SB 654
Modifies provisions relating to elections
Sponsor:
LR Number:
4383S.05C
Last Action:
5/11/2022 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection
Journal Page:
Title:
SCS SB 654
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 654 - This act modifies various provisions relating to elections. This act is substantially similar to SB 670 (2022), HCS/HB 2140 (2022), and HS/HCS/HB 738 (2021).

AUDITS OF VOTER REGISTRATION RECORDS BY SECRETARY OF STATE

(Section 28.960)

The Secretary of State (SOS) is authorized to audit the voter registration records of any local election authority (LEA). Each such audit shall, at least quarterly, determine whether the LEA has performed certain voter registration list maintenance activities that are required by law. If, after completing the audit, the SOS determines that the LEA has not performed such activities, then the SOS may withhold funds from the LEA.

AMENDMENTS TO ELECTION LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS

(Section 115.004)

The act prohibits amendments or modifications of any kind to all election laws, rules, and regulations in the 26 weeks preceding any presidential election.

AIR-GAPPED ELECTION EQUIPMENT

(Section 115.013)

The act requires all automatic tabulating equipment, electronic voting machines, and electronic voting systems to all be air-gapped, as that term is defined in the act.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELECTION OFFICIALS

(Sections 115.031 to 115.107)

Current law requires election commissioners to be a registered voter and a resident of the jurisdiction for which he or she is appointed for at least one year preceding his or her appointment. This act repeals the one year residency requirement. (Section 115.031) This provision is identical to a provision in HB 1065 (2021).

The act stipulates that no employee of a board of election commissioners shall be required to reside and be a registered voter within the jurisdiction of the LEA unless directed by the board. (Section 115.045) The act also stipulates that no deputy county clerk shall be required to reside and be a registered voter within the jurisdiction of the county clerk unless directed by the clerk. (Section 115.051)

The act permits the committee of each major political party within the jurisdiction of a particular LEA to provide the LEA with a list of candidates for the position of election judge. If the committee fails to submit a number of candidates equal to the number of positions available for election judge, then the LEA may fill the positions as otherwise required by law. Furthermore, if the LEA determines that a candidate submitted by the committee does not meet the qualifications for election judge, the LEA shall notify the committee and permit it to submit a new name prior to filling the position. (Section 115.081) This provision is identical to a provision in HB 709 (2021).

Current law permits an LEA to appoint election judges who are registered voters of another LEA's jurisdiction only after receiving the written consent of the other LEA. This act repeals that requirement. (Section 115.085) This provision is identical to a provision in HB 709 (2021) and substantially similar to a provision in HB 1065 (2021).

VOTER REGISTRATION

(Sections 115.135 to 115.205)

The act provides that in order to vote in any election for which registration is required, a person must be registered to vote in the state of Missouri, rather than in the specific jurisdiction, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday prior to the election. Furthermore, the act repeals a provision that says in no case shall registration for an election extend beyond 10:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday prior to the election. (Section 115.135)

This act requires the use of electronic voter registration application forms by the Director of Revenue. The Director must additionally provide for the secure electronic transfer of voter registration information to election authorities in the manner described in the act. All voter registration information sent electronically to the election authorities shall be printed out by the election authorities and retained for a period of at least two years. (Section 115.160)

The act requires LEAs are required to accept and process voter registration records, including electronic images of applicant signatures, transmitted electronically by the division of motor vehicle and driver licensing of the department of revenue. (Section 115.960)

These provisions are similar to HB 372 (2021) and substantially similar to SB 587 (2021) and certain provisions in the perfected SS/SB 46 (2021).

The act requires LEAs to forward voter history to the Missouri voter registration system not later than 3 months after each election. Current law gives LEAs up to 6 months. (Section 115.157)

The act modifies the voter registration information that a LEA or the SOS may furnish to any member of the public. Specifically, in furnishing electronic media printouts containing voter registration information a LEA or the SOS may only include unique voter identification numbers, voters' names, years of birth, addresses, and townships or wards, and precincts. Furthermore, any information so furnished shall not be used for commercial purposes. (Section 115.157)

This provision is identical to a provision in HB 1065 (2021).

The act repeals a provision allowing a candidate, campaign committee, or a political party committee to request information regarding the names of voters within a particular jurisdiction who have requested an absentee ballot. Another provision is repealed requiring local election authorities to supply voter registration lists to all candidates and party committees that request them. (Section 115.157)

This provision is identical to a provision in HB 1065 (2021).

A registered voter who has changed his or her residence within the state and has not been removed from the list of registered voters shall be permitted to file a change of address in person at the office of the LEA on election day. In order to change an address in person on election day, a registered voter shall provide a form of personal photo identification required to vote.

The act prohibits any person from being paid or otherwise compensated for soliciting voter registration applications, provided that a governmental entity or person paid or compensated by a governmental entity may solicit such applications. Any person who solicits more than 10 voter registration applications is required to register with the SOS for every election cycle. (Section 115.205) This provision is identical to a provision in HB 1065 (2021).

PAPER BALLOTS AND ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES

(Sections 115.225 and 115.237)

The act prohibits the use of touchscreen direct-recording, electronic vote-counting machines beginning January 1, 2024. Upon the removal of such a machine from an LEA's inventory because of mechanical malfunction, wear and tear, or any other reason, the machine shall not be replaced and no additional direct-recording electronic vote-counting machine shall be added to the LEA's inventory.

The SOS may require cyber security testing, including penetration testing, of vendor machines, programs, and systems. Failure to participate in such testing shall result in a revocation of vendor certification. Upon notice from another jurisdiction of cyber security failures or certification withholds or revocation, the SOS may revoke or withhold certification for vendors. The requirements of this provision shall be subject to appropriation for the purpose of cyber security testing.

Each LEA is required to be a member of the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) and must allow a cyber security assessment of their office by the SOS. (Section 115.225)

Beginning January 1, 2024, the official ballot shall be a paper ballot that is hand-marked by the voter or by a paper ballot marking device. (Section 115.237)

This provision is substantially similar to SB 378 (2021), HB 842 (2021), and HB 925 (2021).

ABSENTEE VOTING

(Sections 115.257 to 115.291)

DEFINITION OF ABSENTEE BALLOT

The act provides that an absentee ballot includes any ballot cast in the office of the LEA, by mail, or at another authorized location designated as a polling place by the LEA.

(Section 115.275(1)).

ABSENTEE VOTING - REASONS FOR VOTING

The act expands the use of absentee voting to members of the Space Force as well as their spouses and dependents. (Section 115.275) The Uniformed Military and Overseas Voters Act is also amended to include members of the Space Force as well as their spouses and dependents. (Section 115.902)

The act also allows persons who are employed as a first responder, health care worker, or member of law enforcement to vote absentee. (Section 115.277.3(7))

ABSENTEE VOTING - GENERALLY

This act provides that any person may cast an absentee ballot in person at a place determined by the LEA by providing a form of personal photo identification required by law. (Section 115.277.1) A person may cast an absentee ballot not in person by having his or her ballot envelope notarized. (Section 115.277.2)

VOTING ABSENTEE NOT IN-PERSON DUE TO INCAPACITY OR CONFINEMENT

For persons voting absentee not in person, if the reason for such person voting absentee is due to incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability, such person must expect to have such incapacity or confinement on election day. Furthermore, if the reason for voting absentee is due to being primarily responsible for the physical care of a person who is incapacitated or confined due to illness or disability, the person voting must live at the same address as the person that is being cared for. (Section 115.277.2(2))

ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS

No individual, group, or party shall solicit a voter into obtaining an absentee ballot application. Furthermore, absentee ballot applications shall not have any information pre-filled prior to being provided to a voter. (Section 115.279.2)

ABSENTEE BALLOTS - WHEN DEEMED CAST

The act stipulates that absentee ballots that are received by an LEA in person are deemed cast when received prior to election day and absentee ballots that are received through a common carrier are deemed cast when received prior to the closing of polls. Furthermore, absentee ballots received by the LEA through a common carrier such as the United States Postal Service are required to be received prior to the time fixed by law for the closing of polls on election day. The LEA shall hand mark or stamp each absentee envelope as it is received, indicating the date and time the absentee ballot was received (Section 115.286)

WITNESS AND RETURN OF MASS ABSENTEE BALLOTS

Under current law, in charter counties and the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City, if the LEA receives ten or more applications for absentee ballots from the same address it may appoint a team to deliver and witness the voting and return of absentee ballots by voters residing at that address. This act expands this provision to all LEAs and furthermore requires, rather than permits, a team to be appointed to deliver and witness the voting and return of the ballots. (Section 115.287)

MAIL-IN BALLOTS

(Section 115.302)

The act repeals current law authorizing mail-in ballots, which expired December 31, 2020, and expressly prohibits the use of mail-in ballots.

VOTER IDENTIFICATION

(Section 115.427)

The act modifies provisions governing forms of identification required to vote. Under current law, any person seeking to vote in a public election must provide a certain form of identification, provided that any person lacking such identification can vote without such a form of identification through the execution of a statement under the penalty of perjury averring, among other things, that the person is who they say they are. This act repeals the provision allowing persons to vote through execution of the statement under penalty of perjury. The act additionally creates new provisions governing the use of provisional ballots in the case of persons who do not possess the proper form of identification in order to vote.

The act repeals the following:

· A provision requiring the SOS to provide advance notice of the identification requirements for voting in elections;

· A provision requiring all costs associated with the implementation of the voter identification law to be reimbursed from the general revenue by an appropriation for that purpose; and

· A provision preventing the voter identification provisions from being enforced unless a sufficient appropriation of state funds is made to implement the law.

These provisions are substantially similar to HB 334 (2021), SB 14 (2021), provisions in SCS/SB 282 (2021), provisions in SB 818 (2020), and provisions in HCS/HB 1600 (2020).

RETURNING BALLOTS

(Section 115.435)

The act provides that once a ballot has been completed by the voter and he or she successfully submits the ballot into the ballot box, the ballot is deemed cast.

This provision is identical to a provision in HB 1065 (2021).

PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY ELECTION

(Sections 115.755 through 115.785)

The act repeals the presidential preference primary election.

SOS SYSTEM - ACCEPTANCE OF VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS ELECTRONICALLY

(Section 115.960.2)

The act repeals a provision that requires the SOS to maintain a system for accepting voter registration applications electronically.

SCOTT SVAGERA

Amendments

No Amendments Found.