Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 478

    February Session, 2018

Senate Bill No. 430

Senate, April 12, 2018

The Committee on Government Administration and Elections reported through SEN. FLEXER of the 29th Dist. and SEN. MCLACHLAN, M. of the 24th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT UPDATING STATUTES REGARDING ELECTIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 9-16 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The registrars of voters in each town shall give notice of the time and place of each session for the admission of electors held pursuant to section 9-17 by publication in a newspaper published or circulated in such town, or on the town's Internet web site, not more than fifteen nor less than five days before each such session. Nothing herein shall require that such publication be in the form of a legal advertisement.

Sec. 2. Section 9-17a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

As used in sections [9-17, 9-19b,] 9-19c, 9-20, [9-23a, 9-24,] 9-31a [, 9-31b] and 9-31l, as amended by this act, unless otherwise provided, the term "admitting official" means a town clerk, assistant town clerk, registrar of voters, deputy registrar of voters or assistant registrar of voters. [or the board for admission of electors.]

Sec. 3. Section 9-31l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) (1) A person who is denied admission as an elector may appeal a decision of an admitting official of a town concerning the right of such person to be or remain an elector. Any such appeal shall be made to the registrars of voters of such town. [, except that if the admitting official who made such decision is a registrar of voters, the appeal shall be made to the board for admission of electors of such town.]

(2) Notice of an appeal shall be in writing and delivered to the registrars. [or to the board for admission of electors. Within] Not later than seven days after receipt of a notice of appeal, the registrars [or the board, as the case may be,] shall give written notice of the time and place where such appeal will be heard to the appellant and to the admitting official whose decision is the subject of the appeal. Such appeal shall be heard [within] not later than twenty-one days after notice of the appeal is delivered to the registrars. [or the board. Neither a registrar whose decision is the subject of the appeal nor a registrar who is an appellant shall be a voting member of the board which hears the appeal.]

(3) The registrars [or the board] may receive sworn testimony and any other evidence relating to the qualifications of such person to be or remain an elector.

(4) [Within] Not later than seven days after hearing an appeal, the registrars [or the board] shall render a decision and shall send written notice of the decision to the appellant and the admitting official whose decision was the subject of the appeal.

(b) (1) The person whose right to be or remain an elector is in dispute may appeal the decision of the registrars [or the board for the admission of electors] under subsection (a) of this section to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. If an appeal is not made to the commission as provided in this subsection, the decision of the registrars [or the board] shall be final.

(2) Any such appeal shall be in writing and filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission at its principal offices not later than fourteen days [following] after the decision of the registrars. [or the board.] A copy of any such notice of appeal shall also be delivered within such time to the registrars [or the board] that rendered the decision under subsection (a) of this section.

(3) The registrars [or the board] shall, not later than ten days after receipt of a copy of the notice of appeal, deliver the record of the hearing of the registrars [or board] under subsection (a) of this section to the commission.

(4) The commission shall hear such appeal not later than twenty-one days after notice of appeal is filed with the commission. Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-176e to 4-180a, inclusive, and section 4-181a. The commission may consider the record of the hearing delivered by the registrars [or the board] and may examine witnesses, documents and any other evidence that it determines may have a bearing on the proper determination of the issues brought on appeal. The commission's hearing shall be recorded.

(5) The commission shall render its decision not later than sixty days after the close of its hearing, except that an extension of time may be granted by the commission upon application of any party that sets forth circumstances that the commission determines is appropriate to granting an extension of time. The commission may also initiate an extension of time for rendering its decision, after written notice to the parties, provided all of the parties before the commission give their prior written consent.

(6) The decision of the commission shall determine the person's right to be or remain an elector. If any such decision is adverse to such individual's right, the commission shall order both registrars to remove the elector's name from the town's active and inactive registry list and any enrollment list. Any person whose name has been so removed may reapply for admission as an elector with the registrars of voters of the same town at any time. If such application is made within four years after the commission's decision, both registrars may approve such application only after they find that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances that provided the basis for the commission's decision and that the individual is eligible to be an elector. Registrars who approve an individual's application for admission within this time period without a substantial change in circumstances may be subject to a civil penalty imposed by the commission in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 9-7b if the commission determines, following a written complaint filed with the commission pursuant to said section 9-7b, that the registrars' action was without good cause and constitutes a wilful violation of a prior order of the commission.

Sec. 4. Section 9-358 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

Any person who, upon oath or affirmation, legally administered, wilfully and corruptly testifies or affirms, before any registrar of voters, any moderator of any election, primary or referendum [, any board for admission of electors] or the State Elections Enforcement Commission, falsely, to any material fact concerning the identity, age, residence or other qualifications of any person whose right to be registered or admitted as an elector or to vote at any election, primary or referendum is being passed upon and decided, shall be guilty of a class D felony and shall be disfranchised.

Sec. 5. Section 9-362 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

The decision [of the board for admission of electors or] of the registrars or of a moderator, as to a person's right to be admitted to the elector's oath, to registration or to cast his vote, shall, in no case, be a bar to a criminal prosecution for procuring himself to be made an elector or to be registered or for voting, without the qualifications required by law.

Sec. 6. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 9-35 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The registrars, [on the Tuesday of the fifth week] before each regular election, shall [be in session for the purpose of completing] complete a correct list of all electors who will be entitled to vote at such election. Such registry list shall consist of an active registry list and an inactive registry list. [Such session shall be held during such hours between nine o'clock a.m. and five o'clock p.m. as the registrars find necessary to complete the list. Notice of such session shall be given at least five days before the session by publication in a newspaper having a circulation in such municipality, if any, and by posting on the signpost therein, if any, or at some other exterior place near the office of the town clerk. Such publication shall not be required to be in the form of a legal advertisement.]

(b) [At such session and on] On any day except on the day of an election or primary, the registrars shall remove from the list the name of each elector who has died, who has been disfranchised or who has confirmed in writing that the elector has moved out of the municipality, except electors entitled to remain on such list under the provisions of this chapter. An elector shall be deemed to have confirmed in writing that the elector has moved out of the municipality if (1) the elector has submitted a change of address form for purposes of a state motor vehicle operator's license, unless the elector states on the form that the change of address is not for voter registration purposes, (2) the elector has submitted a change of address form to a voter registration agency, as defined in section 9-23n, and such agency has provided such change of address to the registrars of voters, or (3) the registrars of voters have received a cancellation of previous registration from any other election official indicating that such elector has registered as an elector outside such municipality.

Sec. 7. Section 9-35a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Immediately [after the close of the session or immediately] after the sending of notice of intended removal provided for in section 9-35, as amended by this act, the registrars of voters shall post at the town hall or municipal building in the municipality in which they serve, in a place readily accessible to the public, a list of the names of the electors whose names were removed from the registry list [at such session] or will be removed on the date specified in section 9-35, as amended by this act, together with the address of each such elector as it appeared on the registry list at the time the name was so removed. Together with such list, and as a part thereof, such registrars shall also cause to be posted a statement that complete information as to such removal and as to the privileges and remedies of those whose names were removed from the registry list is available from such registrars, specifying when and where such registrars are available for such purpose and, in the case of registrars of voters having office hours, specifying such office hours.

Sec. 8. Section 9-39 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

[The] For the purposes of section 9-234, the registrars of voters of each municipality shall print copies of the final registry list for distribution [in such municipality and] in all the voting districts located [therein] within such municipality. The registrars shall, upon request, produce for any candidate for election the final registry list for each voting district for which such person is a candidate and shall maintain such list, either on paper or in electronic format, for a period of two years.

Sec. 9. Section 9-172b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) In each municipality or political subdivision in which a special election or referendum is to be held, the registrars of voters shall prepare an updated list of the names and addresses of those persons who acquired voting privileges after the completion of the revised registry list and prior to the day of such special election or referendum. In each such municipality or political subdivision, not later than the day before such special election or referendum, such registrars of voters shall cause to be completed [and printed] such list arranged as provided in section 9-35, as amended by this act, and certified by them to be correct, and shall [retain] print a sufficient number of copies to be used by them at such special election or referendum for the [purpose of checking the names of those who vote] purposes of section 9-234, provided the names of any persons who acquired such voting privileges within thirty days before such special election or referendum may be inserted in writing on such printed list. [in writing.]

(b) In the case of a special election or referendum, no person admitted as an elector on the day of [the] such special election or referendum shall be entitled to vote in [that] such special election or referendum.

Sec. 10. Subsection (d) of section 9-192a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) The advisory committee shall also [(1)] develop a training program in election procedures for poll workers. [, and (2) develop an election law and procedures training program and guide for registrars, deputy registrars and assistant registrars. The training program developed under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall provide for training to be conducted by trained registrars or former registrars hired for such purpose by the Secretary of the State.] The committee shall submit such training [programs and training guide] program to the Secretary of the State, who shall approve or modify [the programs and guide] such program.

Sec. 11. Subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 9-192a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(3) Once certified, pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, each registrar shall participate each year in not less than eight hours of training [, not including any training described under subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of this section,] in order to maintain such certification. Such training shall be as prescribed by the Secretary of the State and shall be conducted by said Secretary or a third party approved by said Secretary to conduct such training. Any registrar who fails to satisfy such annual training requirement shall be directed by the Secretary of the State to take remedial measures prescribed by said Secretary.

Sec. 12. Subsection (b) of section 9-249 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) The election officials of such voting districts shall attend the elections training program developed under [subdivision (1) of] subsection (d) of section 9-192a, as amended by this act, and any other meeting or meetings as are called for the purpose of receiving such instructions concerning their duties as are necessary for the proper conduct of the election.

Sec. 13. Subsection (b) of section 9-1, and sections 9-15a and 9-192b of the general statutes are repealed. (Effective from passage)

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

9-16

Sec. 2

October 1, 2018

9-17a

Sec. 3

October 1, 2018

9-31l

Sec. 4

October 1, 2018

9-358

Sec. 5

October 1, 2018

9-362

Sec. 6

from passage

9-35(a) and (b)

Sec. 7

from passage

9-35a

Sec. 8

from passage

9-39

Sec. 9

from passage

9-172b

Sec. 10

from passage

9-192a(d)

Sec. 11

from passage

9-192a(a)(3)

Sec. 12

from passage

9-249(b)

Sec. 13

from passage

Repealer section

GAE

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill eliminates certain training programs conducted by registrars or former registrars. There is no fiscal impact anticipated to municipalities as there have been no registrars hired for this purpose in recent years.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Sources:

Secretary of the State

OLR Bill Analysis

SB 430

AN ACT UPDATING STATUTES REGARDING ELECTIONS.

SUMMARY

This bill eliminates provisions requiring voter registrars to (1) designate themselves, a deputy, or an assistant to receive 10 hours of instruction under an elections training program the bill eliminates and (2) hold a session to complete a correct voter registry list on the Tuesday of the fifth week before each regular election.

By law, registrars must hold voter registration sessions. Current law requires registrars to give notice of each session's time and place in a newspaper published or circulated in the town. The bill allows registrars to meet this requirement by posting the information on the town's website.

The bill eliminates a requirement that each town have a board for admission of electors to hear appeals of registrar decisions. Existing law, unchanged by the bill, allows anyone denied admission as an elector to appeal the denial to the town's voter registrars. The bill eliminates a requirement that, in cases where the registrar issued the denial, the person must instead appeal to the town's board for admission of electors. It eliminates related provisions on board membership, quorum, and attendance.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except for the repeal of the requirement that boards hear certain appeals, which is effective October 1, 2018.

TRAINING PROGRAM

By law, the secretary of the state, in consultation with an advisory committee, must establish a program to certify voter registrars and prescribe at least 8 hours of annual training that registrars must complete to maintain their certification. By law, the advisory committee consists of six members, including four voter registrars appointed by the secretary of the state.

The bill eliminates a separate requirement that voter registrars annually designate themselves, a deputy registrar, or an assistant to receive 10 hours of instruction under an election law and procedures training program and guide developed by the advisory committee and conducted by trained registrars or former registrars hired by the secretary of the state. The bill correspondingly eliminates the requirement that the advisory committee develop such a program.

SESSION FOR VOTER REGISTRY LIST

Current law requires voter registrars to hold a session on the Tuesday of the fifth week before each regular election to complete a correct list of electors who will be entitled to vote in the election (i.e., a registry list). The bill eliminates the session requirement, including the specific time and notice requirements, and instead requires voter registrars to complete the registry list before each regular election.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

0

(03/23/2018)

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