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S.B. 25 Enrolled
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill authorizes the lieutenant governor to take certain actions when a declared
10 emergency affects an election.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . defines terms;
14 . authorizes the lieutenant governor, during a declared emergency, to designate
15 alternative methods or times for voting or counting an absentee ballot or
16 military-overseas ballot;
17 . requires the lieutenant governor to notify a voter of alternatives to vote an absentee
18 or military-overseas ballot, including posting the alternatives on the voter
19 information website; and
20 . makes conforming amendments.
21 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23 Other Special Clauses:
25 Utah Code Sections Affected:
27 20A-3-306, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 309
28 20A-3-306.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 45
29 20A-7-801, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 334
30 20A-16-404, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 327
31 20A-16-408, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 327
32 67-1a-2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 35
34 20A-1-308, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
37 Section 1. Section 20A-1-308 is enacted to read:
38 20A-1-308. Elections during declared emergencies.
39 (1) As used in this section, "declared emergency" means a state of emergency that:
40 (a) is declared by:
41 (i) the president of the United States;
42 (ii) the governor in an executive order under Title 63K, Chapter 4, Disaster Response
43 and Recovery Act; or
44 (iii) the chief executive officer of a political subdivision in a proclamation under Title
45 63K, Chapter 4, Disaster Response and Recovery Act; and
46 (b) affects an election in the state, including:
47 (i) the transmittal or voting of an absentee ballot or military-overseas ballot;
48 (ii) the counting of an absentee ballot or military-overseas ballot; or
49 (iii) the canvassing of election returns.
50 (2) During a declared emergency, the lieutenant governor may designate a method or
51 time that is different from what is provided in this title for:
52 (a) voting an absentee ballot or military-overseas ballot; and
53 (b) counting an absentee ballot or military-overseas ballot.
54 (3) The lieutenant governor shall notify a voter of a different method or time
55 designated under Subsection (2) by:
56 (a) posting a notice on the Statewide Electronic Voter Information Website established
57 under Section 20A-7-801 ;
58 (b) notifying an election officer affected by the designation; and
59 (c) notifying a newspaper of general circulation within the state or a local media
61 Section 2. Section 20A-3-306 is amended to read:
62 20A-3-306. Voting ballot -- Returning ballot.
63 (1) (a) [
64 ballot, the absentee voter shall:
65 (i) complete and sign the affidavit on the envelope;
66 (ii) mark the votes on the absentee ballot;
67 (iii) place the voted absentee ballot in the envelope;
68 (iv) securely seal the envelope; and
69 (v) attach postage, unless voting in accordance with Section 20A-3-302 , and deposit
70 the envelope in the mail or deliver it in person to the election officer from whom the ballot was
72 (b) [
73 at the office of the election officer, the absent voter shall:
74 (i) complete and sign the affidavit on the envelope;
75 (ii) mark the votes on the absent-voter ballot;
76 (iii) place the voted absent-voter ballot in the envelope;
77 (iv) securely seal the envelope; and
78 (v) give the ballot and envelope to the election officer.
79 (2) [
81 (a) in the case of an absentee ballot that is voted in person, it is applied for and cast in
82 person at the office of the appropriate election officer no later than the Friday before election
83 day; or
84 (b) in the case of a military-overseas ballot, submitted in accordance with Section
85 20A-16-404 .
86 Section 3. Section 20A-3-306.5 is amended to read:
87 20A-3-306.5. Emergency absentee ballots.
88 (1) As used in this section, "hospitalized voter" means a registered voter who is
89 hospitalized or otherwise confined to a medical or long-term care institution after the deadline
90 for filing an application for an absentee ballot established in Section 20A-3-304 .
91 (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, a hospitalized voter may obtain an
92 absentee ballot and vote on election day by following the procedures and requirements of this
94 (3) (a) Any person may obtain an absentee ballot application, an absentee ballot, and an
95 absentee ballot envelope from the election officer on behalf of a hospitalized voter by
96 requesting a ballot and application in person at the election officer's office.
97 (b) The election officer shall require the person to sign a statement identifying himself
98 and the hospitalized voter.
99 (4) To vote, the hospitalized voter shall complete the absentee ballot application,
100 complete and sign the application on the absentee ballot envelope, mark his votes on the
101 absentee ballot, place the absentee ballot into the envelope, and seal the envelope unless a
102 different method is authorized under Section 20A-1-308 .
103 (5) To be counted, the absentee voter application and the sealed absentee ballot
104 envelope must be returned to the election officer's office before the polls close on election day
105 unless a different time is authorized under Section 20A-1-308 .
106 Section 4. Section 20A-7-801 is amended to read:
107 20A-7-801. Statewide Electronic Voter Information Website Program -- Duties of
108 the lieutenant governor -- Content -- Duties of local election officials -- Deadlines --
109 Frequently asked voter questions -- Other elections.
110 (1) There is established the Statewide Electronic Voter Information Website Program
111 administered by the lieutenant governor in cooperation with the county clerks for general
112 elections and municipal authorities for municipal elections.
113 (2) In accordance with this section, and as resources become available, the lieutenant
114 governor, in cooperation with county clerks, shall develop, establish, and maintain a
115 state-provided Internet website designed to help inform the voters of the state of:
116 (a) the offices and candidates up for election; and
117 (b) the content, effect, operation, fiscal impact, and supporting and opposing arguments
118 of ballot propositions submitted to the voters.
119 (3) Except as provided under Subsection (6), the website shall include:
120 (a) all information currently provided in the Utah voter information pamphlet under
121 Title 20A, Chapter 7, Part 7, Voter Information Pamphlet, including a section prepared,
122 analyzed, and submitted by the Judicial Council describing the judicial selection and retention
124 (b) all information submitted by election officers under Subsection (4) on local office
125 races, local office candidates, and local ballot propositions;
126 (c) a list that contains the name of a political subdivision that operates an election day
127 voting center under Section 20A-3-703 and the location of the election day voting center; [
128 (d) other information determined appropriate by the lieutenant governor that is
129 currently being provided by law, rule, or ordinance in relation to candidates and ballot
131 (e) an alternative method or time designated under Section 20A-1-308 for voting or
132 counting an absentee or military-overseas ballot.
133 (4) (a) An election official shall submit the following information for each ballot label
134 under the election official's direct responsibility under this title:
135 (i) a list of all candidates for each office;
136 (ii) if submitted by the candidate to the election official's office at 5 p.m. at least 45
137 days before the primary election and 60 days before the general election:
138 (A) a statement of qualifications, not exceeding 200 words in length, for each
140 (B) the following biographical information if desired by the candidate, current:
141 (I) age;
142 (II) occupation;
143 (III) city of residence;
144 (IV) years of residence in current city; and
145 (V) email address; and
146 (C) a single web address where voters may access more information about the
147 candidate and the candidate's views; and
148 (iii) factual information pertaining to all ballot propositions submitted to the voters,
150 (A) a copy of the number and ballot title of each ballot proposition;
151 (B) the final vote cast for each ballot proposition, if any, by a legislative body if the
152 vote was required to place the ballot proposition on the ballot;
153 (C) a complete copy of the text of each ballot proposition, with all new language
154 underlined and all deleted language placed within brackets; and
155 (D) other factual information determined helpful by the election official.
156 (b) The information under Subsection (4)(a) shall be submitted to the lieutenant
157 governor no later than one business day after the deadline under Subsection (4)(a) for each
158 general election year and each municipal election year.
159 (c) The lieutenant governor shall:
160 (i) review the information submitted under this section prior to placing it on the
161 website to determine compliance under this section;
162 (ii) refuse to post information submitted under this section on the website if it is not in
163 compliance with the provisions of this section; and
164 (iii) organize, format, and arrange the information submitted under this section for the
166 (d) The lieutenant governor may refuse to include information the lieutenant governor
167 determines is not in keeping with:
168 (i) Utah voter needs;
169 (ii) public decency; or
170 (iii) the purposes, organization, or uniformity of the website.
171 (e) A refusal under Subsection (4)(d) is subject to appeal in accordance with
172 Subsection (5).
173 (5) (a) A person whose information is refused under Subsection (4), and who is
174 aggrieved by the determination, may appeal by submitting a written notice of appeal to the
175 lieutenant governor within 10 business days after the date of the determination. A notice of
176 appeal submitted under this Subsection (5)(a) shall contain:
177 (i) a listing of each objection to the lieutenant governor's determination; and
178 (ii) the basis for each objection.
179 (b) The lieutenant governor shall review the notice of appeal and shall issue a written
180 response within 10 business days after the notice of appeal is submitted.
181 (c) An appeal of the response of the lieutenant governor shall be made to the district
182 court, which shall review the matter de novo.
183 (6) (a) The lieutenant governor shall ensure that each voter will be able to conveniently
184 enter the voter's address information on the website to retrieve information on which offices,
185 candidates, and ballot propositions will be on the voter's ballot at the next general election or
186 municipal election.
187 (b) The information on the website will anticipate and answer frequent voter questions
188 including the following:
189 (i) what offices are up in the current year for which the voter may cast a vote;
190 (ii) who is running for what office and who is the incumbent, if any;
191 (iii) what address each candidate may be reached at and how the candidate may be
193 (iv) for partisan races only, what, if any, is each candidate's party affiliation;
194 (v) what qualifications have been submitted by each candidate;
195 (vi) where additional information on each candidate may be obtained;
196 (vii) what ballot propositions will be on the ballot; and
197 (viii) what judges are up for retention election.
198 (7) As resources are made available and in cooperation with the county clerks, the
199 lieutenant governor may expand the electronic voter information website program to include
200 the same information as provided under this section for special elections and primary elections.
201 Section 5. Section 20A-16-404 is amended to read:
202 20A-16-404. Timely casting of ballot.
204 shall be:
205 (1) received by the appropriate election officer not later than the close of the polls; or
206 (2) submitted for mailing, electronic transmission, or other authorized means of
207 delivery not later than 12:01 a.m., at the place where the voter completes the ballot, on the date
208 of the election.
209 Section 6. Section 20A-16-408 is amended to read:
210 20A-16-408. Receipt of voted ballot.
211 (1) [
212 in accordance with Section 20A-16-404 shall be counted if the military-overseas ballot is
213 delivered by the end of business on the business day before the latest deadline for completing
214 the canvass to the address that the appropriate state or local election office has specified.
215 (2) If, at the time of completing a military-overseas ballot and balloting materials, the
216 voter has declared under penalty of perjury as provided in Title 76, Chapter 8, Part 5,
217 Falsification in Official Matters, that the ballot was timely submitted, the ballot may not be
218 rejected on the basis that it has a late postmark, an unreadable postmark, or no postmark.
219 Section 7. Section 67-1a-2 is amended to read:
220 67-1a-2. Duties enumerated.
221 (1) The lieutenant governor shall:
222 (a) perform duties delegated by the governor, including assignments to serve in any of
223 the following capacities:
224 (i) as the head of any one department, if so qualified, with the consent of the Senate,
225 and, upon appointment at the pleasure of the governor and without additional compensation;
226 (ii) as the chairperson of any cabinet group organized by the governor or authorized by
227 law for the purpose of advising the governor or coordinating intergovernmental or
228 interdepartmental policies or programs;
229 (iii) as liaison between the governor and the state Legislature to coordinate and
230 facilitate the governor's programs and budget requests;
231 (iv) as liaison between the governor and other officials of local, state, federal, and
232 international governments or any other political entities to coordinate, facilitate, and protect the
233 interests of the state;
234 (v) as personal advisor to the governor, including advice on policies, programs,
235 administrative and personnel matters, and fiscal or budgetary matters; and
236 (vi) as chairperson or member of any temporary or permanent boards, councils,
237 commissions, committees, task forces, or other group appointed by the governor;
238 (b) serve on all boards and commissions in lieu of the governor, whenever so
239 designated by the governor;
240 (c) serve as the chief election officer of the state as required by Subsection (2);
241 (d) keep custody of the Great Seal of Utah;
242 (e) keep a register of, and attest, the official acts of the governor;
243 (f) affix the Great Seal, with an attestation, to all official documents and instruments to
244 which the official signature of the governor is required; and
245 (g) furnish a certified copy of all or any part of any law, record, or other instrument
246 filed, deposited, or recorded in the office of the lieutenant governor to any person who requests
247 it and pays the fee.
248 (2) (a) As the chief election officer, the lieutenant governor shall:
249 (i) exercise general supervisory authority over all elections;
250 (ii) exercise direct authority over the conduct of elections for federal, state, and
251 multicounty officers and statewide or multicounty ballot propositions and any recounts
252 involving those races;
253 (iii) assist county clerks in unifying the election ballot;
254 (iv) (A) prepare election information for the public as required by statute and as
255 determined appropriate by the lieutenant governor;
256 (B) make the information under Subsection (2)(a)(iv)(A) available to the public and to
257 news media on the Internet and in other forms as required by statute or as determined
258 appropriate by the lieutenant governor;
259 (v) receive and answer election questions and maintain an election file on opinions
260 received from the attorney general;
261 (vi) maintain a current list of registered political parties as defined in Section
262 20A-8-101 ;
263 (vii) maintain election returns and statistics;
264 (viii) certify to the governor the names of those persons who have received the highest
265 number of votes for any office;
266 (ix) ensure that all voting equipment purchased by the state complies with the
267 requirements of Subsection 20A-5-302 (2) and Sections 20A-5-402.5 and 20A-5-402.7 ;
268 (x) conduct the study described in Section 67-1a-14 ; [
269 (xi) during a declared emergency, designate an alterative method or time regarding an
270 absentee or military-overseas ballot in accordance with Section 20A-1-308 ; and
272 (b) As chief election officer, the lieutenant governor may not assume the
273 responsibilities assigned to the county clerks, city recorders, town clerks, or other local election
274 officials by Title 20A, Election Code.
275 (3) (a) The lieutenant governor shall:
276 (i) (A) determine a new city's classification under Section 10-2-301 upon the city's
277 incorporation under Title 10, Chapter 2, Part 1, Incorporation, based on the city's population
278 using the population estimate from the Utah Population Estimates Committee; and
279 (B) (I) prepare a certificate indicating the class in which the new city belongs based on
280 the city's population; and
281 (II) within 10 days after preparing the certificate, deliver a copy of the certificate to the
282 city's legislative body;
283 (ii) (A) determine the classification under Section 10-2-301 of a consolidated
284 municipality upon the consolidation of multiple municipalities under Title 10, Chapter 2, Part
285 6, Consolidation of Municipalities, using population information from:
286 (I) each official census or census estimate of the United States Bureau of the Census;
288 (II) the population estimate from the Utah Population Estimates Committee, if the
289 population of a municipality is not available from the United States Bureau of the Census; and
290 (B) (I) prepare a certificate indicating the class in which the consolidated municipality
291 belongs based on the municipality's population; and
292 (II) within 10 days after preparing the certificate, deliver a copy of the certificate to the
293 consolidated municipality's legislative body; and
294 (iii) monitor the population of each municipality using population information from:
295 (A) each official census or census estimate of the United States Bureau of the Census;
297 (B) the population estimate from the Utah Population Estimates Committee, if the
298 population of a municipality is not available from the United States Bureau of the Census.
299 (b) If the applicable population figure under Subsection (3)(a)(ii) or (iii) indicates that
300 a municipality's population has increased beyond the population for its current class, the
301 lieutenant governor shall:
302 (i) prepare a certificate indicating the class in which the municipality belongs based on
303 the increased population figure; and
304 (ii) within 10 days after preparing the certificate, deliver a copy of the certificate to the
305 legislative body of the municipality whose class has changed.
306 (c) (i) If the applicable population figure under Subsection (3)(a)(ii) or (iii) indicates
307 that a municipality's population has decreased below the population for its current class, the
308 lieutenant governor shall send written notification of that fact to the municipality's legislative
310 (ii) Upon receipt of a petition under Subsection 10-2-302 (2) from a municipality whose
311 population has decreased below the population for its current class, the lieutenant governor
313 (A) prepare a certificate indicating the class in which the municipality belongs based
314 on the decreased population figure; and
315 (B) within 10 days after preparing the certificate, deliver a copy of the certificate to the
316 legislative body of the municipality whose class has changed.
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