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6 This act modifies the Election Code to provide access to voting for people with a disability.
7 The act requires the physical inspection of all polling places as of May 15, 2003, to ensure
8 access by people with a disability. The act requires that any issues concerning inaccessibility
9 to polling places by people with a disability reported to the county clerk on or after May 15,
10 2002, shall be forwarded to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and within h [
11 of the complaint, be remedied by the county clerk at the particular location or the county
12 clerk shall designate an alternative accessible location h or, if no practical solution can be
12a identified, file with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor a written explanation identifying the reasons
12b compliance cannot reasonably be met h . The act makes technical changes.
13 The act provides an effective date.
14 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
16 20A-3-304, as last amended by Chapter 9, Laws of Utah 2001
17 20A-3-305, as last amended by Chapter 56, Laws of Utah 1999
18 20A-5-403, as last amended by Chapter 340, Laws of Utah 1995
19 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
20 Section 1. Section 20A-3-304 is amended to read:
21 20A-3-304. Application for absentee ballot -- Time for filing and voting.
22 (1) As used in this section, "absent elector" means a person who:
23 (a) is physically, emotionally, or mentally impaired;
24 (b) will be serving as an election judge or who has election duties in another voting
26 (c) is detained or incarcerated in a jail or prison as a penalty for committing a
28 (d) [
29 (e) is prevented from voting in a particular location because of religious tenets or other
30 strongly held personal values;
31 (f) is called for jury duty in state or federal court; or
32 (g) otherwise expects to be absent from the voting precinct during the hours the polls are
33 open on election day.
34 (2) A registered voter who is or will be an absent elector may file an absentee ballot
35 application with the appropriate election officer for an official absentee ballot.
36 (3) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), each election officer shall prepare blank
37 applications for absentee ballot applications in substantially the following form:
38 "I, ____, a qualified elector, [
39 Street, ____ City, ____ County, Utah to my best knowledge and belief am entitled to vote by
40 absentee ballot at the next election.
41 I apply for an official absentee ballot to be voted by me at the election.
42 Date ________ (month\day\year) Signed ___________________________
44 (b) Each election officer shall prepare blank applications for absentee ballot applications
45 for regular primary elections and for the Western States Presidential Primary in substantially the
46 following form:
47 "I, ____, a qualified elector, [
48 Street, ____ City, ____ County, Utah to my best knowledge and belief am entitled to vote by
49 absentee ballot at the next election.
50 I apply for an official absentee ballot for the _______________ political party to be voted
51 by me at the primary election.
52 I understand that I must be affiliated with or authorized to vote the political party's ballot
53 that I request.
54 Dated _________ (month\day\year) ____ Signed ___________________________
56 If requested by the applicant, the election officer shall:
57 (i) mail or fax the application blank to the absentee voter; or
58 (ii) deliver the application blank to any voter who personally applies for it at the office of
59 the election officer.
60 (4) (a) (i) Except as provided in Subsections (4)(a)(ii) and (iii), the voters shall file the
61 application for an absentee ballot with the appropriate election officer no later than the Friday
62 before election day.
63 (ii) Overseas applicants shall file their applications with the appropriate election officer
64 no later than 20 days before the day of election.
65 (iii) Voters applying for an absentee ballot for the Western States Presidential Primary
66 shall file the application for an absentee ballot with the appropriate election officer not later than
67 the Tuesday before election day.
68 (b) Persons voting an absentee ballot at the office of the election officer shall apply for and
69 cast their ballot no later than the day before the election.
70 (5) (a) A county clerk may establish a permanent absentee voter list.
71 (b) The clerk shall place on the list the name of any person who:
72 (i) requests permanent absentee voter status; and
73 (ii) meets the requirements of this section.
74 (c) (i) Each year, the clerk shall mail a questionnaire to each person whose name is on the
75 absentee voter list.
76 (ii) The questionnaire shall allow the absentee person to verify the voter's residence and
77 inability to vote at the voting precinct on election day.
78 (iii) The clerk may remove the names of any voter from the absentee voter registration list
80 (A) the voter is no longer listed in the official register; or
81 (B) the voter fails to verify the voter's residence and absentee status.
82 (d) The clerk shall provide a copy of the permanent absentee voter list to election officers
83 for use in elections.
84 Section 2. Section 20A-3-305 is amended to read:
85 20A-3-305. Mailing of ballot to voter -- Enclose self-addressed envelope -- Affidavit.
86 (1) Upon timely receipt of an absentee voter application properly filled out and signed, or
87 as soon after receipt of the application as the official absentee ballots for the voting precinct in
88 which the applicant resides have been printed, the election officer shall either:
89 (a) give the applicant an official absentee ballot and envelope to vote in the office; or
90 (b) mail an official absentee ballot, postage paid, to the absentee voter and enclose an
91 envelope printed as required in Subsection (2).
92 (2) The election officer shall ensure that:
93 (a) the name, official title, and post office address of the election officer is printed on the
94 front of the envelope; and
95 (b) a printed affidavit in substantially the following form is printed on the back of the
97 "County of ____ State of ____
98 I, ____, solemnly swear that: I am a qualified resident voter [
100 voting precinct at the next election; and I am entitled by law to vote an absentee ballot. I am not
101 a convicted felon currently incarcerated for commission of a felony.
Signature of Absentee Voter"
104 Section 3. Section 20A-5-403 is amended to read:
105 20A-5-403. Polling places -- Booths -- Ballot boxes -- Inspections -- Provisions --
107 (1) Each election officer shall:
108 (a) designate polling places for each voting precinct in the jurisdiction; and
109 (b) obtain the approval of the county or municipal legislative body or special district
110 governing board for those polling places.
111 (2) (a) For each polling place, the election officer shall provide:
112 (i) an American flag;
113 (ii) a sufficient number of voting booths or compartments;
114 (iii) the voting devices, voting booths, ballots, ballot boxes, ballot labels, ballot cards,
115 write-in ballots, and any other records and supplies necessary to enable a voter to vote; and
116 (iv) the constitutional amendment cards and voter information pamphlets required by Part
118 (b) Each election officer shall ensure that:
119 (i) each voting booth is at least three feet square, contains a shelf that is at least one foot
120 wide extending across one side of the booth at a convenient height for writing, and is arranged so
121 that the voter can prepare his ballot screened from observation;
122 (ii) there is at least one voting booth for every 100 voters who voted at the last similar
123 election in the voting precinct; and
124 (iii) there is at least one voting booth that is configured to accommodate persons with
126 (c) Each county clerk shall provide a ballot box for each polling place that is large enough
127 to properly receive and hold the ballots to be cast.
128 (3) (a) As of May 15, 2003, all polling places shall be physically inspected by each county
129 clerk to ensure access by people with disabilities.
130 (b) Any issues concerning inaccessibility to polling places by people with a disability
131 discovered during the inspections referred to in Subsection (a) or reported to the county clerk on
132 or after May 15, 2002 shall be:
133 (i) forwarded to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor; and
134 (ii) within h [
134a shall be
136 (A) remedied at the particular location by the county clerk; h [
137 (B) the county clerk shall designate an alternative accessible location for the particular
138 precinct h ; OR
138a (C) IF NO PRACTICAL SOLUTION CAN BE IDENTIFIED, FILE WITH THE OFFICE OF THE
138b LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR A WRITTEN EXPLANATION IDENTIFYING THE REASONS COMPLIANCE
138c CANNOT REASONABLY BE MET h .
140 each municipal election, including the cost of printing and supplies.
143 Section 4. Effective date.
144 This act takes effect on May 15, 2002.
Legislative Review Note
as of 1-25-02 5:03 PM
A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.