Bill Text - SB507 (2016)

Authorizing online voter registration.


Revision: March 8, 2016, midnight

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SB 507-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

2016 SESSION

\t16-2717

\t03/09

 

SENATE BILL\t507-FN

 

AN ACT\tauthorizing online voter registration.

 

SPONSORS:\tSen. Lasky, Dist 13; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Rep. Cote, Hills. 31; Rep. Moody, Rock. 17

 

COMMITTEE:\tPublic and Municipal Affairs

 

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ANALYSIS

 

\tThis bill authorizes online voter registration.

 

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Explanation:\tMatter added to current law appears in bold italics.

\t\tMatter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

\t\tMatter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

\t16-2717

\t03/09

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Sixteen

 

AN ACT\tauthorizing online voter registration.

 

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

 

\t1  New Section; Online Voter Registration.  Amend RSA 654 by inserting after section 7-c the following new section:

\t654:7-d  Online Voter Registration.

\t\tI.  Beginning July 1, 2017, a person may register to vote by submitting an online voter registration application in accordance with this section.

\t\tII.  The secretary of state shall establish a secure Internet website to permit an applicant to:

\t\t\t(a)  Submit an online voter registration form.

\t\t\t(b)  Submit information necessary to establish an applicant’s qualifications to vote, pursuant to RSA 654:12.

\t\t\t(c)  Swear to the oath required by RSA 654:7.

\t\tIII.  The secretary of state shall establish appropriate technological security measures, including use of a unique identifier for each applicant, to prevent unauthorized persons from altering a voter’s registration information.

\t\tIV.  No person without an identification issued by the New Hampshire department of safety, division of motor vehicles shall be able to register through the online voter registration system.

\t\tV.(a)  The online voter registration application system shall compare the New Hampshire driver's license number or New Hampshire nondriver's picture identification number submitted pursuant to this section with information maintained by the department of safety, division of motor vehicles, to confirm that the name and date of birth on the application are consistent with the records of the department of safety, division of motor vehicles.

\t\t\t(b)  If the applicant’s name and date of birth are consistent with the records of the department of safety, division of motor vehicles, the online voter registration application system shall transmit, using the statewide centralized voter registration database maintained pursuant to RSA 654:45, the applicant’s submission, including the digital signature of the applicant, to the appropriate supervisors of the checklist to add the applicant’s name to the checklist.  The applicant’s digital signature shall satisfy the signature requirement of RSA 654:7, IV.

\t\t\t(c)  If the applicant's name and date of birth cannot be verified by the records of the department of safety, division of motor vehicles, or the applicant indicated that he or she has not been issued a New Hampshire driver's license or New Hampshire nondriver's picture identification card, the online voter registration application system shall generate a printable voter registration application with the applicant's information, in accordance with RSA 654:7, IV, and shall direct the applicant to print, sign, and date the application, and deliver or mail the application to the town or city for disposition pursuant to RSA 654:8.

\t\tVI.  Upon submission of a completed online voter registration application, the website shall generate an electronic confirmation that the supervisors of the checklist have received the application and shall provide instructions regarding the ability of an applicant to check the status of the application.  Once the supervisors of the checklist have added the applicant to the checklist, the applicant shall be notified via their preferred method of communication, either electronic mail or postal mail.

\t\tVII.  The online voter registration system shall be programmed to allow for local election officials to report to both the secretary of state and the department of safety, division of motor vehicles the names and addresses of voters that request a ballot using an out-of-state driver's license.

\t\tVIII.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, the supervisor of elections shall process the application pursuant to RSA 654:13.

\t\tIX.  If a person submits an application pursuant to the provisions of this section after the 10th day before an election, the applicant shall not be added to the checklist until the day after such an election.  The supervisors of the checklists may contact such applicant, either by telephone or mail, in order to inform the applicant of the effect of the late-received application and the ability of the person to register in person on election day.

\t\tX.  The online voter registration system shall conform to nationally accepted standards for accessibility for individuals with disabilities such as section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, section 255 of the Communications Act, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium to ensure equal access to voters with disabilities.

\t\tXI.  With the exception of the requirement that no person without an identification issued by the New Hampshire department of safety, division of motor vehicles shall be able to register, no legal distinction shall be made between online registration under this section and registration in person, by mail, or other methods provided by general law.

\t\tXII.  A person using the online voter registration application system to register to vote using any name other than his or her own shall be considered to have violated RSA 659:34.

\t2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

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SB 507-FN- FISCAL NOTE

 

AN ACT\tauthorizing online voter registration.

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

The Department of State, Department of Safety, New Hampshire Municipal Association, Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, and Department of Justice state this bill, as introduced, will increase state expenditures and may decrease local expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2018 and each year thereafter.  There will be no fiscal impact to state, county, and local revenue or county expenditures.

 

METHODOLOGY:

The Department of State states this bill authorizes online voter registration and charges the Department to establish a secure internet website to permit an applicant to submit an online voter registration form and information necessary to establish an applicant's qualification to vote.  The secure internet website will interface with the Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles to verify the name and date of birth on the online application is consistent with an identification document issued by the Department of Safety.  The following table includes the Department of State's estimated project implementation costs for FY 2017 and FY 2018 and on-going maintenance costs for 2018 through 2020:      

 

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Department of State

Estimated Costs To Implement On-line Voter Registration

 

Project Implementation

On-going Maintenance

FY 2017

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

State Project Manager

$100,000

$60,000

$0

$0

$0

Software Programming, Support, and Maintenance

$150,000

$100,000

$40,000

$25,000

$25,000

Servers, Other Equipment, Operating Systems, Secure Socket Layer Digitial Signatures & Interface

$0

$50,000

$20,000

$15,000

$10,000

On-Line Voter Registration Interface with ElectioNet

$60,000

$60,000

$15,000

$15,000

$15,000

HAVA/SOS Software Oversight, Specification, Training & Testing

$0

$60,000

$60,000

$40,000

$40,000

Additional in-house labor costs of vetting increased affidavits resulting from this bill

$0

$0

$0

$1,200

$1,200

Additional HAVA staff time to mail track and clense data*

$0

$0

$60,000

$6,000

$50,000

Mobile Interface Option**

$0

$0

$20,000

$5,000

$5,000

Interface with Department of Safety (Department of State end)

$40,000

$40,000

$15,000

$15,000

$15,000

 

Total Project Implementation Costs

Total Maintenance Costs

$350,000

$370,000

$230,000

$122,200

$161,200

Notes:

* The Department assumes online voter registration will slowly increase over time with 8% of total 2014 voter registrations applied for on-line in 2018, 15% of total 2012 voter registration in 2020, 40% of 2014 voter registrations 2022, and 40% of 2012 voter registration in 2024.

** The Department has included a mobile interface option in the table which is not required by the bill.

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The Department of State estimates the total project implementation and on-going maintenance costs for FY 2017 through FY 2025 will be approximately $1.9 million.  

 

The Department of Safety states to comply with the provisions in this bill it will need to make software changes and establish an interface with the Department of State.  The Department of Safety estimates the following costs attributable to this bill:

 

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Department of Safety
Estimated Costs To Implement On-line Voter Registration

 

FY 2017

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

VISION Software Configuration and Testing

$53,750

$0

$0

$0

Interface w/Department of State

$61,250

$0

$0

$0

Annual Interface Maintenance

$0

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

Total

$115,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

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The New Hampshire Municipal Association states after the Department of State establishes a process for voters to register online, successful on-line registration submissions would be transmitted to the local supervisors of voter checklists to add the voter's name to the checklist.  The Association states that on-line voter registration may save some time and costs for local supervisors of voter checklists.  However, this bill does not reduce the number of required sessions to be held by the supervisors, thus any costs savings are likely to be minimal.

 

The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant states this bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the Judicial Branch, Department of Corrections, and Judicial Council have provided the Office with the potential costs associated with the penalties contained in this bill.  See table below for average cost information:

 

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FY 2017

FY 2018

Judicial Branch

 

 

Class A Misdemeanor

$70

$74

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$449

$470

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2017 and FY 2018 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Felony

$756/Case

$756/Case

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$275/Case

$275/Case

Assigned Counsel – Felony

$60/Hour up to $4,100

$60/Hour up to $4,100

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2015 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$34,336

$34,336

FY 2015 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$520

$520

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The Department of Justice states the Department does not have an investigator or a full-time attorney assigned to election enforcement which would limit its ability to enforce the provisions in this bill.  It is difficult to estimate how many cases would be generated by this bill or the associated fiscal impact on the Department.  The Department states it would need the following staffing resources to enforce election law, both related to and unrelated to the requirements of this bill:

 

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FY 2017

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

Investigator

$99,000

$101,000

$106,000

$112,000

Attorney (80%)

$86,000

$86,000

$87,000

$89,000

Secretary (20%)

$1,300

$12,000

$13,000

$14,000

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This bill does not contain an appropriation or authorization for new positions.

 

 

 

None