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First Substitute H.B. 49

Representative Neil A. Hansen proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Neil A. Hansen

Senate Sponsor: Karen W. Morgan

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies provisions of the Election Code relating to the procedures for
             10      challenging a person's eligibility to vote.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    provides the grounds upon which a person's right to vote in an election may be
             14      challenged during or before an election;
             15          .    requires that written challenges to a person's right to vote in an election be filed in
             16      advance of the election and provides procedures for filing and resolving the
             17      challenges before the date of the election;
             18          .    requires the election officer to notify each person whose right to vote in the election
             19      has been challenged in writing and permits the person who has been challenged to
             20      provide information in response to the challenge;
             21          .    requires that written challenges be submitted under oath and be subject to criminal
             22      penalties for false statements;
             23          .    provides that an election officer's determination regarding a challenge to a person's
             24      right to vote is subject to judicial appeal;
             25          .    requires all documents filed in relation to a written challenge to be public records;

             26          .    provides requirements for challenging a person's right to vote at the polling place;
             27      and
             28          .    makes technical changes.
             29      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             30          None
             31      Other Special Clauses:
             32          None
             33      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             34      ENACTS:
             35          20A-3-202.3, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             36          20A-3-202.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             37      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             38          20A-3-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 75
             40      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             41          Section 1. Section 20A-3-202 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             42          20A-3-202. Challenges to a voter's eligibility -- Grounds for challenge --
             43      Procedures.
             44          (1) A person's right to vote may be challenged on any of the following grounds:
             45          (a) the voter is not the person whose name appears in the official register and under
             46      which name the right to vote is claimed;
             47          (b) the voter is not a resident of Utah;
             48          (c) the voter is not a citizen of the United States;
             49          (d) the voter has not or will not have resided in Utah for 30 days immediately before
             50      the date of the election;
             51          (e) the voter's principal place of residence is not in the voting precinct claimed;
             52          (f) the voter's principal place of residence is not in the geographic boundaries of the
             53      election area;
             54          (g) the voter has already voted in the election;
             55          (h) the voter is not at least 18 years of age;
             56          (i) the voter is a convicted felon and the voter's right to vote in an election has not been

             57      restored under Section 20A-2-101.5 ; or
             58          (j) in a regular primary election or in the Western States Presidential Primary, the voter
             59      does not meet the political party affiliation requirements for the ballot the voter seeks to vote.
             60          (2) A person who challenges a person's eligibility to vote at an election shall do so
             61      according to the procedures and requirements of:
             62          (a) Section 20A-3-202.3 , for challenges issued in writing before the date of an election;
             63      or
             64          (b) Section 20A-3-202.5 , for challenges issued in person at the time of voting.
             65          Section 2. Section 20A-3-202.3 is enacted to read:
             66          20A-3-202.3. Challenges to a voter's eligibility in writing -- Procedure -- Form of
             67      challenge.
             68          (1) (a) A person may challenge the right to vote of any person whose name appears on
             69      the official register by filing with the election officer, during regular business hours and not
             70      later than 15 days before the date that early voting commences, a written statement that:
             71          (i) lists the name and address of the person filing the challenge;
             72          (ii) for each voter who is challenged:
             73          (A) identifies the name of the challenged voter;
             74          (B) lists the last known address or telephone number of the challenged voter;
             75          (C) provides the basis for the challenge, as provided under Section 20A-3-202 ; and
             76          (D) provides facts and circumstances supporting the factual basis provided; and
             77          (iii) includes a signed affidavit, subject to penalties of perjury, swearing that, to the
             78      filer's personal knowledge and belief, having exercised due diligence to personally verify the
             79      evidence presented, the basis for the challenge under Subsection 20A-3-202 (1) for each
             80      challenged voter is valid.
             81          (b) The challenge may not be based on unsupported allegations or allegations by
             82      anonymous third parties.
             83          (c) The election officer may provide a form for challenges filed under this section, if
             84      the form meets the requirements of this section.
             85          (2) (a) If the challenge is not in the proper form or if the factual basis for the challenge
             86      does not meet the standards for a challenge as provided in this section, the election officer may
             87      dismiss the challenge and notify the filer in writing of the reasons for the dismissal.

             88          (b) A challenge is not in the proper form if it is incomplete on its face.
             89          (3) Upon receipt of a challenge that meets the requirements for filing under this
             90      section, the election officer shall, at least 12 days before the date the early voting commences,
             91      attempt to notify each challenged voter:
             92          (a) that a challenge has been filed against the challenged voter and the voter challenged
             93      may be required to cast a provisional ballot at the time of voting;
             94          (b) of the bases for the challenge, which may include providing a copy of the challenge
             95      and affidavit to the challenged voter; and
             96          (c) that the challenged voter may submit information, a sworn statement, or other
             97      evidence supporting the challenged voter's right to vote in the election to the election officer no
             98      later than seven days before the date that early voting commences.
             99          (4) (a) Before the date that early voting commences, the election officer shall determine
             100      whether each challenged voter is eligible to vote.
             101          (b) (i) The filer of the challenge has the burden to prove, by clear and convincing
             102      evidence, that the basis for challenging the voter's right to vote is valid.
             103          (ii) The election officer shall resolve the challenge based on the available facts and
             104      information submitted, which may include voter registration records and other documents or
             105      information available to the election officer.
             106          (5) A person who files a challenge under the requirements of this section is subject to
             107      criminal penalties for false statements as provided under Sections 76-8-503 and 76-8-504 and
             108      any other applicable criminal provision.
             109          (6) A decision of the election officer regarding a person's eligibility to vote may be
             110      appealed to the district court having jurisdiction over the location where the challenge was
             111      filed.
             112          (7) A challenged voter may register to vote or change the location of the voter's voter
             113      registration, if otherwise entitled to do so under the law.
             114          (8) All documents pertaining to a voter challenge are public records.
             115          Section 3. Section 20A-3-202.5 is enacted to read:
             116          20A-3-202.5. Challenges to a voter's eligibility at time of voting -- Procedure.
             117          (1) (a) A poll worker or any other person who lives in the voting precinct may
             118      challenge a voter's right to vote in that voting precinct or in that election if:

             119          (i) both the person challenging and the voter being challenged are present at the polling
             120      place at time the challenge is made; and
             121          (ii) the challenge is made when the voter being challenged, applies for a ballot.
             122          (b) The challenge shall be made by orally stating the challenged voter's name and the
             123      grounds for the challenge, as provided under Subsection 20A-3-202 (1).
             124          (2) The poll worker shall record any challenge in the official register and on the
             125      challenge sheets in the pollbook, including:
             126          (a) the name of the challenged voter;
             127          (b) the name of the person making the challenge; and
             128          (c) the grounds asserted for the challenge.
             129          (3) If a voter's right to vote is challenged under this section, the poll worker shall
             130      follow the procedures and requirements of Section 20A-3-105.5 .

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