HB 23: "An Act relating to elections and voter registration; relating to ballot custody, retention, and destruction; prohibiting possession of another voter's ballot; requiring signature verification; establishing an election offense hotline; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 23 01 "An Act relating to elections and voter registration; relating to ballot custody, retention, 02 and destruction; prohibiting possession of another voter's ballot; requiring signature 03 verification; establishing an election offense hotline; and providing for an effective 04 date." 05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 * Section 1. AS 15.07.060(e) is amended to read: 07 (e) For an applicant requesting initial registration by mail or [,] by facsimile or 08 other electronic transmission approved by the director under AS 15.07.050, [OR BY 09 COMPLETING A PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND APPLICATION,] the director 10 shall verify the information provided in compliance with (a)(2) and (3) of this section 11 through state agency records described in AS 15.07.055(e). If the applicant cannot 12 comply with the requirement of (a)(2) of this section because the applicant has not 13 been issued any of the listed numbers, the applicant may instead submit a copy of one 14 of the following forms of identification: a driver's license, state identification card,
01 current and valid photo identification, birth certificate, passport, or hunting or fishing 02 license. 03 * Sec. 2. AS 15.07.070(f) is amended to read: 04 (f) Incomplete or inaccurate registration forms may not be accepted. A person 05 who submitted an incomplete or inaccurate registration form may register by 06 reexecuting and resubmitting a registration form in person, by mail, or by facsimile or 07 other electronic transmission approved by the director under AS 15.07.050. The 08 requirements of (c) or (d) of this section apply to a registration form resubmitted under 09 this subsection. [NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING, AN APPLICATION 10 MADE UNDER AS 43.23.015 THAT CONTAINS THE INFORMATION 11 REQUIRED BY AS 15.07.060(a)(1) - (4) AND (7) - (9), AND AN ATTESTATION 12 THAT SUCH INFORMATION IS TRUE, SHALL NOT BE DEEMED AN 13 INCOMPLETE REGISTRATION FORM AND SHALL BE ACCEPTED IN 14 ACCORDANCE WITH AS 15.07.070(i).] 15 * Sec. 3. AS 15.15 is amended by adding new sections to read: 16 Sec. 15.15.055. Ballot security and chain of custody. (a) The director shall 17 provide by regulation for a system to account for each used and unused ballot and 18 paper record of an electronically generated ballot under AS 15.15.032 through a 19 redundant, secure, and sealed system that tracks the location and entity that has 20 custody of a ballot or record from the time the ballot is printed or paper record 21 produced, until the applicable election is certified under AS 15.15.450 or, if a recount 22 is conducted, until the election is certified under AS 15.20.490. The division shall 23 continually update the system adopted under this section to ensure that state election 24 practices and procedures are consistent with the best practices and procedures and 25 protect the integrity of state elections held under this title. 26 (b) The system established in (a) of this section must provide that 27 (1) each ballot or record of an electronically generated ballot under 28 AS 15.15.032 for an election is tracked and accounted for at all times through a chain- 29 of-custody protocol; 30 (2) each ballot or record of an electronically generated ballot under 31 AS 15.15.032 for an election is returned to a single point of receipt at a designated
01 division location; 02 (3) immediately after the polls close, digital reports from an electronic 03 voting machine are printed in paper form and tracked and accounted for under this 04 section. 05 (c) Before certifying an election under AS 15.15.450 and, if a recount is 06 conducted, before certifying an election under AS 15.20.490, the director shall account 07 for each used or unused ballot and record of an electronically generated ballot under 08 AS 15.15.032. The state ballot counting review board shall audit and certify the ballot 09 accounting under this subsection in accordance with generally accepted accounting 10 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 system security, or the director has reason to anticipate a break in the scheduled chain 14 of custody or lapse in system security before an election is certified under 15 AS 15.15.450 or, if a recount application is accepted, under AS 15.20.490, the director 16 shall notify the attorney general, the lieutenant governor, each affected candidate, and 17 each affected organization or organized group that sponsors or opposes an initiative, 18 referendum, or recall. The director shall provide an affected candidate or affected 19 organization or organized group a minimum of 24 hours' notice to appoint a watcher 20 under AS 15.10.170 and ensure the watcher is present before any further ballots in the 21 election are counted. 22 (e) An election official or watcher who has reasonable cause to believe that a 23 voting machine, election ballot, record, certificate, or package of ballots has been 24 opened or otherwise tampered with, or another irregularity has occurred, shall 25 immediately notify the director and call for an audit of the affected election materials 26 following the closing of the polls. If an election official or watcher at a precinct calls 27 for an audit under this subsection, the director shall require an audit of the affected 28 election materials before the materials are mailed under AS 15.15.370. 29 Sec. 15.15.057. Election offense hotline. (a) The director shall establish a toll- 30 free election offense hotline to receive telephone calls reporting election offenses 31 under this chapter. The director shall publicize the availability of the toll-free hotline
01 and encourage the public to provide information to the division related to voter 02 misconduct or other election offenses under this chapter. The director shall ensure the 03 hotline is continuously staffed during the hours an absentee voting station is open 04 under AS 15.20.045, during the hours an early voting location is open under 05 AS 15.20.064, and for 24 hours after the time the polls open on election day. From 24 06 hours after the polls open until all election results are certified under AS 15.15.450, 07 the director shall ensure an election official is continuously available to respond to 08 calls made to the hotline. 09 (b) The director shall have the election offense hotline number printed on a 10 sticker and placed on voting machines, ballot envelopes, and other election materials 11 in a manner the director determines will provide maximum public notice of the 12 election offense hotline. 13 * Sec. 4. AS 15.15.060 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 14 (f) The director shall provide each election board in the state with notices 15 containing the election offense hotline telephone number. The election board shall 16 post at least two of the notices in each polling place. The election board shall post the 17 notices so that they are conspicuous to voters. 18 * Sec. 5. AS 15.15 is amended by adding new sections to read: 19 Sec. 15.15.374. Notice of voter disqualification. If a voter's vote for or 20 against a candidate, proposition, or question is not counted, the director shall notify 21 the voter by mail of the reason the vote was not counted and action the voter may take 22 to avoid the issue in a future election. The director shall mail the explanation not later 23 than 24 (1) 10 days after completion of the review of ballots by the state 25 review board for a primary election or a special primary election under AS 15.40.140; 26 (2) 60 days after certification of the results of a general election or 27 special election other than a special primary election described in (1) of this section. 28 Sec. 15.15.375. Free access system. The director shall make available through 29 a free access system to each voter a system to check to see whether the voter's ballot 30 was counted and, if not counted, the reason why the ballot was not counted. The 31 director shall make this information available through the free access system not less
01 than 02 (1) 10 days after certification of the results of a primary election or a 03 special primary election under AS 15.40.140; and 04 (2) 30 days after certification of the results of a general or special 05 election other than a special primary election described in (1) of this section. 06 * Sec. 6. AS 15.15.450 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 07 (b) The director or lieutenant governor may not certify the results of an 08 election under (a) of this section until each ballot and paper record of an electronically 09 generated ballot under AS 15.15.032 is accounted for under AS 15.15.055(c). 10 * Sec. 7. AS 15.15.470 is amended to read: 11 Sec. 15.15.470. Preservation and destruction of election ballots, papers, 12 and materials. (a) The director shall preserve all precinct election certificates, tallies, 13 and registers for four years after the election. 14 (b) A ballot or paper record of an electronically generated ballot under 15 AS 15.15.032 may not be destroyed before the result of the election in which the 16 ballot was cast is certified under AS 15.15.450. However, the [ALL] ballots and 17 paper records of electronically generated ballots under AS 15.15.032 [STUBS] for 18 elections other than national elections may be destroyed 30 days after the certification 19 of the state ballot counting review unless an application for recount has been filed and 20 not completed, the election is being contested under AS 15.20.540, or [UNLESS] 21 their destruction is otherwise stayed by an order of the court. All ballots for national 22 elections may be destroyed in accordance with federal law. The director may permit 23 the inspection of election materials upon call by the Congress, the state legislature, or 24 a court of competent jurisdiction. A ballot or paper record of an electronically 25 generated ballot under AS 15.15.032 may not be destroyed unless the destruction 26 is authorized by the lieutenant governor. When authorized, ballots and paper 27 records of electronically generated ballots under AS 15.15.032 must be destroyed 28 at a single location designated by the division. The director or the director's 29 designee shall witness the destruction. The director shall then certify before a 30 notary public that the ballots and paper records have been destroyed. 31 * Sec. 8. AS 15.20.066(a) is amended to read:
01 (a) The director shall adopt regulations applicable to the delivery of absentee 02 ballots by electronic transmission in a state election and to the use of electronic 03 transmission absentee voting in a state election by qualified voters. The regulations 04 must 05 (1) require the voter to comply with the same time deadlines as for 06 voting in person on or before the closing hour of the polls; 07 (2) ensure the accuracy and, to the greatest degree possible, the 08 integrity and secrecy of the ballot process; 09 (3) prohibit absentee voting by facsimile in a state election. 10 * Sec. 9. AS 15.20.203(a) is amended to read: 11 (a) The district absentee ballot counting board shall examine each absentee 12 ballot envelope and shall determine whether the absentee voter is qualified to vote at 13 the election, whether the signature on the certificate is consistent with the voter's 14 signature in voter registration records, and whether the absentee ballot has been 15 properly cast. 16 * Sec. 10. AS 15.20.203(b) is amended to read: 17 (b) An absentee ballot may not be counted if 18 (1) the voter has failed to properly execute the certificate; 19 (2) an official or the witnesses authorized by law to attest the voter's 20 certificate fail to execute the certificate, except that an absentee ballot cast in person 21 and accepted by an absentee voting official or election supervisor may be counted 22 despite failure of the absentee voting official or election supervisor to properly sign 23 and date the voter's certificate as attesting official as required under AS 15.20.061(c); 24 (3) the ballot is not attested on or before the date of the election; 25 (4) the ballot, if postmarked, is not postmarked on or before the date of 26 the election; 27 (5) after the day of election, the ballot was delivered by a means other 28 than mail; [OR] 29 (6) the voter voted 30 (A) in person and is a 31 (i) first-time voter who initially registered by mail or by
01 facsimile or other electronic transmission approved by the director 02 under AS 15.07.050, has not provided the identification required by 03 AS 15.15.225(a), was not eligible for waiver of the identification 04 requirement under AS 15.15.225(b), and has not provided the 05 identifiers required in AS 15.07.060(a)(2) and (3) that can be verified 06 through state agency records described in AS 15.07.055(e); or 07 (ii) voter other than one described in (i) of this 08 subparagraph, did not provide identification described in 09 AS 15.15.225(a), was not personally known by the election official, 10 and has not provided the identifiers required in AS 15.07.060(a)(2) and 11 (3); or 12 (B) by mail or electronic transmission, is a first-time voter who 13 initially registered by mail or by facsimile or other electronic transmission 14 approved by the director under AS 15.07.050 to vote, has not met the 15 identification requirements set out in AS 15.07.060, and does not submit with 16 the ballot a copy of a 17 (i) driver's license, state identification card, current and 18 valid photo identification, birth certificate, passport, or hunting or 19 fishing license; or 20 (ii) current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, 21 government check, or other government document; an item described 22 in this sub-subparagraph must show the name and current address of 23 the voter; or 24 (7) the signature on the certificate is inconsistent with the voter's 25 signature in voter registration records. 26 * Sec. 11. AS 15.20.490 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 27 (b) The director or lieutenant governor may not certify the results of an 28 election under (a) of this section until each ballot and paper record is accounted for 29 under AS 15.15.055(c). 30 * Sec. 12. AS 15.56.035(a) is amended to read: 31 (a) A person commits the crime of unlawful interference with voting in the
01 second degree if the person 02 (1) has an official ballot in possession outside of the voting room 03 unless the person is an election official or other person authorized by law or local 04 ordinance, or by the director or chief municipal elections official in a local election; 05 (2) makes, or knowingly has in possession, a counterfeit of an official 06 election ballot; 07 (3) knowingly solicits or encourages, directly or indirectly, a registered 08 voter who is no longer qualified to vote under AS 15.05.010, to vote in an election; 09 (4) as a registration official 10 (A) knowingly refuses to register a person who is entitled to 11 register under AS 15.07.030; or 12 (B) accepts a fee from an applicant applying for registration; 13 (5) violates AS 15.20.081(a) by knowingly supplying or encouraging 14 or assisting another person to supply to a voter an absentee ballot application form 15 with a political party or group affiliation indicated if the voter is not already registered 16 as affiliated with that political party or group; 17 (6) knowingly designs, marks, or encourages or assists another person 18 to design or mark an absentee ballot application in a manner that suggests choice of 19 one ballot over another as prohibited by AS 15.20.081(a); [OR] 20 (7) knowingly submits or encourages or assists another person to 21 submit an absentee ballot application to an intermediary who could control or delay 22 the submission of the application to the division of elections or who could gather data 23 from the application form as prohibited by AS 15.20.081(a); or 24 (8) knowingly possesses a ballot provided to another voter under 25 this title unless the person 26 (A) is a family member of the voter; 27 (B) is a caregiver of the voter; or 28 (C) is engaged in official duties as an election official or a 29 worker for the United States Postal Service or a private commercial 30 delivery service. 31 * Sec. 13. AS 15.56.035 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
01 (d) In this section, 02 (1) "caregiver" means a person who provides medical, health care, or 03 other assistance to the voter in a state or federal correctional center, nursing care 04 institution, hospice facility, assisted living center, assisted living facility, assisted 05 living home, residential care institution, adult day health care facility, or adult foster 06 care home; 07 (2) "family member" means a person who is related to the voter by 08 blood, marriage, adoption, or legal guardianship. 09 * Sec. 14. AS 15.56.060(a) is amended to read: 10 (a) A person commits the crime of unlawful interference with an election if 11 the person 12 (1) induces or attempts to induce an election official to fail in the 13 official's duty by force, threat, intimidation, or offers of reward; 14 (2) intentionally changes, attempts to change, or causes to be changed 15 an official election document including ballots, tallies, and returns; 16 (3) intentionally delays, attempts to delay, or causes to be delayed the 17 sending of the certificate, register, ballots, or other materials whether original or 18 duplicate, required to be sent by AS 15.15.370; 19 (4) intentionally opens or tampers with a sealed election ballot, 20 certificate, or package of ballots without express authorization from the director; 21 or 22 (5) [(4)] is contracted or employed by the state to print or reproduce in 23 any manner an official ballot, and the person knowingly 24 (A) personally appropriates, or gives or delivers to, or permits 25 to be taken by anyone other than a person authorized by the director, official 26 ballots; or 27 (B) prints or reproduces or has printed or reproduced official 28 ballots in a form or with a content other than that prescribed by law or as 29 directed by the director. 30 * Sec. 15. AS 15.07.050(a)(5), 15.07.070(i), 15.07.070(j), 15.07.070(k), 15.07.070(l), 31 15.07.070(m); AS 43.23.015(b)(3), 43.23.101, 43.23.110(a)(7), and 43.23.110(c) are repealed.
01 * Sec. 16. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 02 read: 03 APPLICABILITY. AS 15.56.035(a)(8), enacted by sec. 12 of this Act, and 04 AS 15.56.060(a)(4), enacted by sec. 14 of this Act, apply to offenses committed on or after 05 the effective date of secs. 12 and 14 of this Act. 06 * Sec. 17. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 07 read: 08 APPLICABILITY: PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND APPLICATIONS. The 09 changes made by secs. 1 and 2 of this Act and the repeals of AS 15.07.050(a)(5), 10 AS 43.23.015(b)(3), 43.23.101, 43.23.110(a)(7), and 43.23.110(c) by sec. 15 of this Act apply 11 to permanent fund dividend applications filed on or after January 1, 2022. 12 * Sec. 18. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 13 read: 14 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Revenue and the division of 15 elections may adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act. The 16 regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the 17 effective date of the law implemented by the regulation. 18 * Sec. 19. Section 18 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c). 19 * Sec. 20. Except as provided in sec. 19 of this Act, this Act takes effect January 1, 2022.