CERTIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT
SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1739
2001 Regular Legislative Session
Passed by the House March 13, 2001
Yeas 96 Nays 0
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate April 4, 2001
Yeas 48 Nays 0
We, Timothy A. Martin and Cynthia Zehnder, Co-Chief Clerks of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1739 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
President of the Senate
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1739
Passed Legislature - 2001 Regular Session
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By House Committee on State Government (originally sponsored by Representatives Bush, D. Schmidt, Romero, Miloscia, Anderson, Campbell, Talcott, Esser and Casada; by request of Secretary of State)
Read first time . Referred to Committee on .
AN ACT Relating to protecting the integrity of elections; amending RCW 29.07.092, 29.07.440, 29.08.080, 29.10.125, 29.10.185, 29.60.030, 46.20.155, and 29.07.260; adding a new section to chapter 29.07 RCW; adding new sections to chapter 29.04 RCW; adding new sections to chapter 29.85 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 46.20 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. It is the policy of the state of Washington to encourage every eligible person to register to vote and to participate fully in all elections, and to protect the integrity of the electoral process by providing equal access to the process while guarding against discrimination and fraud. The election registration laws and the voting laws of the state of Washington, and the requirements of this act, must be administered without discrimination based upon race, creed, color, national origin, sex, or political affiliation.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 29.07 RCW to read as follows:
An election officer or a person who intentionally disenfranchises an eligible citizen or discriminates against a person eligible to vote by denying voter registration is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable under RCW 9A.20.021.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 29.04 RCW to read as follows:
In order to encourage the broadest possible voting participation by all eligible citizens, the secretary of state shall produce voter registration information in the foreign languages required of state agencies. This information must be available no later than January 1, 2002.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. A new section is added to chapter 29.04 RCW to read as follows:
The secretary of state shall cause to be produced a "voter guide" detailing what constitutes voter fraud and discrimination under state election laws. This voter guide must be provided to every county election officer and auditor, and any other person upon request, no later than January 1, 2002.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. A new section is added to chapter 29.04 RCW to read as follows:
The secretary of state shall provide a toll-free media and web page designed to allow voter communication with the office of the secretary of state.
Sec. 6. RCW 29.07.092 and 1975 1st ex.s. c 184 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
The county auditor shall acknowledge each new voter registration or transfer by providing or sending the voter a card identifying his current precinct and containing such other information as may be prescribed by the secretary of state. When a person who has previously registered to vote in a jurisdiction applies for voter registration in a new jurisdiction, the person shall provide on the registration form, all information needed to cancel any previous registration. The county auditor shall forward any information pertaining to the voter's prior voter registration to the county where the voter was previously registered, so that registration may be canceled. If the prior voter registration is in another state, the notification must be made to the state elections office of that state. A county auditor receiving official information that a voter has registered to vote in another jurisdiction shall immediately cancel that voter's registration.
Sec. 7. RCW 29.07.440 and 1994 c 57 s 28 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The secretary of state shall prescribe the method of voter registration for each designated agency. The agency shall use either the state voter registration by mail form with a separate declination form for the applicant to indicate that he or she declines to register at this time, or the agency may use a separate form approved for use by the secretary of state.
(2) The person providing service at the agency shall offer voter registration services to every client whenever he or she applies for service or assistance and with each renewal, recertification, or change of address. The person providing service shall give the applicant the same level of assistance with the voter registration application as is offered to fill out the agency's forms and documents, including information about age and citizenship requirements for voter registration.
(3) If an agency uses a computerized application process, it may, in consultation with the secretary of state, develop methods to capture simultaneously the information required for voter registration during a person's computerized application process.
(4) Each designated agency shall provide for the voter registration application forms to be collected from each agency office at least once each week. The agency shall then forward the application forms to the secretary of state each week. The secretary of state shall forward the forms to the county in which the applicant has registered to vote no later than ten days after the date on which the forms were received by the secretary of state.
Sec. 8. RCW 29.08.080 and 1999 c 298 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
The secretary of state shall furnish registration forms necessary to carry out the registration of voters as provided by this chapter without cost to the respective counties. All voter registration forms printed after January 1, 2002, must include clear and conspicuous language, designed to draw an applicant's attention, stating that the applicant must be a United States citizen in order to register to vote.
Sec. 9. RCW 29.10.125 and 1987 c 288 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
Registration of a
person as a voter is presumptive evidence of his or her right to vote at any
primary or election, general or special. A person's right to vote may be
challenged at the polls only by a precinct ((
election officer)) judge
or inspector. A challenge may be made only upon the belief or knowledge of
the challenging officer that the voter is unqualified. The challenge must be
supported by evidence or testimony given to the county canvassing board under
RCW 29.10.127 and may not be based on unsupported allegations or allegations by
anonymous third parties. The identity of the challenger, and any third person
involved in the challenge, shall be public record and shall be announced at the
time the challenge is made.
Challenges initiated by a registered voter must be filed not later than the day before any primary or election, general or special, at the office of the appropriate county auditor. A challenged voter may properly transfer or reregister until three days before the primary or election, general or special, by applying personally to the county auditor. Challenges may also be initiated by the office of the county prosecuting attorney and must be filed in the same manner as challenges initiated by a registered voter.
Sec. 10. RCW 29.10.185 and 1999 c 100 s 4 are each amended to read as follows:
In addition to the case-by-case cancellation procedure required in RCW 29.10.040, the county auditor, in conjunction with the office of the secretary of state, shall participate in an annual list maintenance program designed to detect persons registered in more than one county or voting in more than one county in an election. This program must be applied uniformly throughout the county and must be nondiscriminatory in its application. The program must be completed not later than thirty days before the date of a primary or general election.
The office of the secretary of state shall cause to be created a list of registered voters with the same date of birth and similar names who appear on two or more county lists of registered voters. The office of the secretary of state shall forward this list to each county auditor so that they may properly cancel the previous registration of voters who have subsequently registered in a different county. The county auditor of the county where the previous registration was made shall cancel the registration of the voter if it appears that the signatures in the registration and the signature provided to the new county on the voter's new registration were made by the same person. The office of the secretary of state shall adopt rules to facilitate this process.
If a voter is suspected of voting in two or more counties in an election, the county auditors in each county shall cooperate without delay to determine the voter's county of residence. The county auditor of the county of residence of the voter suspected of voting in two or more counties shall take action under section 12 of this act without delay.
Sec. 11. RCW 29.60.030 and 1992 c 163 s 5 are each amended to read as follows:
The secretary of state shall:
(1) Establish and operate, or provide by contract, training and certification programs for state and county elections administration officials and personnel, including training on the various types of election law violations and discrimination, and training programs for political party observers which conform to the rules for such programs established under RCW 29.60.020;
(2) Administer tests for state and county officials and personnel who have received such training and issue certificates to those who have successfully completed the training and passed such tests;
(3) Maintain a record of those individuals who have received such training and certificates; and
(4) Provide the staffing and support services required by the board created under RCW 29.60.010.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12. A new section is added to chapter 29.85 RCW to read as follows:
(1) A county auditor who suspects a person of fraudulent voter registration, vote tampering, or irregularities in voting shall transmit his or her suspicions and observations without delay to the canvassing board.
(2) The county auditor shall make a good faith effort to contact the person in question without delay. If the county auditor is unable to contact the person, or if, after contacting the person, the auditor still suspects fraudulent voter registration, vote tampering, or irregularities in voting, the auditor shall refer the issue to the county prosecuting attorney to determine if further action is warranted.
(3) When a complaint providing information concerning fraudulent voter registration, vote tampering, or irregularities in voting are presented to the office of the prosecuting attorney, that office shall file charges in all cases where warranted.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13. A new section is added to chapter 29.85 RCW to read as follows:
A person who knows that he or she does not possess the legal qualifications of a voter and who registers to vote is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable under RCW 9A.20.021.
Sec. 14. RCW 46.20.155 and 1990 c 143 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:
Before issuing an
original license or identification card or renewing a license or identification
card under this chapter, the licensing agent shall determine if the applicant
wants to register to vote or transfer his or her voter registration((
by asking the following question:
"Do you want to register to vote or transfer your voter registration?"
If the applicant chooses to register or transfer a registration, the agent shall state the following:
"I would like to remind you that you must be a United States citizen and at least eighteen years of age in order to vote."
The agent shall then provide the applicant with a voter registration form and instructions and shall record that the applicant has requested to register to vote or transfer a voter registration.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 15. A new section is added to chapter 46.20 RCW to read as follows:
The department shall post signs at each driver licensing facility advertising the availability of voter registration services and advising of the qualifications to register to vote.
Sec. 16. RCW 29.07.260 and 1999 c 298 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A person may register to vote, transfer a voter registration, or change his or her name for voter registration purposes when he or she applies for or renews a driver's license or identification card under chapter 46.20 RCW.
(2) To register to vote, transfer his or her voter registration, or change his or her name for voter registration purposes under this section, the applicant shall provide the following:
(a) His or her full name;
(b) Whether the address in the driver's license file is the same as his or her residence for voting purposes;
(c) The address of the residence for voting purposes if it is different from the address in the driver's license file;
(d) His or her mailing address if it is not the same as the address in (c) of this subsection;
(e) Additional information on the geographic location of that voting residence if it is only identified by route or box;
(f) The last address at which he or she was registered to vote in this state;
(g) A declaration that he or she is a citizen of the United States; and
(h) Any other information, other than an applicant's social security number, that the secretary of state determines is necessary to establish the identity of the applicant and to prevent duplicate or fraudulent voter registrations.
(3) The following warning shall appear in a conspicuous place on the voter registration form:
"If you knowingly provide false information on this voter registration form or knowingly make a false declaration about your qualifications for voter registration you will have committed a class C felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, or by a fine of up to ten thousand dollars, or both imprisonment and fine."
(4) The applicant shall sign a portion of the form that can be used as an initiative signature card for the verification of petition signatures by the secretary of state and shall sign and attest to the following oath:
"I declare that the facts on this voter registration form are true. I am a citizen of the United States, I am not presently denied my civil rights as a result of being convicted of a felony, I will have lived in Washington at this address for thirty days before the next election at which I vote, and I will be at least eighteen years old when I vote."
(5) The driver licensing agent shall record that the applicant has requested to register to vote or transfer a voter registration.
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