§ 1325.  Government agencies.

(a)  General rule.--The secretary shall administer a system whereby all offices in this Commonwealth that provide public assistance, each county clerk of orphans' court, including each marriage license bureau, all offices in this Commonwealth that provide State-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities and all armed forces recruitment centers do all of the following:

(1)  Distribute voter registration applications with each application; reapplication; and application for recertification, renewal or change of address.

(2)  Assist applicants with completion of the registration application unless assistance is refused.

(3)  Accept completed registration applications.

(4)  Transmit completed applications to the appropriate commission.

(b)  Forms.--An agency designated in subsection (a) shall provide a form for office visits or, if the agency provides services to persons with disabilities, for home visits which contains all of the following:

(1)  The question "If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote today?"

(2)  If the agency provides public assistance, the statement "Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency."

(3)  Boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant would like to register or decline to register to vote. In close proximity to the boxes the following words shall appear in prominent type: "IF YOU DO NOT CHECK EITHER BOX, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS TIME."

(4)  The statement "In order to be qualified to register to vote, you must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election, you must have been a citizen of the United States for at least one month prior to the next election and have resided in Pennsylvania and the election district where you plan to vote for at least 30 days prior to the next election, and you must not have been confined in a penal institution for a conviction of a felony within the last five years."

(5)  The statement "If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek help is yours. You may fill out the form in private."

(6)  The statement "If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania Department of State, Harrisburg, PA 17120." The secretary shall establish and publish a toll-free telephone number for the purpose of receiving complaints.

(c)  Effect.--Failure to check either box under subsection (b)(3) shall be considered a declination to register to vote.

(d)  Staff.--Agency employees assisting in the completion of voter registration applications shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the following principles:

(1)  They shall not seek to influence an applicant's political preference or party registration or display political preference or party allegiance.

(2)  They shall not make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose of or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote.

(3)  They shall not make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose of or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.

Agency employees who violate this subsection shall be removed from employment, provided that the agency at its discretion may impose a penalty of suspension without pay for at least 30 days, but not more than 120 days, if it finds that the violation does not warrant termination.

(e)  Encouraging registration.--An agency designated in subsection (a) shall provide reasonable space for nonpartisan signs or posters encouraging voter registration. The signs and posters shall be provided by the secretary.

(f)  Transmission.--An agency designated in subsection (a) shall forward all completed applications to the appropriate commission within ten days after the date of receipt. If a voter registration application is received within five days before the last day to register before an election, the application shall be transmitted to the appropriate commission not later than five days after the date of its receipt by the agency.

(g)  Confidentiality.--The identity of the voter registration agency through which any particular voter is registered in accordance with this section shall not be disclosed to the public.

(h)  Use of information.--No information relating to a declination to register to vote in connection with an application made at an office described in this section may be used for any purpose other than voter registration.

(i)  Assistance.--Each agency shall provide to each applicant who chooses to register to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the registration application form as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms unless the applicant refuses such assistance.

(j)  Regulation.--The secretary shall promulgate regulations regarding the maintenance and destruction of forms used pursuant to this section.



Cross References.  Section 1325 is referred to in sections 1201, 1321, 1326, 1327, 1406, 1801 of this title.