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SB 116: "An Act relating to elections and voter registration; designating as a class C felony the intentional opening or tampering with certain election materials; establishing an election offense hotline; and providing for an effective date."

00                             SENATE BILL NO. 116                                                                         
01 "An Act relating to elections and voter registration; designating as a class C felony the                               
02 intentional opening or tampering with certain election materials; establishing an election                              
03 offense hotline; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1. AS 15.07.050(a) is amended to read:                                                                   
06            (a)  Registration may be made                                                                                
07                 (1)  in person before a registration official or through a voter                                        
08       registration agency;                                                                                              
09                 (2)  by another individual on behalf of the voter if the voter has                                      
10       executed a written general power of attorney or a written special power of attorney                               
11       authorizing that other individual to register the voter;                                                          
12                 (3)  by mail;                                                                                           
13                 (4)  by facsimile transmission, scanning, or another method of                                          
14       electronic transmission that the director approves; or                                                            
01 (5)  by requesting to be registered as a voter by checking a box that                                               
02 clearly indicates that the applicant is requesting to be registered on                                              
03       [COMPLETING] a permanent fund dividend application form under AS 43.23.015.                                   
04    * Sec. 2. AS 15.07.060(e) is amended to read:                                                                      
05 (e)  For an applicant requesting initial registration by mail, by a form of                                         
06 [FACSIMILE OR OTHER] electronic transmission approved by the director under                                             
07 AS 15.07.050, or by requesting registration on [COMPLETING] a permanent fund                                        
08 dividend application form and including the information required under (a)(1) -                                     
09 (4) and (7) - (9) of this section, the director shall verify the information provided in                            
10 compliance with (a)(2) and (3) of this section through state agency records described                                   
11 in AS 15.07.055(e). If the applicant cannot comply with the requirement of (a)(2) of                                    
12 this section because the applicant has not been issued any of the listed numbers, the                                   
13 applicant may instead submit a copy of one of the following forms of identification: a                                  
14 driver's license, state identification card, current and valid photo identification, birth                              
15       certificate, passport, or hunting or fishing license.                                                             
16    * Sec. 3. AS 15.07.070(i) is amended to read:                                                                      
17 (i)  The division shall register voters under (j) - (m) of this section who                                         
18 request to be registered on a permanent fund dividend application form                                              
19 submitted under AS 43.23.015 to the Department of Revenue. The director shall                                       
20 treat an eligible permanent fund dividend applicant who requests to be registered                                   
21 as a new or updated registered voter, unless the permanent fund dividend                                            
22 applicant does not provide the information required under AS 15.07.060(a)(1) -                                      
23 (4) and (7) - (9) [SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO RECEIVE A PERMANENT                                                     
24       FUND DIVIDEND IN ACCORDANCE WITH (j) - (m) OF THIS SECTION].                                                      
25    * Sec. 4. AS 15.07.070(k) is amended to read:                                                                      
26 (k)  Upon receipt of the registration information, the director shall, as soon as                                       
27 practicable and in accordance with a schedule established by the director by rule,                                      
28 process the registration information received and notify, by United States mail and                             
29 any other means authorized by the director, each applicant who requested                                            
30 registration of the applicant's registration status [NOT ALREADY REGISTERED                                         
31       TO VOTE] at the address provided in the applicant's application                                                   
01                 [(1)  OF THE PROCESSES TO                                                                               
02                      (A)  DECLINE TO BE REGISTERED AS A VOTER;                                                          
03                      (B)  MAINTAIN AN EXISTING VOTER REGISTRATION                                                       
04            OR BE NEWLY REGISTERED AT A VALID PLACE OF RESIDENCE                                                         
05            NOT PROVIDED IN THE APPLICANT'S APPLICATION; AND                                                             
06                      (C)  ADOPT A POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION; AND                                                      
07                 (2)  THAT FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE NOTIFICATION                                                        
08       SHALL CONSTITUTE THE APPLICANT'S CONSENT TO CANCEL ANY                                                            
09       REGISTRATION TO VOTE IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION].                                                                    
10    * Sec. 5. AS 15.07.070(l) is amended to read:                                                                      
11 (l)  If an applicant requests [DOES NOT DECLINE] to be registered as a                                              
12 voter, the [WITHIN 30 CALENDAR DAYS AFTER THE DIRECTOR ISSUES THE                                                   
13 NOTIFICATION, THE APPLICATION UNDER AS 43.23.015 WILL                                                                   
14 CONSTITUTE A COMPLETED REGISTRATION FORM. THE] name of the                                                              
15 applicant shall be placed on the master register if the director determines that the                                    
16 person is qualified to vote under AS 15.05.010, and the director shall forward to the                                   
17 applicant a registration card. If registration is denied, the applicant shall immediately                               
18       be informed in writing that registration was denied and the reason for denial.                                    
19    * Sec. 6. AS 15.15 is amended by adding new sections to read:                                                      
20 Sec. 15.15.055. Ballot security and chain of custody. (a) The director shall                                        
21 provide by regulation for a system to account for each official ballot, whether used or                                 
22 unused, and paper record of an electronically generated ballot under AS 15.15.032                                       
23 through a redundant, secure, and sealed system that tracks the location and entity that                                 
24 has custody of a ballot or record from the time the ballot is printed or paper record                                   
25 produced, until the applicable election is certified under AS 15.15.450. The division                                   
26 shall continually update the system adopted under this section to ensure that state                                     
27 election practices and procedures are consistent with the best practices and procedures                                 
28       and protect the integrity of state elections held under this title.                                               
29            (b)  The system established in (a) of this section must provide that                                         
30 (1)  each ballot or record for an election is tracked and accounted for at                                              
31       all times through a chain-of-custody protocol;                                                                    
01 (2)  each ballot or record for an election is returned to a single point of                                             
02       receipt at a designated division location;                                                                        
03 (3)  immediately after the polls close, digital reports from an electronic                                              
04 voting machine are printed in paper form and tracked and accounted for under this                                       
05       section.                                                                                                          
06 (c)  Before certifying an election under AS 15.15.450, the director shall                                               
07 account for each ballot, whether used or unused, and record of an electronically                                        
08 generated ballot under AS 15.15.032. The state ballot counting review board shall                                       
09 audit and certify the ballot accounting under this subsection in accordance with                                        
10       generally accepted accounting principles.                                                                         
11 (d)  If, under the system established in (a) of this section, a ballot or record is                                     
12 not accounted for, there is a break in the scheduled chain of custody, there is a lapse in                              
13 the security or function, or the director has reason to anticipate a break in the                                       
14 scheduled chain of custody or lapse in the security or function before an election is                                   
15 certified under AS 15.15.450, the director shall notify the attorney general, the                                       
16 lieutenant governor, each affected candidate, and each affected organized group that                                    
17 sponsors or opposes an initiative, referendum, or recall. The director shall provide an                                 
18 affected candidate or affected organized group a minimum of 24 hours notice to                                          
19 appoint a watcher under AS 15.10.170 and ensure the watcher is present before any                                       
20       further ballots in the election are counted or collected.                                                         
21 (e)  An election official or watcher who has reasonable cause to believe that a                                         
22 voting machine, election ballot, record, certificate, or package of ballots has been                                    
23 opened or otherwise tampered with, or another irregularity has occurred, shall                                          
24 immediately notify the director and call for an audit of the affected election materials                                
25 following the closing of the polls. If an election official or watcher at a precinct calls                              
26 for an audit under this subsection, the director shall require an audit of the affected                                 
27       election materials before the materials are mailed under AS 15.15.370.                                            
28 Sec. 15.15.057. Election offense hotline. (a) The director shall establish a toll-                                  
29 free election offense hotline to receive telephone calls reporting election offenses                                    
30 under this chapter. The director shall publicize the availability of the toll-free hotline                              
31 and encourage the public to provide information to the division related to voter                                        
01 misconduct or other election offenses under this chapter. The director shall ensure the                                 
02 hotline is continuously staffed during the hours an absentee voting station is open                                     
03 under AS 15.20.045, during the hours an early voting location is open under                                             
04 AS 15.20.064, and for 24 hours after the time the polls open on election day. From 24                                   
05 hours after the polls open until all election results are certified under AS 15.15.450,                                 
06 the director shall ensure an election official is continuously available to respond to                                  
07       calls made to the hotline.                                                                                        
08 (b)  The director shall have the election offense hotline number printed on a                                           
09 sticker and placed on voting machines, ballot envelopes, and other election materials                                   
10 in a manner the director determines will provide maximum public notice of the                                           
11       election offense hotline established under (a) of this section.                                                   
12    * Sec. 7. AS 15.15.060 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                              
13 (e)  The director shall provide each election board in the state with notices                                           
14 containing the election offense hotline telephone number. The election board shall                                      
15 post at least two of the notices in each polling place. The election board shall post the                               
16       notices so that they are conspicuous to voters.                                                                   
17    * Sec. 8. AS 15.15 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                     
18 Sec. 15.15.374. Notice of voter disqualification. If a voter's vote for or                                            
19 against a candidate, proposition, or question is not counted because the voter is not                                   
20 qualified under AS 15.05.010(3), the director shall notify the voter of the reason the                                  
21 vote was not counted and action the voter may take to avoid the issue in a future                                       
22       election. The director shall provide the explanation not later than                                               
23 (1)  10 days after completion of the review of ballots by the state                                                     
24 review board for a primary election or for a special election under AS 15.40.140 that is                                
25       followed by a special runoff election;                                                                            
26 (2)  60 days after certification of the results of a general election,                                                  
27 special runoff election, or special election other than a special election described in (1)                             
28       of this subsection.                                                                                             
29    * Sec. 9. AS 15.15.450 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                              
30 (b)  The director or lieutenant governor may not certify the results of an                                              
31 election under (a) of this section until each ballot and paper record is accounted for                                  
01       under AS 15.15.055(c).                                                                                            
02    * Sec. 10. AS 15.15.470 is amended to read:                                                                        
03            Sec. 15.15.470. Preservation and destruction of election ballots, papers,                                
04       and materials. (a) The director shall preserve all precinct election certificates, tallies,                   
05       and registers for four years after the election.                                                                  
06 (b)  A ballot or paper record of an electronically generated ballot under                                           
07 AS 15.15.032 may not be destroyed before the result of the election in which the                                    
08 ballot was cast is certified under AS 15.15.450. However, the [ALL] ballots and                                     
09 paper records of electronically generated ballots under AS 15.15.032 [STUBS] for                                    
10 elections other than national elections may be destroyed 30 days after the certification                                
11 of the state ballot counting review unless an application for recount has been filed and                                
12 not completed, the election is being contested under AS 15.20.540, or [UNLESS]                                      
13 their destruction is otherwise stayed by an order of the court. All ballots for national                            
14 elections may be destroyed in accordance with federal law. The director may permit                                      
15 the inspection of election materials upon call by the Congress, the state legislature, or                               
16 a court of competent jurisdiction. Ballots and paper records of electronically                                      
17 generated ballots under AS 15.15.032 must be destroyed at a single location                                         
18 designated by the division. The director or the director's designee shall witness                                   
19 the destruction. The director shall then certify before a notary public that the                                    
20       ballots and paper records have been destroyed.                                                                
21    * Sec. 11. AS 15.20.066(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
22 (a)  The director shall adopt regulations applicable to the delivery of absentee                                        
23 ballots by electronic transmission in a state election and to the use of electronic                                     
24 transmission absentee voting in a state election by qualified voters. The regulations                                   
25       must                                                                                                              
26 (1)  require the voter to comply with the same time deadlines as for                                                    
27       voting in person on or before the closing hour of the polls;                                                      
28 (2)  ensure the accuracy and, to the greatest degree possible, the                                                      
29       integrity and secrecy of the ballot process;                                                                  
30                 (3)  prohibit absentee voting by facsimile in a state election.                                     
31    * Sec. 12. AS 15.20.081(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
01 (a)  A qualified voter may apply in person, by mail, or by facsimile, scanning,                                         
02 or other electronic transmission to the director for an absentee ballot under this                                      
03 section. Another individual may apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of a qualified                                   
04 voter if that individual is designated to act on behalf of the voter in a written general                               
05 power of attorney or a written special power of attorney that authorizes the other                                      
06 individual to apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter. The application must                                 
07 include the address or, if the application requests delivery of an absentee ballot by                                   
08 electronic transmission, the [TELEPHONE] electronic mail address                                                    
09 [TRANSMISSION NUMBER], to which the absentee ballot is to be returned, the                                              
10 applicant's full Alaska residence address, and the applicant's signature. However, a                                    
11 person residing outside the United States and applying to vote absentee in federal                                      
12 elections in accordance with AS 15.05.011 need not include an Alaska residence                                          
13 address in the application. A person may supply to a voter an absentee ballot                                           
14 application form with a political party or group affiliation indicated only if the voter is                             
15 already registered as affiliated with the political party or group indicated. Only the                                  
16 voter or the individual designated by the voter in a written power of attorney under                                    
17 this subsection may mark the voter's choice of primary ballot on an application. A                                      
18 person supplying an absentee ballot application form may not design or mark the                                         
19 application in a manner that suggests choice of one ballot over another, except that                                    
20 ballot choices may be listed on an application as authorized by the division. The                                       
21 application must be made on a form prescribed or approved by the director. The voter                                    
22 or registration official shall submit the application directly to the division of elections.                            
23 For purposes of this subsection, "directly to the division of elections" means that an                                  
24 application may not be submitted to any intermediary that could control or delay the                                    
25 submission of the application to the division or gather data on the applicant from the                                  
26 application form. However, nothing in this subsection is intended to prohibit a voter                                   
27 from giving a completed absentee ballot application to a friend, relative, or associate                                 
28 for transfer to the United States Postal Service or a private commercial delivery                                       
29       service for delivery to the division.                                                                             
30    * Sec. 13. AS 15.56.060(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
31 (a)  A person commits the crime of unlawful interference with an election if                                            
01       the person                                                                                                        
02                 (1)  induces or attempts to induce an election official to fail in the                                  
03       official's duty by force, threat, intimidation, or offers of reward;                                              
04                 (2)  intentionally changes, attempts to change, or causes to be changed                                 
05       an official election document including ballots, tallies, and returns;                                            
06                 (3)  intentionally delays, attempts to delay, or causes to be delayed the                               
07       sending of the certificate, register, ballots, or other materials whether original or                             
08       duplicate, required to be sent by AS 15.15.370;                                                                   
09                 (4)  intentionally opens or tampers with a sealed election ballot,                                  
10 certificate, or package of ballots without express authorization from the director;                                 
11       or                                                                                                                
12 (5) [(4)]  is contracted or employed by the state to print or reproduce in                                          
13       any manner an official ballot, and the person knowingly                                                           
14 (A)  personally appropriates, or gives or delivers to, or permits                                                       
15 to be taken by anyone other than a person authorized by the director, official                                          
16            ballots; or                                                                                                  
17 (B)  prints or reproduces or has printed or reproduced official                                                         
18 ballots in a form or with a content other than that prescribed by law or as                                             
19            directed by the director.                                                                                    
20    * Sec. 14. AS 43.23.015(b) is amended to read:                                                                     
21 (b)  The department shall prescribe and furnish an application form for                                                 
22       claiming a permanent fund dividend. The application must include                                                  
23                 (1)  notice of the penalties provided for under AS 43.23.270;                                           
24                 (2)  a statement of eligibility and a certification of residency;                                       
25 (3)  the means for an applicant eligible to vote under AS 15.05, or a                                                   
26 person authorized to act on behalf of the applicant, to request that the applicant be                               
27 registered as a voter, to furnish information required by AS 15.07.060(a)(1) - (4) and                              
28       (7) - (9), and to attest [AN ATTESTATION] that the [SUCH] information is true.                            
29    * Sec. 15. AS 43.23.101 is amended to read:                                                                        
30 Sec. 43.23.101. Voter registration. The commissioner shall establish by rule a                                        
31 schedule by which the commissioner [WILL PROVIDE, AND] shall provide as soon                                            
01       as [IS] practicable the director of elections with                                                                
02 (1)  electronic records from the permanent fund dividend applications                                                   
03 with [OF] the information required under [BY] AS 15.07.060(a)(1) - (4) and (7) - (9)                            
04 [,] and the attestation that the [SUCH] information is true [,] for each permanent fund                             
05       dividend applicant who requested to be registered to vote and is                                              
06                      (A)  [IS] a citizen of the United States; and                                                      
07                      (B)  [IS] at least 18 years of age or will be within 90 days of the                                
08            date of the application; and                                                                                 
09                 (2)  the mailing addresses for all permanent fund dividend applicants.                                  
10    * Sec. 16. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12 APPLICABILITY: PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND APPLICATIONS. The                                                                
13 changes made by secs. 1 - 5 and 14 and 15 of this Act apply to permanent fund dividend                                  
14 applications filed on or after January 1, 2020.                                                                         
15    * Sec. 17. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
16 read:                                                                                                                   
17 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Revenue and the division of                                                  
18 elections may adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act. The                                
19 regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the                               
20 effective date of the law implemented by the regulation.                                                                
21    * Sec. 18. Section 17 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                                  
22    * Sec. 19. Except as provided in sec. 18 of this Act, this Act takes effect January 1, 2020.