SB129 (2011) Detail

(New Title) relative to presenting photo identification to vote in person and relative to the election fund.


SB 129-FN – FINAL VERSION

03/30/11 1219s

4May2011… 1712h

2011 SESSION

11-0420

03/04

SENATE BILL 129-FN

AN ACT relative to presenting photo identification to vote in person and relative to the election fund.

SPONSORS: Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Barnes, Jr., Dist 17; Rep. Tucker, Rock 17

COMMITTEE: Public and Municipal Affairs

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill requires that a voter present a valid photo identification to vote in person. Voters without photo identification may vote by provisional ballot, provided that they subsequently appear in person before the city or town clerk and present a valid photo identification, official documentation of driver’s license suspension or revocation, a waiver issued by the secretary of state, or an affidavit of religious exemption. This bill also requires that the secretary of state pay the cost for a nondriver’s picture identification card upon presentation of a voucher to the division of motor vehicles.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/30/11 1219s

4May2011… 1712h

11-0420

03/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to presenting photo identification to vote in person and relative to the election fund.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Obtaining a Ballot. Amend RSA 659:13 to read as follows:

659:13 Obtaining a Ballot.

I. A person desiring to vote shall, before being admitted to the enclosed space within the guardrail, announce his or her name to one of the ballot clerks who shall thereupon repeat the name; and, if the name is found on the checklist by the ballot clerk, the ballot clerk shall put a checkmark beside it and again repeat the name. The ballot clerk shall state the address listed on the checklist for the voter, and ask if the address is correct; if the address on the checklist is not correct, the ballot clerk shall correct the address in red on the paper checklist and the supervisors of the checklist shall cause the centralized voter registration database to reflect the correction. The ballot clerk shall request that the voter present a valid photo identification meeting the requirements of paragraph II. If the voter does not have a valid photo identification, the ballot clerk shall inform the voter that he or she may vote by provisional ballot in accordance with RSA¬†659:13-b and present a valid photo identification, official documentation of driver’s license suspension or revocation, waiver issued by the secretary of state under RSA 659:13-d, or affidavit of religious exemption to the city or town clerk by noon of the third business day after the election. If the photo identification is an out-of-state driver’s license, the ballot clerk shall record the state of issuance on the checklist in a color designated for such entries and the supervisors of the checklist shall submit the information to the secretary of state. The voter, if still qualified to vote in the town or ward and having presented a valid photo identification verifying the voter’s identity, and unless challenged as provided for in RSA [659:27-33] 659:27 through 659:33, shall then be allowed to enter the space enclosed by the guardrail. After the voter enters the enclosed space, the ballot clerk shall give the voter one of each ballot to be voted on in that election which shall be folded as it was upon receipt from the secretary of state.

II. A valid photo identification shall satisfy all the following:

(a) The identification shows the name of the individual to whom the identification was issued, and the name substantially conforms to the name in the individual’s voter registration record.

(b) The identification shows a photograph of the individual to whom the identification was issued.

(c) The identification was issued by the United States or the state of New¬†Hampshire, or is a valid state driver’s license.

2 New Sections; Provisional Ballot. Amend RSA 659 by inserting after section 13-a the following new sections:

659:13-b Provisional Ballot.

I. If a voter has not presented a valid voter identification under RSA 659:13 and is otherwise qualified to vote, the voter may cast a provisional ballot. The ballot clerk shall indicate on the checklist that the voter has voted by provisional ballot. The provisional ballot shall be the same as the ballot used at the polling place, but shall be sealed in a plain envelope by the voter after he or she has marked the ballot. The voter shall insert the plain envelope into an envelope on which is printed the same information as the affidavit of a challenged voter to be executed by the voter and shall sufficiently identify the voter to allow verification of the ballot once the voter has confirmed his or her identity.

II. The moderator shall prepare a list of all voters who cast provisional ballots and shall retain possession of the provisional ballots in their sealed envelopes until the closing of the polls, at which time the moderator shall cause the provisional ballots and the list to be delivered to the city or town clerk. The clerk shall seal all provisional ballots in a separate box marked “provisional ballots.”

III. By noon of the third business day after the election, a voter who has cast a provisional ballot may appear in person before the city or town clerk and present a valid photo identification meeting the requirements of RSA 659:13, II, official documentation of driver’s license suspension or revocation, a waiver issued by the secretary of state under RSA 659:13-d, or an affidavit of religious exemption. Upon presentation of a valid photo identification, verification of driver’s license suspension or revocation, or receipt of a waiver issued by the secretary of state under RSA 659:13-d or an affidavit of religious exemption, the clerk shall mark the list prepared by the moderator to that effect. The clerk shall require each person presenting a valid photo identification, official documentation of driver’s license suspension or revocation, or a waiver issued by the secretary of state under RSA 659:13-d, or executing an affidavit of religious exemption to sign the list next to or beneath his or her name. At noon of the third business day after the election, the clerk shall forward all provisional ballots for which verification of identity has been provided to the moderator. The clerk shall post notice of the time and place of the processing of provisional ballots in accordance with RSA 91-A.

IV. The moderator, upon receipt of the provisional ballots, shall immediately verify that the signatures on the affidavit envelopes match the signatures on the list of provisional voters and shall process the ballots so verified in the same manner as absentee ballots. The clerk shall prepare an amended election return, which shall be prepared and forwarded in the same manner as any other election return. Provisional ballots shall be sealed and preserved in the same manner as other ballots. The duties of the moderator under this section may be fulfilled by another election official designated by the moderator; the official so designated may be an official from another ward in the same city or town and the same official may fulfill the moderator’s duties for multiple wards.

659:13-c Affidavit of Religious Exemption. The affidavit of religious exemption shall be in the following form:

AFFIDAVIT OF RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION

Name: ____________________

Address: ____________________

Date of birth: __________

I hereby swear and affirm that I adhere to the beliefs of ___________________ religion and therefore have a religious objection to having my photograph taken and that I do not possess a valid form of identification showing my photograph.

I hereby swear and affirm, under the penalties for voting fraud set forth below, that I am the identical person whom I represent myself to be and that to the best of my knowledge and belief the information above is true and correct.

____________________

(Signature of affiant)

In accordance with RSA 659:34, the penalty for knowingly or purposefully providing false information when voting is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Fraudulently registering to vote or voting is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000.

659:13-d Waiver by Secretary of State. Upon presentation of sworn evidence satisfactory to the secretary of state that a voter does not possess photo identification and also does not possess documentation necessary to obtain a nondriver’s picture identification card, the secretary of state may issue a waiver of the photo identification requirement that may be presented to the clerk under RSA 659:13-b. The waiver shall be valid only for the election specified in the waiver.

3 Election Fund Reimbursement. Amend RSA 5:6-d, III to read as follows:

III. The secretary of state is authorized to accept, budget, and, subject to the limitations of this paragraph, expend monies in the election fund received from any party for the purposes of conducting elections, voter and election official education, the purchase or lease of voting equipment which complies with Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, reimbursing the department of safety for nondriver’s picture identification cards, election law enforcement, and improvements to related information technology, including acquisition and operation of an automated election management system. The secretary of state shall not expend any monies in the election fund unless the balance in the fund following such expenditures shall be at least 15 times the estimated annual cost of maintaining the programs established to comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252.

4 Identification Cards; Voucher. Amend RSA 260:21, V to read as follows:

V. The fee for such card shall be $10 and is not refundable, except that no fee shall be charged to any person who, for reason of health or age, turns in his or her driver’s license before the expiration date of such license. For purposes of this section, reasons of age shall be deemed to apply only to those persons over age 65. A person who requires a photo identification card for voter identification purposes may obtain a voucher from his or her town or city clerk or the secretary of state exempting the person from the identification card fee. Upon presentation of the voucher to the division, the actual costs of issuing the card shall be paid by the secretary of state from the election fund established under RSA 5:6-d. An identification card paid for by the secretary of state shall be valid for voter identification purposes only, and the card shall be marked “for voter identification only.”

5 Final Counting; Announcement. Amend RSA 659:70 to read as follows:

659:70 Final Counting; Result. The final count of all votes on all ballots cast at the central and additional polling places, if any, shall be combined and the moderator shall announce the final count for each office and the number of provisional ballots cast.

6 Voter Education.

I. The department of state shall prominently display on the department’s website information for voters relating to the photo identification requirements established by this act. The department shall also provide explanatory information relating to this act to media outlets for the purpose of educating the public regarding voter identification requirements.

II. Every town and city clerk shall prominently display a notice prepared by the secretary of state explaining the photo identification requirements for voters and directing voters to the department of state’s website for additional information. Such notice shall be displayed for at least 14 days prior to each election held after the effective date of this act during 2011 and 2012.

7 Applicability. In accordance with RSA 659:13, as amended by this act, ballot clerks shall request that the voters present a valid photo identification at all elections after the effective date of this act. However, notwithstanding such provisions, no person shall be denied the right to vote for failure to present a valid photo identification or other documentation acceptable under this act prior to November 1, 2012. The ballot clerks shall tally the number of voters that do not present a valid photo identification at each election prior to November 1, 2012, and the town or city clerk shall report the number with the election return.

8 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

VETOED June 27, 2011

LBAO

11-0420

Amended 05/16/11

SB 129-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT relative to presenting photo identification to vote in person and relative to the election fund.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of State states this bill, as amended by the House (Amendment #2011-1712h), will increase state expenditures by $19,000 in FY 2012, $80,670 in FY 2013, $10,000 in FY 2014, and $103,840 in FY 2015. The Department of Safety states this bill will increase state highway fund expenditures by $9,000 in FY 2012. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will have an indeterminable impact on local expenditures. There will be no impact on state, county or local revenues or county expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of State states section 1 of this bill would require ballot clerks to enter out-of-state driver’s license information, if one is used for voter identification, on the checklist and report it to the Department. The Department estimates one-time cost of adding an additional field to the searchable elections database for this purpose of approximately $10,000. The Department states section 2 of this bill would require two sets of envelopes in which to place provisional ballots. The Department estimates the cost of an additional set of envelopes would be $6,130 per election. The Department states section 2 of this bill requires seals and labels to indentify boxes containing provisional ballots. The Department estimates a total cost of $910 per election. The Department also states it is authorized in section 2 to grant waivers of the photo identification requirement upon presentation of sworn evidence during the same period in which the Department is engaged in post election procedures. The Department estimates the total cost of employing hearings officers for this process would be approximately $10,000 per election (1000 total waiver requests handled at 15 minutes each with the hearings officer compensated $40 per hour). The Department states section 4 of this bill authorizes municipal clerks to issue vouchers for identification cards to be issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles, for which the $10 fee for such a card would be paid from the election fund. The Department estimates 4,650 vouchers may be issued during an election cycle for a total of $46,500 (4,650 X $10 fee). The Department states section 6 of this bill requires voter education using the Department of State’s website and printing notices to be posted by the clerks in each town and ward. The Department estimates this will cost approximately $1,000 per election cycle.

    The following is a summary of the costs associated with this bill as identified by the Department of State by state fiscal year and applicable elections:

 

FY 2012

FY 2013

FY 2014

FY 2015

Section 1

$10,000

$0

$0

$0

Section 2

$0

$33,170

$10,000

$56,340

Section 4

$0

$46,500

$0

$46,500

Section 6

$0

$1,000

$0

$1,000

Total

$10,000

$80,670

$10,000

$103,840


    Elections Impacted

      FY 2012 – No Elections FY 2013 – State General, Municipal

    FY 2014 – Municipal FY 2015 – State Primary, State General, Municipal

    The Department of Safety states this bill establishes a new version of a non-driver’s identification for “voter identification only”, which would be issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles. The Department states it would incur $9,000 of highway fund expenditures in fiscal year 2012 for programming and form changes for the new identification card.

    The New Hampshire Municipal Association states provisions in this bill would increase the time needed for each voter to check-in and vote and increase the workload for election officials. The Association states municipalities may need to respond to this increase by appointing additional election officials or extending polling hours, which in either case would likely be an increase in local expenditures to compensate election officials. The Association states the effect and costs would vary among municipalities and therefore is unable to determine the amount of any fiscal impact.

      The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is awaiting responses from the New Hampshire Association of Counties, Judicial Council, Judicial Branch, and Department of Justice relative to the fiscal impact, if any, which may result from criminal penalties associated with this bill.