OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5600

AN ACT CONCERNING REGISTRARS OF VOTERS, THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE STATE AND THE STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION AND THE POSTING OF REQUIREMENTS FOR VOTER IDENTIFICATION.

SUMMARY:

This bill:

1. requires towns to ensure that their registrars of voters have Internet access and can correspond with the secretary of the state using e-mail;

2. specifies that the secretary's written declaratory rulings, instructions, and opinions must be executed, carried out, or implemented;

3. requires that the secretary label written instructions and opinions as such and cite the statutory authority under which they are issued; and

4. requires that voter ID requirements be posted in each polling place where the official checkers are located and in a manner the secretary prescribes.

In addition, the bill expands the State Elections Enforcement Commission's (SEEC) authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per offense against town clerks, registrars of voters, and primary or election officials who fail to discharge certain statutory duties. It allows the SEEC to impose such a penalty on these officials for failing to discharge duties imposed under all state election laws, other than campaign finance laws. Currently, the penalty applies only to duties imposed under certain state election laws (generally, those governing voting methods and primary or election dates). By law, the SEEC can also impose a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per offense or twice the amount of any improper payment or contribution, whichever is greater, against a person it finds has violated state campaign finance laws.

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except a technical and conforming change is effective both upon passage and on January 1, 2014. The latter amends a statute that is not effective until 2014.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

9

Nay

5

(04/05/2013)