HB1099: Voter registration records; access to date of birth information.


HOUSE BILL NO. 1099
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Privileges and Elections
on February 1, 2008)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Sickles)
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 24.2-404, 24.2-444, and 24.2-706 of the Code of Virginia, relating to voter registration records; public inspection of records; duties of State Board of Elections, registrars, and electoral boards.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That §§ 24.2-404, 24.2-444, and 24.2-706 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 24.2-404. Duties of State Board.

A. The State Board shall provide for the continuing operation and maintenance of a central record-keeping system, the Virginia Voter Registration System, for all voters registered in the Commonwealth.

In order to operate and maintain the system, the Board shall:

1. Maintain a complete, separate, and accurate record of all registered voters in the Commonwealth.

2. Require the general registrars to enter the names of all registered voters into the system and to change or correct registration records as necessary.

3. Provide to each general registrar, voter registration cards for newly registered voters and for notice to registered voters on the system of changes and corrections in their registration records and polling places.

4. Require the general registrars to delete from the record of registered voters the name of any voter who (i) is deceased, (ii) is no longer qualified to vote in the county or city where he is registered due to removal of his residence, (iii) has been convicted of a felony, (iv) has been adjudicated incapacitated, (v) is known not to be a United States citizen by reason of reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 24.2-410.1, or (vi) is otherwise no longer qualified to vote as may be provided by law.

5. Retain on the system for four years a separate record for registered voters whose names have been deleted, with the reason for deletion.

6. Retain on the system permanently a separate record for information received regarding deaths, felony convictions, and adjudications of incapacity pursuant to §§ 24.2-408 through 24.2-410.

7. Provide to each general registrar, at least 10 days prior to a general or primary election and three days prior to a special election, an alphabetical list of all registered voters in each precinct or portion of a precinct in which the election is being held in the county, city, or town. These precinct lists shall be used as the official lists of qualified voters and shall constitute the pollbooks. The State Board shall provide instructions for the division of the pollbooks and precinct lists into sections to accommodate the efficient processing of voter lines at the polls. Prior to any general, primary, or special election, the State Board shall provide any general registrar, upon his request, with a separate electronic list of all registered voters in the registrar's county or city. If electronic pollbooks are used in the locality or electronic voter registration inquiry devices are used in precincts in the locality, the State Board shall provide a regional or statewide list of registered voters to the general registrar of the locality. The State Board shall determine whether regional or statewide data is provided.  Neither the pollbook nor the regional or statewide list of registered voters shall include the day and month of birth of the voter, but shall include the voter's year of birth.

8. Acquire by purchase, lease, or contract equipment necessary to execute the duties of the Board.

9. Use any source of information that may assist in carrying out the purposes of this section. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall cooperate with the State Board in procuring and exchanging identification information for the purpose of maintaining the voter registration system.

10. Reprint and impose a reasonable charge for the sale of any part of Title 24.2, lists of precincts and polling places, statements of election results by precinct, and any other items required of the State Board by law. Receipts from such sales shall be credited to the Board for reimbursement of printing expenses.

B. The State Board shall be authorized to provide for the production, distribution, and receipt of information and lists through the Virginia Voter Registration System by any appropriate means including, but not limited to, paper and electronic means.

C. The State Board shall institute procedures to ensure that each requirement of this section is fulfilled. As part of its procedures, the State Board shall provide that the general registrar shall mail notice of any cancellation pursuant to clause (v) of subdivision A 4 to the person whose registration is cancelled.

§ 24.2-444. Duties of general registrars and State Board of Elections as to voter registration records; public inspection; exceptions.

A. Registration records shall be kept and preserved by the general registrar in compliance with §§ 2.2-3803, 2.2-3808, and 24.2-114. The State Board shall provide to each general registrar, for each precinct in his county or city, lists of registered voters for inspection and lists of persons registering pursuant to §§ 24.2-442 and 24.2-443.3. The lists shall contain the name, address, date year of birth, gender and all election districts applicable to each registered voter. The lists shall be opened to public inspection at the office of the general registrar when the office is open for business. New lists shall be provided not less than once each year to all localities except those in which an updated list is made available electronically for public inspection, and supplements containing additions, deletions, and changes shall be provided not less than (i) weekly during the 60 days preceding any general election and (ii) monthly at other times. Notwithstanding any other provision of law regarding the retention of records, upon receipt of any new complete list, the general registrar shall destroy the obsolete list and its supplements. The State Board shall provide to each general registrar lists of persons denied registration for public inspection. Such lists may be provided electronically through the Virginia voter registration system and produced in whole or in part upon a request for public inspection.

B. The general registrars shall maintain for at least two years and shall make available for public inspection and copying and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of the registration records pursuant to §§ 24.2-427, 24.2-428 and 24.2-428.1, including lists of the names and addresses of all persons to whom notices are sent, and information concerning whether each person has responded to the notice as of the date that inspection of the records is made.

C. No list provided by the State Board under subsection A nor any record made available for public inspection under subsection B shall contain any of the following information: (i) an individual's social security number, or any part thereof; (ii) the residence address of an individual who has furnished a post office box address in lieu of his residence address as authorized by § 24.2-418; (iii) the declination by an individual to register to vote and related records; or (iv) the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter is registered; or (v) the day and month of birth of an individual. No voter registration records other than the lists provided by the State Board under subsection A and the records made available under subsection B shall be open to public inspection.

§ 24.2-706. Duty of general registrar and electoral board on receipt of application; statement of voter.

On receipt of an application for an absentee ballot, the general registrar shall enroll the name and address of each registered applicant on an absentee voter applicant list that shall be maintained in the office of the general registrar with a file of the applications of the listed applicants. The list and the applications shall be available for inspection and copying by any registered voter during regular office hours.

No list or application containing an individual's social security number, or any part thereof, or the individual's day and month of birth, shall be made available for inspection or copying by anyone. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe procedures for local electoral boards and general registrars to make the information in the lists and applications available in a manner that does not reveal social security numbers or parts thereof, of an individual's day and month of birth.

The completion and timely delivery of an application for an absentee ballot shall be construed to be an offer by the applicant to vote in the election.

The general registrar shall note on each application received whether the applicant is or is not a registered voter and notify the secretary of the electoral board. In reviewing the application for an absentee ballot, the general registrar and electoral board shall not reject the application of any individual because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to the application, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified to vote absentee.

If the application has been properly completed and signed and the applicant is a registered voter of the precinct in which he offers to vote, the electoral board shall immediately send to the applicant by mail, obtaining a certificate of mailing, or deliver to him in person in the office of the secretary or registrar, the following items and nothing else:

1. An envelope containing the folded ballot, sealed and marked "Ballot within. Do not open except in presence of a witness."

2. An envelope, with printing only on the flap side, for resealing the marked ballot, on which envelope is printed the following:

 
"Statement of Voter."

"I do hereby state, subject to felony penalties for making false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016, that my FULL NAME is  .............. (last, first, middle); that I am now or have been at some time since last November's general  election a legal resident of  ............... (STATE YOUR LEGAL RESIDENCE IN VIRGINIA  including the house number, street name or rural route address, city, zip code); that I received the enclosed ballot(s) upon application to the registrar of such county or city; that I opened the envelope marked 'ballot within' and marked the ballot(s) in the presence of the witness, without assistance or knowledge on the part of anyone as to the manner in which I marked it (or I am returning the form required to report how I was assisted); that I then sealed the ballot(s) in this envelope; and that I have not voted and will not vote in this election at any other time or place.

Signature of Voter  ....................
 Date  ....................
 Signature of witness  ..................."

For elections held after January 1, 2004, instead of the envelope containing the above oath, an envelope containing the standard oath prescribed by the presidential designee under section 101 (b) (7) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. § 1973ff et seq.) shall be sent to voters who are qualified to vote absentee under that Act.

3. A properly addressed envelope for the return of the ballot to the electoral board by mail or by the applicant in person.

4. Printed instructions for completing the ballot and statement on the envelope and returning the ballot.

For federal elections held after January 1, 2004, for any voter who is required by subparagraph (b) of 42 U.S.C.S. § 15483 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to show identification the first time the voter votes in a federal election in the state, the printed instructions shall direct the voter to submit with his ballot: (i) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or (ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other document that shows the name and address of the voter. Such individual who desires to vote by mail but who does not submit one of the forms of identification specified in this paragraph may cast such ballot by mail and the ballot shall be counted as a provisional ballot under the provisions of § 24.2-653. The State Board of Elections shall provide instructions to the electoral boards for the handling and counting of such provisional ballots pursuant to subsection B of § 24.2-653 and this section.

5. For any voter entitled to vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. § 1973ff et seq.), information provided by the State Board specific to the voting rights and responsibilities for such citizens, or information provided by the registrar specific to the status of the voter registration and absentee ballot application of such voter, may be included.

The envelopes and instructions shall be in the form prescribed by the State Board.

If the applicant makes his application to vote in person under § 24.2-701 at a time when the printed ballots for the election are available, the general registrar or the secretary of the electoral board, on the determination of the qualifications of the applicant to vote, shall provide to the applicant the items set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4, and no item shall be removed by the applicant from the office of the general registrar or the secretary of the electoral board. On the request of the applicant, made no later than 5:00 p.m. on the seventh day prior to the election in which the applicant offers to vote, the general registrar or the secretary may send the items set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4 to the applicant by mail, obtaining a certificate of mailing.

If the applicant states as the reason for his absence on election day any of the reasons set forth in subdivision 2 of § 24.2-700, the electoral board shall mail or deliver in person to the applicant in the office of the secretary or general registrar, the items as set forth in subdivisions 1 through 4 and, if necessary, an application for registration. A certificate of mailing shall not be required.

When the statement prescribed in subdivision 2 has been properly completed and signed by the registered voter and witnessed, his ballot shall not be subject to challenge pursuant to § 24.2-651.  

HOUSE BILL NO. 1099
Offered January 9, 2008
Prefiled January 9, 2008
A BILL to amend and reenact § 24.2-405 of the Code of Virginia, relating to voter registration lists; access to date of birth information.
Patron-- Sickles

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 24.2-405 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 24.2-405. Persons who may obtain lists of registered voters.

A. The State Board shall furnish, at a reasonable price, lists of registered voters for their districts to (i) courts of the Commonwealth and the United States for jury selection purposes, (ii) candidates for election or political party nomination to further their candidacy, (iii) political party committees or officials thereof for political purposes only, (iv) political action committees that have filed a current statement of organization with the State Board pursuant to § 24.2-949.2, or with the Federal Elections Commission pursuant to federal law, for political purposes only, (v) incumbent officeholders to report to their constituents, and (vi) nonprofit organizations that promote voter participation and registration for that purpose only. The lists shall be furnished to no one else and used for no other purpose. However, the State Board is authorized to furnish information from the voter registration system to general registrars for their official use and to the Department of Motor Vehicles and other appropriate state agencies for maintenance of the voter registration system, and to the Chief Election Officers of other states for maintenance of voter registration systems.

B. The State Board shall furnish, at a reasonable price, lists of the addresses of registered voters for their localities to local government census liaisons and their staffs for the sole purpose of providing address information to the United States Bureau of the Census. The State Board shall also furnish, at a reasonable price, such lists to the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Delegates for the sole purpose of maintaining a database of constituent addresses for the General Assembly. The information authorized under this subsection shall be furnished to no other person and used for no other purpose. No list furnished under this subsection shall contain the name of any registered voter. For the purpose of this subsection, the term "census liaison" shall have the meaning provided in 13 U.S.C. § 16.

C. In no event shall any list furnished under this section contain the social security number or the month and date of birth, or any part thereof, of any registered voter except a list furnished to a court of the Commonwealth or of the United States for jury selection purposes, or to the Chief Election Officer of another state permitted to use social security numbers, or any parts thereof, that provides for the use of such numbers on applications for voter registration in accordance with federal law, for maintenance of voter registration systems.

D. Any list furnished under subsection A of this section shall contain the post office box address in lieu of the residence street address for any active or retired law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101 and in 5 U.S.C. § 8331(20) but excluding officers whose duties relate to detention as defined in paragraphs (A) through (D) of § 8331(20), who has furnished at the time of registration or subsequently, in addition to his street address, a post office box address located in the Commonwealth for use on such lists.

E. Any list furnished under subsection A of this section shall contain the post office box address in lieu of the residence street address for any party granted a protective order issued by or under the authority of any court of competent jurisdiction, including but not limited to courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who has furnished at the time of registration or subsequently, in addition to his street address, a post office box address located in the Commonwealth for use on such lists.

F. Any list furnished under subsection A shall contain the post office box address in lieu of the residence street address for any party who has furnished at the time of registration or subsequently, (i) in addition to his street address, a post office box address located in the Commonwealth for use on such lists and (ii) a signed written statement by the party that he is in fear for his personal safety from another person who has threatened or stalked him accompanied by evidence that he has filed a complaint with a magistrate or law-enforcement official against such other person. The statement furnished pursuant to clause (ii) of this subsection shall be subject to felony penalties for false statements pursuant to § 24.2-1016.

G. Any list furnished pursuant to subsection A shall contain the age, expressed in years, of the registered voted determined as of the date of the creation of the list by the State Board.