SENATE AMENDED

 

PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 1003, 1805, 2166

PRINTER'S NO.  2873

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

934

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY METCALFE, AUMENT, BARRAR, BOYD, CAUSER, CLYMER, COX, CREIGHTON, CRUZ, CUTLER, DENLINGER, DUNBAR, ELLIS, EVANKOVICH, EVERETT, GABLER, GEIST, GILLEN, GINGRICH, GRELL, GROVE, HELM, HICKERNELL, KAUFFMAN, KNOWLES, KRIEGER, MAHER, MARSHALL, MILLARD, MOUL, PEIFER, PERRY, PETRI, PICKETT, PYLE, RAPP, REED, ROAE, SACCONE, SAYLOR, SCHRODER, SIMMONS, SONNEY, STEVENSON, TALLMAN, TRUITT, VULAKOVICH AND REICHLEY, MARCH 4, 2011

  

  

SENATOR MCILHINNEY, STATE GOVERNMENT, IN SENATE, AS AMENDED, DECEMBER 12, 2011   

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Amending the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), entitled

2

"An act concerning elections, including general, municipal,

3

special and primary elections, the nomination of candidates,

4

primary and election expenses and election contests; creating

5

and defining membership of county boards of elections;

6

imposing duties upon the Secretary of the Commonwealth,

7

courts, county boards of elections, county commissioners;

8

imposing penalties for violation of the act, and codifying,

9

revising and consolidating the laws relating thereto; and

10

repealing certain acts and parts of acts relating to

11

elections," in preliminary provisions, defining "proof of

<--

12

identification"; in the Secretary of the Commonwealth,

13

providing for requirements relating to voter identification;

14

and, in preparation for and conduct of primaries and

15

elections, further providing for manner of applying to vote,

16

persons entitled to vote, voter's certificates, entries to be

17

made in district register, numbered lists of voters and

18

challenges in preliminary provisions, defining "proof of

<--

19

identification"; in the Secretary of the Commonwealth,

20

providing for requirements relating to voter identification; 

21

in preparation for and conduct of primaries and elections,

22

further providing for manner of applying to vote, persons

23

entitled to vote, voter's certificates, entries to be made in

24

district register, numbered lists of voters and challenges;

25

in voting by qualified absentee electors, further providing

26

for applications for official absentee ballots, for approval

 


1

of application for absentee ballot, for delivering or mailing

2

ballots, for canvassing of official absentee ballots and for

3

public records; and providing for enforcement and for a

4

special procedure at certain elections.

5

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

6

hereby enacts as follows:

7

Section 1.  Section 102 of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333,

<--

8

No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended by

9

adding a definition to read:

10

Section 102.  Definitions.--The following words, when used in

11

this act, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise

12

clearly apparent from the context:

13

* * *

14

(z.5)  The words "proof of identification" shall mean

15

:

16

(1)  In the case of an elector who has a religious objection

17

to being photographed, a valid-without-photo driver's license or

18

a valid-without-photo identification card issued by the

19

Department of Transportation.

20

(2)  In the case of all other electors, a document that:

21

(i)  shows the name of the individual to whom the document

22

was issued and the name conforms to the name of the individual

23

as it appears in the district register;

24

(ii)  shows a photograph of the individual to whom the

25

document was issued;

26

(iii)  includes an expiration date;

27

(iv)  is not expired or expired after the date of the most

28

recent general election; and

29

(v)  was issued by the United States or the Commonwealth.

30

Section 2.  The act is amended by adding a section to read:

31

Section 206.  Requirements Relating to Voter

32

Identification.--(a)  The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall

- 2 -

 


1

prepare and disseminate information to the public regarding the 

2

proof of identification requirements established under section

3

1210.

4

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b)

5

(relating to issuance and content of driver's license) to the

6

contrary, the Department of Transportation shall issue an

7

identification card described in 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b) at no cost

8

to any registered elector who has made application therefor and

9

has included with the completed application a statement signed

10

by the elector declaring that the elector does not possess proof

11

of identification and requires proof of identification for

12

voting purposes.

13

(c)  The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall prepare the form

14

of the statement described in subsection (b) and shall

15

distribute the form to the counties and the Department of

16

Transportation. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Secretary

17

of Transportation and the county boards of election shall

18

disseminate information to the public regarding the availability

19

of identification cards under subsection (b).

20

Section 3.  Section 1210(a), (a.1), (a.2), (a.3) and (a.4)(1)

21

and (5) of the act, amended October 8, 2004 (P.L.807, No.97) and

22

May 12, 2006 (P.L.178, No.45),  are amended and the section is

23

amended by adding a subsection to read:

24

Section 1210.  Manner of Applying to Vote; Persons Entitled

25

to Vote; Voter's Certificates; Entries to Be Made in District

26

Register; Numbered Lists of Voters; Challenges.--(a)  [At] 

27

Except as otherwise provided in subsection (a.1), at every

28

primary and election each elector who appears to vote [in that

29

election district for the first time] and who desires to vote

30

shall first present to an election officer [one of the following

- 3 -

 


1

forms of photo identification:

2

(1)  a valid driver's license or identification card issued

3

by the Department of Transportation;

4

(2)  a valid identification card issued by any other agency

5

of the Commonwealth;

6

(3)  a valid identification card issued by the United States

7

Government;

8

(4)  a valid United States passport;

9

(5)  a valid student identification card;

10

(6)  a valid employe identification card; or

11

(7)  a valid armed forces of the United States identification

12

card] proof of identification.

13

The election officer shall examine the proof of identification

14

presented by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this

15

has been done.

16

(a.1)  [Where the elector does not have a photo

17

identification as provided for in subsection (a), the elector

18

shall present for examination one of the following forms of

19

identification that shows the name and address of the elector:

20

(1)  nonphoto identification issued by the Commonwealth, or

21

any agency thereof;

22

(2)  nonphoto identification issued by the United States

23

Government, or agency thereof;

24

(3)  a firearm permit;

25

(4)  a current utility bill;

26

(5)  a current bank statement;

27

(6)  a paycheck;

28

(7)  a government check.

29

The election officer shall examine the identification presented

30

by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this has been

- 4 -

 


1

done.] In the case of an elector who resides in a care facility

2

and votes in a polling place that is located in the care

3

facility, the following shall apply:

4

(1)  For the primary or election at which the elector appears

5

to vote in the election district for the first time, the elector

6

shall first present to an election officer proof of

7

identification.

8

(2)  The election officer shall examine the proof of

9

identification presented by the elector and sign an affidavit

10

stating that this has been done.

11

(a.2)  If the elector is unable to produce proof of

12

identification:

13

 (1)  on the grounds that the elector is indigent and unable

14

to obtain proof of identification without the payment of a fee;

15

or

16

 (2)  on any other grounds

17

or the elector's proof of identification is challenged by the

18

judge of elections, the elector shall be permitted to cast a

19

provisional ballot in accordance with subsection (a.4).

20

(a.3)  (1)  All electors, including any elector that shows

21

proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a), shall

22

subsequently sign a voter's certificate in blue, black or blue-

23

black ink with a fountain pen or ball point pen, and, unless he

24

is a State or Federal employe who has registered under any

25

registration act without declaring his residence by street and

26

number, he shall insert his address therein, and hand the same

27

to the election officer in charge of the district register.

28

(2)  Such election officer shall thereupon announce the

29

elector's name so that it may be heard by all members of the

30

election board and by all watchers present in the polling place

- 5 -

 


1

and shall compare the elector's signature on his voter's

2

certificate with his signature in the district register. If,

3

upon such comparison, the signature upon the voter's certificate

4

appears to be genuine, the elector who has signed the

5

certificate shall, if otherwise qualified, be permitted to vote:

6

Provided, That if the signature on the voter's certificate, as

7

compared with the signature as recorded in the district

8

register, shall not be deemed authentic by any of the election

9

officers, such elector shall not be denied the right to vote for

10

that reason, but shall be considered challenged as to identity

11

and required to make the affidavit and produce the evidence as

12

provided in subsection (d) of this section.

13

(3)  When an elector has been found entitled to vote, the

14

election officer who examined his voter's certificate and

15

compared his signature shall sign his name or initials on the

16

voter's certificate, shall, if the elector's signature is not

17

readily legible, print such elector's name over his signature,

18

and the number of the stub of the ballot issued to him or his

19

number in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at

20

primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in

21

whose primary he votes shall also be entered by one of the

22

election officers or clerks.

23

(4)  As each voter is found to be qualified and votes, the

24

election officer in charge of the district register shall write

25

or stamp the date of the election or primary, the number of the

26

stub of the ballot issued to him or his number in the order of

27

admission to the voting machines, and at primaries a letter or

28

abbreviation designating the party in whose primary he votes,

29

and shall sign his name or initials in the proper space on the

30

registration card of such voter contained in the district

- 6 -

 


1

register.

2

(5)  As each voter votes, his name in the order of voting

3

shall be recorded in two (2) numbered lists of voters provided

4

for that purpose, with the addition of a note of each voter's

5

party enrollment after his name at primaries.

6

(a.4)  (1)  At all elections an individual who claims to be

7

properly registered and eligible to vote at the election

8

district but whose name does not appear on the district register

9

and whose registration cannot be determined by the inspectors of

10

election or the county election board shall be permitted to cast

11

a provisional ballot. Individuals who [are voting for the first

12

time at the election district] appear to vote shall be required

13

to produce proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a) or

14

(a.1) and if unable to do so shall be permitted to cast a

15

provisional ballot. An individual presenting a judicial order to

16

vote shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.

17

* * *

18

(5)  (i)  Except as provided in subclause (ii), if it is

19

determined that the individual was registered and entitled to

20

vote at the election district where the ballot was cast, the

21

county board of elections shall compare the signature on the

22

provisional ballot envelope with the signature on the elector's

23

registration form and, if the signatures are determined to be

24

genuine, shall count the ballot if the county board of elections

25

confirms that the individual did not cast any other ballot,

26

including an absentee ballot, in the election.

27

(ii)  A provisional ballot shall not be counted if:

28

(A)  either the provisional ballot envelope under clause (3)

29

or the affidavit under clause (2) is not signed by the

30

individual;

- 7 -

 


1

(B)  the signature required under clause (3) and the

2

signature required under clause (2) are either not genuine or

3

are not executed by the same individual; [or]

4

(C)  a provisional ballot envelope does not contain a secrecy

5

envelope;

6

 (D)  in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under

7

subsection (a.2)(2), the elector fails to appear before the

8

county board of elections within six calendar days following the

9

election to execute an affidavit affirming, under penalty of

10

perjury, that the elector is the same individual who personally

11

appeared before the district election board on the day of the

12

election and cast a provisional ballot and that the elector is

13

indigent and unable to obtain proof of identification without

14

the payment of a fee; or

15

 (E)  in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under

16

subsection (a.2)(3), the elector fails to appear before the

17

county board of elections within six calendar days following the

18

election to present proof of identification and execute an

19

affidavit affirming, under penalty of perjury, that the elector

20

is the same individual who personally appeared before the

21

district election board on the day of the election and cast a

22

provisional ballot.

23

(iii)  One authorized representative of each candidate in an

24

election and one representative from each party shall be

25

permitted to remain in the room in which deliberation or

26

determination of subclause (ii) is being made.

27

* * *

28

(f)  As used in this section, "care facility" means any of

29

the following:

30

(1)  A long-term care nursing facility as defined in section

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1

802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the

2

"Health Care Facilities Act."

3

(2)  An assisted living residence as defined in section 1001

4

of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the

5

"Public Welfare Code."

6

Section 4.  The amendment of section 1210 of the act shall

7

apply to elections held after January 1, 2012.

8

Section 5.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011, or

9

immediately, whichever is later.

10

Section 1.  Section 102 of the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333,

<--

11

No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code, is amended by

12

adding a definition to read:

13

Section 102.  Definitions.--The following words, when used in

14

this act, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise

15

clearly apparent from the context:

16

* * *

17

(z.5)  The words "proof of identification" shall mean:

18

(1)  In the case of an elector who has a religious objection

19

to being photographed, a valid-without-photo driver's license or

20

a valid-without-photo identification card issued by the

21

Department of Transportation.

22

(2)  For an elector who appears to vote under section 1210, a

23

document that:

24

(i)  shows the name of the individual to whom the document

25

was issued and the name substantially conforms to the name of

26

the individual as it appears in the district register;

27

(ii)  shows a photograph of the individual to whom the

28

document was issued;

29

(iii)  includes an expiration date and is not expired,

30

except:

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1

(A)  for a document issued by the Department of

2

Transportation which is not more than twelve (12) months past

3

the expiration date; or

4

(B)  in the case of a document from an agency of the Armed

5

forces of the United States or their reserve components,

6

including the Pennsylvania National Guard, establishing that the

7

elector is a current member of or a veteran of the United States

8

Armed Forces or National Guard  which does not designate a

9

specific date on which the document, but includes a designation

10

that the expiration date is indefinite; and

11

(iv)  was issued by one of the following:

12

(A)  The United States Government.

13

(B)  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

14

(C)  An accredited Pennsylvania public or private institution

15

of higher learning.

16

(D)  A Pennsylvania care facility.

17

(3)  For a qualified absentee elector under section 1301:

18

(i)  in the case of an elector who has been issued a current

19

and valid driver's license, the elector's driver's license

20

number;

21

(ii)  in the case of an elector who has not been issued a

22

current and valid driver's license, the last four digits of the

23

elector's Social Security number;

24

(iii)  in the case of an elector who has a religious

25

objection to being photographed, a copy of a document that

26

satisfies paragraph (1); or

27

(iv)  in the case of an elector who has not been issued a

28

current and valid driver's license or Social Security number, a

29

copy of a document that satisfies paragraph (2).

30

Section 2.  The act is amended by adding a section to read:

- 10 -

 


1

Section 206.  Requirements Relating to Voter

2

Identification.--(a)  The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall

3

prepare and disseminate information to the public regarding the 

4

proof of identification requirements established under sections

5

1210 and 1302.

6

(b)  Notwithstanding the provisions of 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b)

7

(relating to issuance and content of driver's license) to the

8

contrary, the Department of Transportation shall issue an

9

identification card described in 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b) at no cost

10

to any registered elector who has made application therefor and

11

has included with the completed application a statement signed

12

by the elector declaring under oath or affirmation that the

13

elector does not possess proof of identification as defined in

14

section 102(z.5)(2) and requires proof of identification for

15

voting purposes.

16

(c)  The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall prepare the form

17

of the statement described in subsection (b) and shall

18

distribute the form to the counties and the Department of

19

Transportation. The Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Secretary

20

of Transportation and the county boards of election shall

21

disseminate information to the public regarding the availability

22

of identification cards under subsection (b).

23

Section 3.  Section 1210(a), (a.1), (a.2), (a.3) and (a.4)(1)

24

and (5) of the act, amended October 8, 2004 (P.L.807, No.97) and

25

May 12, 2006 (P.L.178, No.45), are amended and the section is

26

amended by adding a subsection to read:

27

Section 1210.  Manner of Applying to Vote; Persons Entitled

28

to Vote; Voter's Certificates; Entries to Be Made in District

29

Register; Numbered Lists of Voters; Challenges.--(a)  At every

30

primary and election each elector who appears to vote [in that

- 11 -

 


1

election district for the first time] and who desires to vote

2

shall first present to an election officer [one of the following

3

forms of photo identification:

4

(1)  a valid driver's license or identification card issued

5

by the Department of Transportation;

6

(2)  a valid identification card issued by any other agency

7

of the Commonwealth;

8

(3)  a valid identification card issued by the United States

9

Government;

10

(4)  a valid United States passport;

11

(5)  a valid student identification card;

12

(6)  a valid employe identification card; or

13

(7)  a valid armed forces of the United States identification

14

card] proof of identification.

15

The election officer shall examine the proof of identification

16

presented by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this

17

has been done.

18

(a.1)  [Where the elector does not have a photo

19

identification as provided for in subsection (a), the elector

20

shall present for examination one of the following forms of

21

identification that shows the name and address of the elector:

22

(1)  nonphoto identification issued by the Commonwealth, or

23

any agency thereof;

24

(2)  nonphoto identification issued by the United States

25

Government, or agency thereof;

26

(3)  a firearm permit;

27

(4)  a current utility bill;

28

(5)  a current bank statement;

29

(6)  a paycheck;

30

(7)  a government check.

- 12 -

 


1

The election officer shall examine the identification presented

2

by the elector and sign an affidavit stating that this has been

3

done.]

4

(a.2)  [If the elector is unable to produce identification or

5

the elector's identification is challenged by the judge of

6

elections, the elector shall be permitted to cast a provisional

7

ballot in accordance with subsection (a.4).] If any of the

8

following apply the elector shall be permitted to cast a

9

provisional ballot in accordance with subsection (a.4):

10

(1)  The elector is unable to produce proof of

11

identification:

12

(i)  on the grounds that the elector is indigent and unable

13

to obtain proof of identification without the payment of a fee;

14

or

15

(ii)  on any other grounds.

16

(2)  The elector's proof of identification is challenged by

17

the judge of elections.

18

(a.3)  (1)  All electors, including any elector that shows

19

proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a), shall

20

subsequently sign a voter's certificate in blue, black or blue-

21

black ink with a fountain pen or ball point pen, and, unless he

22

is a State or Federal employe who has registered under any

23

registration act without declaring his residence by street and

24

number, he shall insert his address therein, and hand the same

25

to the election officer in charge of the district register.

26

(2)  Such election officer shall thereupon announce the

27

elector's name so that it may be heard by all members of the

28

election board and by all watchers present in the polling place

29

and shall compare the elector's signature on his voter's

30

certificate with his signature in the district register. If,

- 13 -

 


1

upon such comparison, the signature upon the voter's certificate

2

appears to be genuine, the elector who has signed the

3

certificate shall, if otherwise qualified, be permitted to vote:

4

Provided, That if the signature on the voter's certificate, as

5

compared with the signature as recorded in the district

6

register, shall not be deemed authentic by any of the election

7

officers, such elector shall not be denied the right to vote for

8

that reason, but shall be considered challenged as to identity

9

and required to make the affidavit and produce the evidence as

10

provided in subsection (d) of this section.

11

(3)  When an elector has been found entitled to vote, the

12

election officer who examined his voter's certificate and

13

compared his signature shall sign his name or initials on the

14

voter's certificate, shall, if the elector's signature is not

15

readily legible, print such elector's name over his signature,

16

and the number of the stub of the ballot issued to him or his

17

number in the order of admission to the voting machines, and at

18

primaries a letter or abbreviation designating the party in

19

whose primary he votes shall also be entered by one of the

20

election officers or clerks.

21

(4)  As each voter is found to be qualified and votes, the

22

election officer in charge of the district register shall write

23

or stamp the date of the election or primary, the number of the

24

stub of the ballot issued to him or his number in the order of

25

admission to the voting machines, and at primaries a letter or

26

abbreviation designating the party in whose primary he votes,

27

and shall sign his name or initials in the proper space on the

28

registration card of such voter contained in the district

29

register.

30

(5)  As each voter votes, his name in the order of voting

- 14 -

 


1

shall be recorded in two (2) numbered lists of voters provided

2

for that purpose, with the addition of a note of each voter's

3

party enrollment after his name at primaries.

4

(a.4)  (1)  At all elections an individual who claims to be

5

properly registered and eligible to vote at the election

6

district but whose name does not appear on the district register

7

and whose registration cannot be determined by the inspectors of

8

election or the county election board shall be permitted to cast

9

a provisional ballot. Individuals who [are voting for the first

10

time at the election district] appear to vote shall be required

11

to produce proof of identification pursuant to subsection (a)

12

[or (a.1)] and if unable to do so shall be permitted to cast a

13

provisional ballot. An individual presenting a judicial order to

14

vote shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.

15

* * *

16

(5)  (i)  Except as provided in subclause (ii), if it is

17

determined that the individual was registered and entitled to

18

vote at the election district where the ballot was cast, the

19

county board of elections shall compare the signature on the

20

provisional ballot envelope with the signature on the elector's

21

registration form and, if the signatures are determined to be

22

genuine, shall count the ballot if the county board of elections

23

confirms that the individual did not cast any other ballot,

24

including an absentee ballot, in the election.

25

(ii)  A provisional ballot shall not be counted if:

26

(A)  either the provisional ballot envelope under clause (3)

27

or the affidavit under clause (2) is not signed by the

28

individual;

29

(B)  the signature required under clause (3) and the

30

signature required under clause (2) are either not genuine or

- 15 -

 


1

are not executed by the same individual; [or]

2

(C)  a provisional ballot envelope does not contain a secrecy

3

envelope;

4

(D)  in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under

5

subsection (a.2)(1)(i), within six calendar days following the

6

election the elector fails to appear before the county board of

7

elections to execute an affirmation or the county board of

8

elections does not receive an electronic, facsimile or paper

9

copy of an affirmation affirming, under penalty of perjury, that

10

the elector is the same individual who personally appeared

11

before the district election board on the day of the election

12

and cast a provisional ballot and that the elector is indigent

13

and unable to obtain proof of identification without the payment

14

of a fee; or

15

(E)  in the case of a provisional ballot that was cast under

16

subsection (a.2)(1)(ii), within six calendar days following the

17

election, the elector fails to appear before the county board of

18

elections to present proof of identification and execute an

19

affirmation or the county board of elections does not receive an

20

electronic, facsimile or paper copy of the proof of

21

identification and an affirmation affirming, under penalty of

22

perjury, that the elector is the same individual who personally

23

appeared before the district election board on the day of the

24

election and cast a provisional ballot.

25

(iii)  One authorized representative of each candidate in an

26

election and one representative from each party shall be

27

permitted to remain in the room in which deliberation or

28

determination of subclause (ii) is being made.

29

* * *

30

(f)  As used in this section, "care facility" means any of

- 16 -

 


1

the following:

2

(1)  A long-term care nursing facility as defined in section

3

802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the

4

"Health Care Facilities Act."

5

(2)  An assisted living residence or a personal care home as

6

defined in section 1001 of the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31,

7

No.21), known as the "Public Welfare Code."

8

Section 4.  Section 1302(e) and (e.2) of the act, amended

9

February 13, 1998 (P.L.72, No.18), are amended and the section

10

is amended by adding a subsection to read:

11

Section 1302.  Applications for Official Absentee Ballots.--*

12

* *

13

(e)  Any qualified bedridden or hospitalized veteran absent

14

from the municipality of his residence and unable to attend his

15

polling place because of such illness or physical disability,

16

regardless of whether he is registered or enrolled, may apply at

17

any time before any primary or election for an official absentee

18

ballot on any official county board of election form addressed

19

to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the

20

county board of elections of the county in which his voting

21

residence is located.

22

The application shall contain the following information:

23

Residence at the time of becoming bedridden or hospitalized,

24

length of time a citizen, length of residence in Pennsylvania,

25

date of birth, length of time a resident in voting district,

26

voting district if known, party choice in case of primary, name

27

and address of present residence or hospital at which

28

hospitalized. When such application is received by the Secretary

29

of the Commonwealth, it shall be forwarded to the proper county

30

board of elections.

- 17 -

 


1

The application for an official absentee ballot for any

2

primary or election shall be made on information supplied over

3

the signature of the bedridden or hospitalized veteran as

4

required in the preceding subsection. Any qualified registered

5

elector, including a spouse or dependent referred to in

6

subsection (l) of section 1301, who expects to be or is absent

7

from the municipality of his residence because his duties,

8

occupation or business require him to be elsewhere on the day of

9

any primary or election and any qualified registered elector who

10

is unable to attend his polling place on the day of any primary

11

or election because of illness or physical disability and any

12

qualified registered bedridden or hospitalized veteran in the

13

county of residence, or in the case of a county employe who

14

cannot vote due to duties on election day relating to the

15

conduct of the election, or in the case of a person who will not

16

attend a polling place because of the observance of a religious

17

holiday, may apply to the county board of elections of the

18

county in which his voting residence is located for an Official

19

Absentee Ballot. Such application shall be made upon an official

20

application form supplied by the county board of elections. Such

21

official application form shall be determined and prescribed by

22

the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

23

(1)  The application of any qualified registered elector,

24

including spouse or dependent referred to in subsection (l) of

25

section 1301, who expects to be or is absent from the

26

municipality of his residence because his duties, occupation or

27

business require him to be elsewhere on the day of any primary

28

or election, or in the case of a county employe who cannot vote

29

due to duties on election day relating to the conduct of the

30

election, or in the case of a person who will not attend a

- 18 -

 


1

polling place because of the observance of a religious holiday,

2

shall be signed by the applicant and shall include the surname

3

and given name or names of the applicant, proof of

4

identification, his occupation, date of birth, length of time a

5

resident in voting district, voting district if known, place of

6

residence, post office address to which ballot is to be mailed,

7

the reason for his absence, and such other information as shall

8

make clear to the county board of elections the applicant's

9

right to an official absentee ballot.

10

(2)  The application of any qualified registered elector who

11

is unable to attend his polling place on the day of any primary

12

or election because of illness or physical disability and the

13

application of any qualified registered bedridden or

14

hospitalized veteran in the county of residence shall be signed

15

by the applicant and shall include surname and given name or

16

names of the applicant, proof of identification, his occupation,

17

date of birth, residence at the time of becoming bedridden or

18

hospitalized, length of time a resident in voting district,

19

voting district if known, place of residence, post office

20

address to which ballot is to be mailed, and such other

21

information as shall make clear to the county board of elections

22

the applicant's right to an official ballot. In addition, the

23

application of such electors shall include a declaration stating

24

the nature of their disability or illness, and the name, office

25

address and office telephone number of their attending

26

physician: Provided, however, That in the event any elector

27

entitled to an absentee ballot under this subsection be unable

28

to sign his application because of illness or physical

29

disability, he shall be excused from signing upon making a

30

statement which shall be witnessed by one adult person in

- 19 -

 


1

substantially the following form: I hereby state that I am

2

unable to sign my application for an absentee ballot without

3

assistance because I am unable to write by reason of my illness

4

or physical disability. I have made or have received assistance

5

in making my mark in lieu of my signature.

6

...............................

  

......................(Mark)

7

(Date)

  

  

8

...............................

  

............................

9

(Complete Address of Witness)

  

(Signature of Witness)

10

* * *

11

(e.2)  Notwithstanding the other provisions of this act any

12

qualified elector who expects to be or is absent from the

13

municipality of his residence because his duties, occupation or

14

business require him to be elsewhere on the day of any election

15

or a county employe who cannot vote due to duties on election

16

day relating to the conduct of the election or a person who will

17

not attend a polling place because of the observance of a

18

religious holiday may make an application for an absentee ballot

19

by mail by sending a letter to the county board of elections in

20

the county in which his voting residence is located. The letter

21

shall be signed by the applicant and contain his name [and], 

22

place of residence and proof of identification.

23

* * *

24

(j)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section requiring

25

proof of identification, a qualified absentee elector shall not

26

be required to provide proof of identification if the elector is

27

entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and

28

Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 100

29

Stat. 924) or by an alternative ballot under the Voting

30

Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (Public Law

- 20 -

 


1

98-435, 98 Stat. 1678).

2

Section 5.  Section 1302.2(c) and (d) of the act, amended

3

December 11, 1968 (P.L.1183, No.375), are amended and the

4

section is amended by adding a subsection to read:

5

Section 1302.2.  Approval of Application for Absentee

6

Ballot.--

7

* * *

8

(c) The county board of elections, upon receipt of any

9

application of a qualified elector required to be registered

10

under the provisions of preceding section 1301, shall determine

11

the qualifications of such applicant by verifying the proof of

12

identification and comparing the information set forth on such

13

application with the information contained on the applicant's

14

permanent registration card. If the board is satisfied that the

15

applicant is qualified to receive an official absentee ballot,

16

the application shall be marked "approved." Such approval

17

decision shall be final and binding, except that challenges may

18

be made only on the ground that the applicant did not possess

19

the qualifications of an absentee elector. Such challenges must

20

be made to the county board of elections prior to 5:00 o'clock

21

P. M. on the first Friday prior to the election. When so

22

approved, the registration commission shall cause an absentee

23

voter's temporary registration card to be inserted in the

24

district register on top of and along with the permanent

25

registration card. The absentee voter's temporary registration

26

card shall be in the color and form prescribed in subsection (e)

27

of this section:

28

Provided, however, That the duties of the county boards of

29

elections and the registration commissions with respect to the

30

insertion of the absentee voter's temporary registration card of

- 21 -

 


1

any elector from the district register as set forth in section

2

1302.2 shall include only such applications and emergency

3

applications as are received on or before the first Tuesday

4

prior to the primary or election. In all cases where

5

applications are received after the first Tuesday prior to the

6

primary or election and before five o'clock P. M. on the first

7

Friday prior to the primary or election, the county board of

8

elections shall determine the qualifications of such applicant

9

by verifying the proof of identification and comparing the

10

information set forth on such application with the information

11

contained on the applicant's duplicate registration card on file

12

in the General Register (also referred to as the Master File) in

13

the office of the Registration Commission and shall cause the

14

name and residence (and at primaries, the party enrollment) to

15

be inserted in the Military, Veterans and Emergency Civilian

16

Absentee Voters File as provided in section 1302.3, subsection

17

(b). In addition, the local district boards of elections shall,

18

upon canvassing the official absentee ballots under section

19

1308, examine the voting check list of the election district of

20

said elector's residence and satisfy itself that such elector

21

did not cast any ballot other than the one properly issued to

22

him under his absentee ballot application. In all cases where

23

the examination of the local district board of elections

24

discloses that an elector did vote a ballot other than the one

25

properly issued to him under the absentee ballot application,

26

the local district board of elections shall thereupon cancel

27

said absentee ballot and said elector shall be subject to the

28

penalties as hereinafter set forth.

29

(d) In the event that any application for an official

30

absentee ballot is not approved by the county board of

- 22 -

 


1

elections, the elector shall be notified immediately to that

2

effect with a statement by the county board of the reasons for

3

the disapproval. For those applicants whose proof of

4

identification was not provided with the application or could

5

not be verified by the board, the board shall send notice to the

6

elector with the absentee ballot requiring the elector to

7

provide proof of identification with the absentee ballot or the

8

ballot will not be counted.

9

* * *

10

(f)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a

11

qualified absentee elector shall not be required to provide

12

proof of identification if the elector is entitled to vote by

13

absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens

14

Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 100 Stat. 924) or by an

15

alternative ballot under the Voting Accessibility for the

16

Elderly and Handicapped Act (Public Law 98-435, 98 Stat. 1678).

17

Section 6.  Section 1305 of the act, amended August 13, 1963

18

(P.L.707, No.379) and December 17, 1990 (P.L.681, No.169), is

19

amended to read:

20

Section 1305.  Delivering or Mailing Ballots.--

21

(a)  The county board of elections upon receipt and approval

22

of an application filed by any elector qualified in accordance

23

with the provisions of section 1301, subsections (a) to (h),

24

inclusive, shall not later than fifty days prior to the day of

25

the primary or not later than seventy days prior to the day of

26

the election commence to deliver or mail to such elector who has

27

included with said application a statement that he or she is

28

unable to vote during the regular absentee balloting period by

29

reason of living or performing military service in an extremely

30

remote or isolated area of the world, and not later than forty-

- 23 -

 


1

five days prior to the day of the primary or election commence

2

to deliver or mail to all other such electors as provided for in

3

section 1301, subsections (a) to (h), inclusive, official

4

absentee ballots or special write-in absentee ballots as

5

prescribed by subsection (d) of section 1303 when official

6

absentee ballots are not yet printed; as additional applications

7

of such electors are received, the board shall deliver or mail

8

official absentee ballots or special write-in absentee ballots

9

when official absentee ballots are not yet printed to such

10

additional electors within forty-eight hours after approval of

11

their application. If the calling of a special election would

12

make it impossible to comply with the forty-five day delivery or

13

mailing requirement of this section, then the county board of

14

elections shall mail absentee ballots or special write-in

15

absentee ballots within five days of the county board's receipt

16

of the information necessary to prepare said ballots.

17

(b)  The county board of elections upon receipt and approval

18

of an application filed by any elector qualified in accordance

19

with the provisions of section 1301, subsections (i) to (l),

20

inclusive, shall commence to deliver or mail official absentee

21

ballots on the second Tuesday prior to the primary or election.

22

For those applicants whose proof of identification was not

23

provided with the application or could not be verified by the

24

board, the board shall send the notice required under section

25

1302.2(d) with the absentee ballot. As additional applications

26

are received and approved, the board shall deliver or mail

27

official absentee ballots to such additional electors within

28

forty-eight hours.

29

(c)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a

30

qualified absentee elector shall not be required to provide

- 24 -

 


1

proof of identification if the elector is entitled to vote by

2

absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens

3

Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 100 Stat. 924) or by an

4

alternative ballot under the Voting Accessibility for the

5

Elderly and Handicapped Act (Public Law 98-435, 98 Stat. 1678).

6

Section 7.  Section 1308(g)(2) and (3) of the act, added May

7

12, 2006 (P.L.178, No.45), are amended and the section is

8

amended by adding subsections to read:

9

Section 1308.  Canvassing of Official Absentee Ballots.--* * *

10

(g)  * * *

11

(2)  The county board of elections shall meet on the eighth

12

day following the election to canvass the absentee ballots

13

received under this subsection and subsection (h)(2). One

14

authorized representative of each candidate in an election and

15

one representative from each political party shall be permitted

16

to remain in the room in which the absentee ballots are

17

canvassed. Representatives shall be permitted to challenge any

18

absentee elector in accordance with the provisions of paragraph

19

(3).

20

(3)  When the county board meets to canvass absentee ballots

21

under paragraph (2), the board shall examine the declaration on

22

the envelope of each ballot not set aside under subsection (d)

23

and shall compare the information thereon with that contained in

24

the "Registered Absentee Voters File," the absentee voters' list

25

and/or the "Military Veterans and Emergency Civilians Absentee

26

Voters File," whichever is applicable. If the county board has

27

verified the proof of identification as required under this act 

28

is satisfied that the declaration is sufficient and the

29

information contained in the "Registered Absentee Voters File,"

30

the absentee voters' list and/or the "Military Veterans and

- 25 -

 


1

Emergency Civilians Absentee Voters File" verifies his right to

2

vote, the county board shall announce the name of the elector

3

and shall give any candidate representative or party

4

representative present an opportunity to challenge any absentee

5

elector upon the ground or grounds: (i) that the absentee

6

elector is not a qualified elector; or (ii) that the absentee

7

elector was within the municipality of his residence on the day

8

of the primary or election during the period the polls were

9

open, except where he was in the military service or except in

10

the case where his ballot was obtained for the reason that he

11

was unable to appear personally at the polling place because of

12

illness or physical disability; or (iii) that the absentee

13

elector was able to appear personally at the polling place on

14

the day of the primary or election during the period the polls

15

were open in the case his ballot was obtained for the reason

16

that he was unable to appear personally at the polling place

17

because of illness or physical disability. Upon challenge of any

18

absentee elector, as set forth herein, the board shall mark

19

"challenged" on the envelope together with the reasons therefor,

20

and the same shall be set aside unopened pending final

21

determination of the challenge according to the procedure

22

described in paragraph (5).

23

* * *

24

(h)  For those absentee ballots for which proof of

25

identification has not been received or could not be verified:

26

(1)  If the proof of identification is received and verified

27

by the county board of elections prior to the distribution of

28

the absentee ballots to the local election districts, then the

29

county shall distribute the absentee ballots for which proof of

30

identification is received and verified, along with the other

- 26 -

 


1

absentee ballots, to the absentee voter's respective election

2

district. If the county board of elections does not receive or

3

is not able to verify the proof of identification for an elector

4

prior to the absentee ballots' being sent to the appropriate

5

local election districts, the county board shall keep the

6

absentee ballot and follow the procedures set forth in paragraph

7

(2) or (3), whichever is applicable.

8

(2)  If the proof of identification is received and verified

9

after the absentee ballots have been distributed to the

10

appropriate local election districts, but prior to the sixth

11

calendar day following the election, then the county board of

12

elections shall canvass the absentee ballots under this

13

subsection in accordance with subsection (g)(2), unless the

14

elector appeared to vote at the proper polling place for the

15

purpose of casting a ballot, then the absentee ballot cast by

16

that elector shall be declared void.

17

(3)  If an elector fails to provide proof of identification

18

that can be verified by the county board of elections by the

19

sixth calendar day following the election, then the absentee

20

ballot shall not be counted.

21

(i)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a

22

qualified absentee elector shall not be required to provide

23

proof of identification if the elector is entitled to vote by

24

absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens

25

Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410, 100 Stat. 924) or by an

26

alternative ballot under the Voting Accessibility for the

27

Elderly and Handicapped Act (Public Law 98-435, 98 Stat. 1678).

28

Section 8.  Section 1309 of the act, amended August 13, 1963

29

(P.L.707, No.379), is amended to read:

30

Section 1309.  Public Records.--All official absentee

- 27 -

 


1

ballots, files, applications for such ballots and envelopes on

2

which the executed declarations appear, and all information and

3

lists are hereby designated and declared to be public records

4

and shall be safely kept for a period of two years, except that

5

no proof of identification shall be made public, nor shall 

6

information concerning a military elector [shall] be made public

7

which is expressly forbidden by the [War] Department of Defense 

8

because of military security.

9

Section 9.  The act is amended by adding a section to read:

10

Section 1854.  Enforcement.--

11

(1)  The Attorney General shall have prosecutorial

12

jurisdiction over all violations committed under this act.

13

(2)  The district attorney of any county in which a violation

14

has occurred shall have concurrent powers and responsibilities

15

with the Attorney General over violations committed under this

16

act.

17

Section 10.  The following shall apply to elections held

18

after January 1, 2012, and prior to September 17, 2012:

19

(1)  (i)  Except as provided under subparagraph (ii) and

20

notwithstanding any law, election officials at the

21

polling place at an election held after January 1, 2012,

22

shall request that every elector show proof of

23

identification.

24

(ii)  Notwithstanding subparagraph (i), prior to

25

September 17, 2012, if the elector does not provide proof

26

of identification and the elector is otherwise qualified,

27

the elector may cast a ballot that shall be counted

28

without the necessity of presenting proof of

29

identification and without the necessity of casting a

30

provisional ballot, except as required by the act.

- 28 -

 


1

(2)  Beginning January 1, 2012, if any elector votes at a

2

polling place at an election and does not provide proof of

3

identification and will be required to provide proof of

4

identification beginning September 17, 2012, the election

5

official that requested the proof of identification shall

6

provide to the elector written information prescribed by the

7

Secretary of the Commonwealth briefly describing the voter

8

identification requirement created by this act and inform the

9

elector that he or she will be required to comply with that

10

requirement when voting at future elections beginning

11

September 17, 2012, unless an exemption applies.

12

Section 11.  The amendment of sections 102, 1210, 1302,

13

1302.2, 1305, 1308 and 1309 of the act shall apply to elections

14

held after September 17, 2012.

15

Section 12.  This act shall take effect immediately.

- 29 -

 


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