An Act To Preserve the Integrity of the Voter Registration and Election Process
Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §121, sub-§1-A, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §12, is further amended to read:
Registration applications received by the Secretary of State from outside agencies 30 days or more before an election must be transferred to the appropriate registrar's office within 7 business days of receipt. Registration applications received by the Secretary of State from outside agencies less than 30 days before an election must be transferred to the appropriate registrar's office within 5 business days of receipt. Registration applications by mail or by a 3rd person must be received in the registrar's office by the close of business on the 21st day before election day in order for persons' names to appear on the incoming voting list for that election. The 20-day period before the election is the closed period for outside registrations. The registrar shall send the notice required by section 122 to all voters whose applications were received by mail or a 3rd person by the 21st day before election day no later than the 18th day before election day.
A person who registers during the 20 days before election day or on election day shall register in person and shall show proof of identity and residency. If satisfactory proof of identity and residency can not be provided to the registrar or deputy, the person's name is entered into the central voter registration system and placed on the incoming voting list and the person casts a challenged ballot.
Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §122, first ¶, as amended by PL 2003, c. 584, §3, is further amended to read:
A person may register as a voter by appearing before the registrar, by the registration deadline in subsection 4-A, proving that the person meets the qualifications of section 111, subsections 1 to 3, and filing an application provided by the registrar containing the information required by section 152 or 154, if applicable. Township residents may register as provided in section 156.
Sec. 3. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §16, is repealed.
Sec. 4. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§4-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§5, as amended by PL 2007, c. 515, §3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 6. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§6, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §18, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
The registrar shall publish the hours for registration required by this section according to section 125.
Sec. 7. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§7, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §19, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
Sec. 8. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§8, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 307, §1, is repealed.
Sec. 9. 21-A MRSA §122, sub-§9, as amended by PL 2003, c. 395, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 10. 21-A MRSA §125, as amended by PL 1997, c. 436, §24, is further amended to read:
§ 125. Notice of schedule
The registrar shall publish the schedule established under section 122, subsection 6 or as changed by the municipal officers under subsection 8, in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality at least 7 10 to 15 business days before the schedule becomes effective election, except that, in municipalities with a population of 2,500 or fewer, the publication of the time schedule by the registrar is discretionary rather than compulsory may be done by another means the registrar considers sufficient to provide adequate notice to the residents of the municipality.
Sec. 11. 21-A MRSA §129, first ¶, as amended by PL 1985, c. 383, §2, is further amended to read:
When a voter's name is changed by marriage or other process of law, or when he the voter moves within a municipality, the following provisions apply.
Sec. 12. 21-A MRSA §129, sub-§1, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 161, §6, is amended to read:
Sec. 13. 21-A MRSA §129, sub-§3, as amended by PL 1995, c. 459, §15, is further amended to read:
Sec. 14. 21-A MRSA §130, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §22, is further amended to read:
§ 130. Applications for voter registration
A person who completes an application for registration to vote, as provided in section 152, may mail the application or have the application delivered to the registrar before the closed period for the acceptance of mail or 3rd-person registrations in the person's municipality, to be entered into the central voter registration system and placed on the incoming voting list prior to the next election; except that applications completed under section 122, subsection 5 may be delivered by the voter during the closed period by the in-person registration deadline under section 122, subsection 4-A for immediate placement on the incoming voting list.
Sec. 15. 21-A MRSA §156, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2005, c. 568, §7, is further amended to read:
Sec. 16. 21-A MRSA §661, sub-§1, ¶B, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §54, is further amended to read:
Sec. 17. 21-A MRSA §661, sub-§1, ¶D is enacted to read:
Sec. 18. 21-A MRSA §671, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2003, c. 584, §9, is further amended to read:
Sec. 19. 21-A MRSA §673, sub-§1, ¶A, as amended by PL 2007, c. 455, §32, is further amended to read:
(1) Is not a registered voter;
(2) Is not enrolled in the proper party, if voting in a primary election;
(3) Is not qualified to be a registered voter because the challenged person:
(a) Does not meet the age requirements as specified in sections 111, subsection 2 and section 111-A;
(b) Is not a citizen of the United States; or
(c) Is not a resident of the municipality or appropriate electoral district within the municipality;
(4) Registered to vote during the closed period or on election day and did not provide satisfactory proof of identity and residency to the registrar pursuant to section 121, subsection 1-A, except that only an election official may challenge for this reason;
(5) Did not properly apply for an absentee ballot;
(6) Did not properly complete the affidavit on the absentee return envelope;
(7) Did not cast the ballot or complete the affidavit before the appropriate witness;
(8) Communicated with someone as prohibited by section 754-A, subsection 1, paragraph B or subsection 3, paragraph B or D;
(9) Did not have the ballot returned to the clerk by the time prescribed;
(10) Voted using the name of another;
(11) Committed any other specified violation of this Title; or
(12) Voted using the wrong ballot for the appropriate electoral district or political party, if applicable.
Sec. 20. 21-A MRSA §673, sub-§6, as reallocated by RR 2003, c. 1, §12, is repealed.
Sec. 21. 21-A MRSA §673-A is enacted to read:
§ 673-A. Provisional voting
If a person declares that the person is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and that the person is eligible to vote in an election for federal office, but the name of the person does not appear on the incoming voting list for the voting place, such person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot as follows.
Sec. 22. 21-A MRSA §753-B, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 563, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 23. 21-A MRSA §753-B, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 645, §6, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
(1) Unexpected absence from the municipality during the entire time the polls are open on election day;
(2) Physical disability or an incapacity or illness that has resulted in the voter's being unable to leave home or a treatment facility; or
(3) Inability to travel to the polls if the voter is a resident of a coastal island ward or precinct.
Sec. 24. 21-A MRSA §753-B, sub-§8, as amended by PL 2009, c. 253, §48, is further amended to read:
This subsection does not apply to the display or distribution of any campaign advertising material on private property that is within 250 feet of the entrance to the building in which the clerk's office is located. For purposes of this section, "private property" includes privately owned property subject to a public right-of-way that is an easement right-of-way.
This subsection does not apply to campaign advertising material on automobiles traveling to and from the municipal office or parked on municipal property while the occupants are visiting the municipal office to conduct municipal business. It does not prohibit a person who is at the municipal office for the purpose of conducting municipal business or for absentee voting from wearing a campaign button when the longest dimension of the button does not exceed 3 inches.
Sec. 25. 21-A MRSA §777-A, as amended by PL 2009, c. 563, §3, is further amended to read:
§ 777-A. Registration and enrollment
Uniformed Notwithstanding the registration deadline in section 122, subsection 4-A, uniformed service voters or overseas voters may register or enroll at any time by completing a federal or state voter registration application form and filing it with the registrar or the Secretary of State in person, by mail or by electronic means authorized by the Secretary of State.
This bill eliminates registration of new voters on election day and during the 2 business days before election day, but does allow an already registered voter who has had a change of name or a change of address within the municipality to update voter registration records up to and including on election day. This bill changes the minimum hours required by the registrar to be open to accept new in-person registrations on the deadline for registration before election day. The bill also changes the requirements for the municipality to publish the registrar's hours for the deadline day in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality at least 10 to 15 business days before election day, and provides that municipalities with a population of 2,500 or fewer may give notice by other means the registrar considers sufficient to provide notice to the voters. The bill establishes a provisional voting procedure, as required by the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 United States Code, Section 15482, to allow a person who has registered to vote but whose name was omitted from the voting list in error to vote using a provisional ballot. The bill requires that the municipal clerk or registrar resolve and either count or reject the provisional ballots within 3 business days after the election and report the status of the provisional ballots to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State must publish the provisional ballot information on the Secretary of State's publicly accessible website at least 20 days after the election, so that provisional voters know whether or not their ballots were cast and counted. The bill also prohibits the issuance of absentee ballots after the 3rd business day before election day, except when the voter signs an application designating one of the allowable reasons for voting by absentee ballot on that day.