt rules to ensure the registered voters that update their voter registration to reflect a name change can request and obtain a replacement card from their county board of elections by providing their date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security number in person, by phone, or by mail.

Makes the following changes to proposed GS 163A-1145.1. Adds to subsection (b) concerning photo ID verification, generally providing that a voter must be permitted to vote unless the judges of election present unanimously agree the photo ID presented does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter. Adds to subsection (c) concerning provisional ballots. Requires State Board to provide registered voters casting provisional ballots due to failure to present a photo ID an information sheet containing the time by which the voter must return to the county board of elections to present an acceptable form of photo ID and what forms of photo ID are acceptable in order for the provisional ballot to be counted. Makes a conforming change to subsection (d) concerning exceptions to the voter ID requirement, to refer to an acceptable form of photo ID (was, a valid and current photo ID) as provided in subsection (a), reflecting the same change in phrasing adopted in the previous edition. Adds a new exception for registered voters not producing an acceptable form of photo ID, permitting a voter to cast a provisional ballot in the presence of two witnesses and complete a witness verification form as described. Further, adds a new subsection requiring the State Board to adopt a witness verification form with space to identify the two witnesses, the witnesses' signatures, and the witnesses' addresses. Specifies that failure to list a ZIP code does not invalidate the witness form. Makes conforming changes to subsection (e).

Adds to proposed GS 163A-1145.2, concerning approval of student ID cards for voting identification, to require a participating college or university that has had its student ID cards approved for use by the State Board to provide copies of any new design of the student ID cards to the State Board to assist with training purposes.

Modifies proposed GS 163A-1145.3, concerning approval of employee ID cards for voting identification, clarifying the State Board’s approval of the specified cards is for the purpose of voter identification under new GS 163A-1145.1.

Makes conforming changes to GS 163A-1307(b), concerning the required application content that must be printed on each container-return envelope for absentee ballots, to require the inclusion of instructions for absentee voters to include a readable photocopy or completed affidavit, or bring an acceptable form of photo ID to the county board as specified in GS 163A-1310, as amended.

Amends GS 163A-1310 to now require an absentee voter to also place either of the following in the container-return envelope along with their folded ballot and securely seal it in the presence of two witnesses: (1) a readable photocopy of the voter's acceptable photo ID under new GS 163A-1145.1(a) or (2) a completed affidavit in accordance with new GS 163A-1145.1(d)(1) (religious objection exception), (d)(2) (reasonable impediment exception), or (d)(3) (natural disaster exception). Further adds that if an absentee voter does not include a photocopy or completed affidavit, as specified, their ballot is counted only if the voter brings an acceptable form of photo ID to the county board of elections no later than the end of business on the business day prior to the county's canvass. Specifies that any readable photocopy of a registered voter's photo ID received by a county board must be treated as a voted ballot under GS 163A-1105. Requires county boards to provide for secure storage of personally identifying information.

Makes organizational changes.

Makes clarifying change to proposed GS 20-37.7(d2), regarding the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)'s automatic issuance of special identification cards upon receipt of seized or surrendered licenses, permits, and endorsements.

Adds to the powers and duties of the State Board in GS 163A-741, requiring the Board to include a prominent statement that submitting fraudulently or falsely completed declarations is a Class I felony under GS Chapter 163A on all forms prepared by the Board.

Consolidates and adds to the directive for the State Board regarding an aggressive voter education program. Expands the education efforts in coordination with local media outlets, county boards of commissions, and county boards of elections as specified to specifically include efforts to inform rural, military, veteran, elderly, underserved, minority, and other communities as determined by local needs of the changes in the act, the various voting options, and the availability of free voter ID cards (previously, to underserved and minority communities). Removes the specific requirement that this information be disseminated in Spanish and other languages deemed necessary. Adds that the educational program must inform the public regarding NC residency requirements to vote, including the requirement for intent to remain in the state, and the penalty for voting in multiple states, when appropriate, in the State Board’s educational program.

Adds new directive for the State Board, requiring the Board to review, update, and make further recommendation on steps to implement the use of electronic and digital information in all polling places statewide to the specified NCGA committee by September 1, 2019. Details requirements of the review, including addressing a proposed plan for a pilot project to implement electronic pollbooks.