SB194 (2017) Detail

Authorizing online voter registration.


SB 194-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0406

03/01

 

SENATE BILL 194-FN

 

AN ACT authorizing online voter registration.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Lasky, Dist 13; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Rep. Cote, Hills. 31; Rep. White, Graf. 13; Rep. Burton, Straf. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Election Law and Internal Affairs

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill authorizes online voter registration.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0406

03/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT authorizing online voter registration.

 

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

 

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

654:7-d  Online Voter Registration.

I.  Beginning July 1, 2018, a person may register to vote by submitting an online voter registration application in accordance with this section.

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

(a)  Submit an online voter registration form.

(b)  Submit information necessary to establish an applicant’s qualifications to vote, pursuant to RSA 654:12.

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

III.  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.

IV.(a)  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.

(b)  The department of safety, division of motor vehicles shall provide the online voter registration application system all information necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section.

(c)  The online voter registration application form shall require a valid electronic mail address for the voter in order to complete the online voter registration application.

(d)  The online voter registration application system shall include a disclaimer to the applicant of possible criminal liability pursuant to paragraph XI.

V.(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.

(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.  The applicant shall be required to submit an original signature to the supervisors of the checklist prior to voting in the first election after registering online.  An online registrant shall not be eligible to receive an absentee ballot until his or her original signature is on file with the supervisors of the checklist.

(c)  If the applicant's name, citizenship, legal and/or physical mailing addresses, 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 notify the applicant by electronic mail that his or her online voter registration was ineffective and inform the applicant of alternative methods of registration.

VI.  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 by electronic mail, including information about where the applicant is registered to vote.

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

VIII.  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 the election.  The supervisors of the checklist 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.

IX.  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.

X.  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.

XI.  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.

2  Centralized Voter Registration Database.  Amend RSA 654:45, I to read as follows:

I.  The secretary of state is authorized to plan, develop, equip, establish, site, and maintain a statewide centralized voter registration database and communications system, hereinafter referred to as the voter database, connecting users throughout the state.  The voter database shall include the current information on the voter registration forms, the accepted absentee ballot applications, the voter checklists, and voter actions as recorded on the marked checklist maintained by each city, ward, and town in the state, including in accordance with the provisions and authority in RSA 654:7-d.

3  Funding of Implementation.  The department of state shall fund the implementation of this act when general fund appropriations are made for that purpose to the department of state.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

LBAO

17-0406

1/27/17

 

SB 194-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT authorizing online voter registration.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill requires the Department of State to establish an online voter registration system.  The Department of State shall establish a secure Internet website to permit an applicant to submit an online voter registration form and submit information necessary to establish an applicant’s qualifications to vote.  This secure Internet website will then interface with the Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles to ensure the applicant’s name, citizenship, legal and/or physical mailing addresses, and date of birth can be verified by the records of the DMV. Verified applications will be transmitted by the statewide voter registration database to the appropriate supervisors of the checklist to add the applicant’s name to the checklist. An electronic confirmation that the supervisors of the checklist have received the application shall be generated and shall provide instructions to the applicant to check the status of the application.  Once added to the checklist by the supervisors of the checklist, the applicant shall be notified by electronic mail, including information about where the applicant is registered to vote.  The failure to confirm verified records with the DMV or the lack of issuance of a New Hampshire driver’s license or nondriver’s picture identification card shall cause the application to be rejected by the online voter registration system, which shall notify the applicant by electronic mail and inform such applicant of alternative methods of registration.

 

The Department of State indicates the source of funds will be the HAVA Election Fund, unless it would render the voter registration system or the accessible voting system less functional, then the roll-out may have to be delayed or the general fund charged.  If it is determined there is no net benefit to the on-line registration process and not enough usage results, it may be difficult to justify as a HAVA expense.  Due to the availability of election day registration and difficulty of automatically confirming domicile from the DMV database, the Department assumes approximately 8% of total 2014 registrations would apply for online voting in 2018, an equivalent (counting address changes) of approximately 15% of total 2016 voter registrations in 2020, an equivalent (counting address changes) of approximately 40% of 2014 voter registrations in 2022, and an equivalent (counting address changes) of approximately 40% of 2016 voter registrations in 2024, with off-year on-line registrations and address changes rising gradually after an initial jump in 2021.  On-line address changes would become greater as a share of usage in future years.  A functional interface for mobile devices will also be implemented.  The Department has projected a need for a Project Manager and costs related to additional HAVA staff time and in-house labor costs.  No additional position detail has been included in this analysis.

 

Department of State Budget Expenses for On-Line Voter Registration

 

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

Est. # online applicants and registered voters seeking to revise their address

0

2,000

12,000

5,000

Additional HAVA staff time to mail, track and cleanse data

$0

$120,000

$50,000

$7,000

Interface

Mobile Option

$0

$25,000

$5,000

$5,000

Interface w/ Dept. of Safety (SOS end)

$40,000

$55,000

$15,000

$15,000

State Project Manager

$40,000

$100,000

$0

$0

Software Programming, Support and Maintenance

$150,000

$140,000

$25,000

$25,000

Secure Servers & Other Equipment

$0

$70,000

$10,000

$10,000

On-Line Voter Registration Interface w/ ElectionNet

$60,000

$75,000

$15,000

$15,000

HAVA/SOS Software Oversight, Specification, Training & Testing

$0

$120,000

$40,000

$35,000

Additional in-house SOS labor costs of vetting increased affidavits

$0

$7,200

$3,000

$7,200

Total

$290,000

$712,200

$163,000

$119,200

 

 

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:

 

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

 

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

VISION Software Configured

$10,000

$0

$0

$0

Testing

$43,750

$0

$0

$0

Interface w/ Department of State

$61,250

$0

$0

$0

Interface Maintenance

$0

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

Total Estimated Expenditures

$115,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states that by enabling citizens to register online, it is likely to reduce the number of citizens who register at the municipal clerk’s office, at sessions held by the supervisor of the checklist, and at the polls on election day.  This may result in less staff time devoted to voter registration at the clerk’s office or on election day, but the same number of session are required for the supervisors of the checklist and the difference in estimated staff time is unlikely to be large enough to reduce overall staffing needs.  The effect on municipal expenditures is therefore indeterminable and there should be no effect on municipal revenues.

 

The Department of Justice anticipates the Department of State would require legal counsel throughout the process of developing and implementing such a system.  The Department estimates this would require approximately 200 hours of an attorney’s time per fiscal year.  For Fiscal Years 2018-2019, at $139 per hour, the estimated cost is $27,800 per fiscal year.  For Fiscal Years 2020-2021, at $140 per hour, the estimated cost is $28,000 per fiscal year.

 

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 entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

 

Judicial Branch

FY 2018

FY 2019

Class A Misdemeanor

$71

$72

Routine Civil Case

$470

$477

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$451

$456

Complex Equity Case

$734

$740

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 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.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

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%).

 

* The Council’s budget request for the FY 2018-19 biennium includes an increase to $300 per case for contract attorney misdemeanor cases.

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2016 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$35,832

$35,832

FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$573

$573

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

The Judicial Council states that the legislation is unlikely to affect its expenditures for the defense of the indigent accused.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of State, Safety, Justice, and Corrections, Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

Links

SB194 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 14, 2017 Senate Hearing
March 9, 2017 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB194 Revision: 1733 Date: Jan. 31, 2017, 9:33 a.m.

Docket


March 9, 2017: Inexpedient to Legislate, RC 14Y-10N, MA === BILL KILLED ===; 03/09/2017; SJ 8


March 9, 2017: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate, 03/09/2017; SC 12


Feb. 14, 2017: Hearing: 02/14/2017, Room 102, LOB, 09:00 am; SC 10


Jan. 19, 2017: Introduced 01/19/2017 and Referred to Election Law and Internal Affairs; SJ 5