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PRINTER'S NO. 681
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
668
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY DALEY, DERMODY, FRANKEL, YOUNGBLOOD, McCLINTON,
GOODMAN, FREEMAN, LONGIETTI, RABB, SCHLOSSBERG, KORTZ,
MATZIE, SHUSTERMAN, HILL-EVANS, SOLOMON, KULIK, ISAACSON,
DEASY, DRISCOLL, CIRESI, NEILSON, WARREN, WEBSTER, SCHWEYER,
HANBIDGE, T. DAVIS, ZABEL, McNEILL, FITZGERALD, HOWARD,
KINSEY, O'MARA, KIM, OTTEN, MADDEN AND DAVIDSON,
MARCH 1, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, MARCH 1, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 25 (Elections) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in voter registration, further providing for
methods of voter registration, providing for electronic voter
registration and for electronic submission of changes to
registration and further providing for time, for preparation
and distribution of applications and for approval of
registration applications; in records, further providing for
general register, for district registers and for reports; in
changes in records, further providing for removal notices and
for change of enrollment of political party; and, in
penalties, further providing for altering registration.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1321 of Title 25 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a paragraph to read:
§ 1321. Methods of voter registration.
An individual qualified to register to vote under section
1301(a) (relating to qualifications to register) may apply to
register as follows:
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(5) Under section 1325.1 (relating to electronic voter
registration).
Section 2. Title 25 is amended by adding sections to read:
§ 1325.1. Electronic voter registration.
(a) General rule.--An application to register to vote may be
submitted by an electronic voter registration application on the
publicly accessible Internet website maintained by the
department in the manner provided under this section.
(b) Establishment.--
(1) The department shall develop an electronic voter
application on a secure Internet system, maintained by the
department, that permits a qualified elector to
electronically submit a voter registration application or
changes to an existing registration.
(2) The department shall develop the application within
180 days of the effective date of this section. The
electronic voter registration application shall not be put
into use until the department, the Department of
Transportation and each commission have developed a process
and the infrastructure necessary for the effective use of the
application as contemplated by this section but in no event
later than June 30, 2019.
(3) The electronic voter registration application shall
comply with the requirements under section 1327 (relating to
preparation and distribution of applications). The electronic
voter registration application shall be provided in a manner
that is accessible to applicants with disabilities, including
those who are blind and visually impaired, and in a manner
that provides the same opportunity for access and
participation as for other voters.
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(c) Submission.--
(1) A qualified elector who applies to register to vote
under this section shall do all of the following:
(i) Enter the data required on the electronic voter
registration application.
(ii) Provide one of the following:
(A) the last four digits of the applicant's
Social Security number;
(B) the applicant's driver's license number or
identification card number issued by the Department
of Transportation under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510(b)
(relating to issuance and content of driver's
license); or
(C) if the applicant does not have the
information required by clause (A) or (B), any other
information required by the department to verify the
applicant's identity.
(iii) Affirmatively attest to the truth of the
information provided by the applicant.
(2) The department shall obtain and verify an electronic
copy of the applicant's signature from the applicant's
driver's license or identification card issued by the
Department of Transportation under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1510. The
department may, in it discretion, develop other means of
obtaining an electronic signature from an applicant,
including obtaining a copy of a signature on file with
another Commonwealth agency, so long as the signature is
capable of being transmitted to the department in a secure
fashion.
(3) (i) Whether or not the department is able to obtain
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and verify an electronic copy of an applicant's signature
under paragraph (2), the department shall transfer the
application to the SURE system for examination and
processing by the appropriate commission in accordance
with section 1328 (relating to approval of registration
applications). If the department is not able to obtain
and verify an electronic copy of the applicant's
signature, the department shall include a notation that
the applicant must provide a signature at the polling
place or, if the applicant votes by absentee ballot, on
the absentee ballot application, the first time the
applicant votes after submitting an electronic voter
registration application.
(ii) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to
prevent an applicant from printing the completed
electronic voter registration application, signing it and
mailing it to the appropriate commission in accordance
with the voter registration application deadlines
specified in section 1326 (relating to time). In that
event, no additional signature shall be required.
(4) Use of electronic voter registration application by
the applicant shall constitute the applicant's consent to the
use of the applicant's signature on file with the Department
of Transportation or any other Commonwealth agency or
otherwise provided to the department under paragraph (2) for
voter registration purposes.
(d) Duties of department.--
(1) Within 24 months following the effective date of
this section, the department shall promulgate regulations
necessary to implement the provisions of this section and
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section 1325.2 (relating to electronic submission of changes
to registration). Prior to the promulgation, the department
shall transmit notice of the implementation guidelines to the
Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the
Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(2) The department shall develop and employ security
measures to ensure the security and integrity of voter
registration applications or changes to voter registrations
submitted electronically under this section and section
1325.2.
(e) Time.--If an electronic voter registration application
is submitted within 30 days before an election, the application
shall be transferred to the appropriate commission through the
SURE system and retained by the commission until the beginning
of the next period during which registrations must be processed.
§ 1325.2. Electronic submission of changes to registration.
(a) Changing information.--A registered elector may change
information in the registered elector's voter registration
records by using the electronic voter registration application
developed by the department under section 1325.1 (relating to
electronic voter registration) or a form developed by the
department for changes, as determined by the department. The
changes that may be made electronically shall be:
(1) A change in the enrollment of political designation.
(2) The enrollment of a political designation if,
although registered, the elector has not previously enrolled
as a member of a party.
(3) The registered elector's name.
(4) The registered elector's address.
(b) Submission.--The provisions of section 1325.1 regarding
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the truth of the information, the requirement for and consent to
the use of the elector's signature on file with another
Commonwealth agency or otherwise provided to the department
under section 1325.1(c)(2) and other verification by the elector
of the elector's identity shall apply to a submission for a
change to the elector's registration records under this section.
(c) Effectiveness of changes.--Changes to information in an
elector's voter registration records under this section shall
only be effective if:
(1) the department is able to obtain and verify an
electronic copy of the elector's signature. The department
shall inform the applicant if the electronic signature cannot
be verified; or
(2) the elector prints the form on which the changes
have been made, signs the form and mails it to the
appropriate commission, and the commission receives the
changes in accordance with the voter registration application
deadlines specified in section 1326 (relating to time).
Section 3. Section 1326(b) of Title 25 is amended by adding
a paragraph to read:
§ 1326. Time.
* * *
(b) Deadlines.--In the administration of voter registration,
each commission shall ensure that any applicant who is a
qualified elector is registered to vote in an election when the
applicant has met any of the following conditions:
* * *
(3.1) In the case of electronic voter registration under
section 1325.1 (relating to electronic voter registration),
if the voter transmits the electronic voter registration
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application through the Internet system maintained by the
department not later than 11:59 p.m. on the 30th day prior to
the election.
* * *
Section 4. Sections 1327(a)(3), (4), (5) and (6) and (b)(3)
and (4), 1328(a)(2), 1401(a)(5), 1402(b)(2), 1406(a), 1501(b)
(1), 1503 and 1704(a) of Title 25 are amended to read:
§ 1327. Preparation and distribution of applications.
(a) Form.--
* * *
(3) Any person who assists in the completion of the
registration application shall sign or, in the case of
registration under section 1325.1 (relating to electronic
voter registration), shall electronically sign the
application and indicate the person's address. In the case of
those registering under sections 1323 (relating to
application with driver's license application) and 1325
(relating to government agencies), the person providing
assistance shall insert the person's initials or employee or
agent identification number on a separate or detachable
portion of the application or computer data file.
(4) A voter registration application, except a
registration application under section 1325.1, shall be
printed on stock of good quality and shall be of suitable
uniform size. [Nothing in this part shall prohibit the design
and use of an electronic voter registration application which
includes the applicant's digitized or electronic signature.]
The registration application, including a registration
application under section 1325.1, shall contain the following
information; however, the information may be provided on a
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separate form for voter registration made under section 1323
or 1325:
(i) Notice that a registered elector does not need
to reregister unless the registered elector has moved.
(ii) Instructions on how to fill out and submit the
application and notification of when the application must
be submitted to a voter registration office or, for
registration under section 1325.1, electronically, in
order to be registered for the ensuing election.
(iii) Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of
the United States for at least one month prior to the
next election and a resident of this Commonwealth and the
election district for at least 30 days and must be at
least 18 years of age by the day of the next ensuing
election and has not been confined in a penal institution
for a conviction of a felony within the last five years.
The notice required in this subparagraph shall be in
print identical to the declaration under subsection (b).
(iv) Notice that political party enrollment is
mandatory to vote in a primary election of a political
party.
(v) Notice that the commission will mail by
nonforwardable mail to the applicant a voter's
identification card upon acceptance of the application
and that the applicant should contact the commission if
the identification card is not received within 14 days
from the date the application is sent to the registration
office[.] or submitted electronically to the department
under section 1325.1. In the event that the applicant's
electronic registration application did not contain a
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signature, the card shall contain a notice that the voter
must provide a signature the first time the voter votes
after submission of the electronic voter registration
application.
(vi) Notice that registration is not complete until
the application is processed and accepted by the
commission or, if submitted electronically under section
1325.1, the department.
(vii) A warning to the applicant that making a false
registration or furnishing false information is perjury.
The notice required in this subparagraph shall be in
print identical to the declaration under subsection (b).
(viii) Instructions to Federal or State employees
who wish to retain voting residence in county of last
residence to so indicate on the application.
(ix) Notice that, if an individual declines to
register to vote, the fact that the individual has
declined to register will remain confidential and will be
used only for voter registration purposes. The notice
required in this subparagraph shall be in print identical
to the declaration under subsection (b).
(x) Notice that, if an individual does register to
vote, the office at which the individual submits a voter
registration application will remain confidential and
will be used for voter registration purposes only. The
notices required in this subparagraph shall be in print
identical to the declaration in subsection (b).
(5) In jurisdictions where there is a single language
minority, the [secretary] department may print a bilingual
application and develop a bilingual electronic voter
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registration application.
(6) In jurisdictions where a single language minority
exceeds 5% of the population, in accordance with applicable
law, the [secretary] department shall:
(i) print a bilingual application and develop a
bilingual electronic voter registration application; and
(ii) conduct a public educational program among that
language group alerting both organizations and
individuals of that group of the availability of the
bilingual application and encouraging individuals to
register.
* * *
(b) Registration declaration.--
* * *
(3) The registration declaration shall contain the
printed name [and signature of the applicant and the date of
signing.], date of signing and, except for an applicant
submitting a registration under section 1325.1, the signature
of the applicant. An applicant unable to sign the voter
registration application shall make a mark before a person of
the applicant's choice other than the applicant's employer or
an agent of the applicant's union. The person shall insert
the person's name, address and telephone number. If the
person is an employee or agent of the Department of
Transportation or another agency as provided under section
1325 and is assisting the applicant in an official capacity,
the employee or agent shall insert the initials and
identification number of the employee or agent. In the case
of applicants registering under section 1323 or 1325, the
person providing assistance shall insert initials or employee
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or agent identification number on a separate or detachable
portion of the application or computer data file.
(4) The official registration application shall contain
a notice entitled "PENALTY FOR FALSIFYING DECLARATION." The
notice shall advise the applicant that if a person signs an
official registration application or submits an electronic
registration application or change form pursuant to section
1325.1 or 1325.2 (relating to electronic submission of
changes to registration), knowing a statement declared in the
application to be false, the person commits perjury. The
notice shall specify the penalty for perjury.
* * *
§ 1328. Approval of registration applications.
(a) Examination.--Upon receiving a voter registration
application, a commissioner, clerk or registrar of a commission
shall do all of the following:
* * *
(2) Examine the application to determine all of the
following:
(i) Whether the application is complete. The lack of
an applicant's signature on an application submitted
under section 1325.1 (relating to electronic voter
registration) shall not be grounds for rejecting an
otherwise valid application.
(ii) Whether the applicant is a qualified elector.
(iii) Whether the applicant has an existing
registration record. After the commission is connected to
the SURE system, the commissioner, clerk or registrar
shall search the SURE system on a Statewide basis to
determine if the applicant has an existing registration
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record.
(iv) Whether the applicant is entitled or qualified
to receive the requested transfer or change, if
applicable.
* * *
§ 1401. General register.
(a) General rule.--The general register shall contain all of
the following for each registered elector of the county:
* * *
(5) The digitized or electronic signature of the
registered elector. In the case of an elector permitted to
submit a signature the first time the elector votes after
submitting an electronic voter registration application under
section 1325.1 (relating to electronic voter registration),
the commission shall enter the elector's signature on the
elector's registration record as soon as practicable after
the election. The elector shall not be subject to the
provisions of section 1210(a.3)(2) of the act of June 3, 1937
(P.L.1333, No.320), known as the Pennsylvania Election Code,
until the elector's signature has been entered on the
elector's registration record.
* * *
§ 1402. District registers.
* * *
(b) Computer lists.--
* * *
(2) After a commission is connected to the SURE system,
each commission shall create from its general register a
computer list to be used as the district register. For each
election district, the list shall contain the names of the
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registered electors of the election district, alphabetically
by last name of each registered elector. Each page of the
list shall contain the name of the county, the election
district, the date of the election and the date and time the
list was prepared. The computer list shall be in a form
prescribed by the secretary and must contain necessary
information that would otherwise be available in the general
register, including, except for an elector permitted to
submit a signature at the polling place the first time the
elector votes after submitting an electronic voter
registration application under section 1325.1 (relating to
electronic voter registration), a legible digitized or
electronic signature, the street address and political party
of each registered elector, and suitable space for insertion
of the signature of the registered elector and for insertion
by the proper election official of the number and letter of
the stub of the ballot issued to the registered elector or
the registered elector's number in the order of admission to
the voting systems and the initials of the election official
who enters the record of voting in the district register and
whether the elector needs assistance to vote and, if so, the
nature of the disability. The district register shall be kept
at the office of the commission and shall be open to public
inspection, subject to reasonable safeguards, rules and
regulations.
* * *
§ 1406. Reports.
(a) Commission.--By March 1, a commission shall submit to
the secretary an annual report setting forth the number of
electors registered under sections 1322 (relating to in-person
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voter registration), 1323 (relating to application with driver's
license application), 1324 (relating to application by mail)
[and], 1325 (relating to government agencies) and 1325.1
(relating to electronic voter registration). The report shall
specify the number of electors whose registration has been
canceled under Chapter 15 (relating to changes in records) and
any other information required by the secretary.
* * *
§ 1501. Removal notices.
* * *
(b) Use.--A registered elector who removes residence from
one place to another within the same county must notify the
commission by filing a removal notice under subsection (a) or a
signed request for [renewal] removal that contains the
information required in subsection (a) with the commission not
later than the registration deadline before an election. If
mailed, the notice or request must be postmarked not later than
the deadline for registration or, in the case of an illegible or
missing postmark, received within five days of the close of
registration. The following apply:
(1) An official registration application of an elector
who has registered by mail or electronic voter registration
application qualifies as a removal notice.
* * *
§ 1503. Change of enrollment of political party.
By the deadline for registration, a registered elector who
desires to change the enrollment of political designation or
who, although registered, has not previously enrolled as a
member of a party may appear before a commissioner, registrar or
clerk or may submit an application by mail under section 1324
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(relating to application by mail) [and state in a signed] or
electronically under section 1325.2 (relating to electronic
submission of changes to registration). In a case other than
submission under section 1325.2, the elector shall state in a
signed writing the political party in which the registered
elector desires to be enrolled. If the signature of the elector
is verified by comparison with the registered elector's
signature as it appears on file with the commission, the
commissioner, registrar or clerk shall make the change in its
registration records. [If] In a case other than submission under
section 1325.2, if supported by other evidence of identity, a
mark may be made in lieu of a signature by a registered elector
who is unable to write. The mark must be made in the presence of
a witness who must sign the registration application. For
submissions under section 1325.2, the elector shall follow the
procedure for verification of the elector's identity specified
in section 1325.1 (relating to electronic voter registration).
§ 1704. Altering registration.
(a) Prohibition.--No registrar, commissioner, clerk or
assistant [or], commission employee or other individual may do
any of the following:
(1) Intentionally insert or permit to be inserted an
entry in a registration record without a proper application
under this part or without requiring the proper evidence of
the right of the applicant to be registered.
(2) Intentionally materially alter a registration record
after the entries have been made unless the alteration is in
accordance with this part. This paragraph does not apply to
an alteration pursuant to an order of a court of common pleas
or of a commission.
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(3) Intentionally submit false information regarding a
change of party enrollment or name or address on a
registration record of another individual.
* * *
Section 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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