Chief Sponsor: Karen Kwan

House Sponsor: Norman K Thurston


8     General Description:
9          This bill amends provisions relating to the disclosure of the name and address of
10     individuals whose ballots have been rejected and not yet resolved.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     prohibits an election officer who discloses the name and address of voters whose
14     ballots have been rejected and not yet resolved from including in the disclosure the
15     name or address of a protected individual.
16     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17          None
18     Other Special Clauses:
19          None
20     Utah Code Sections Affected:
21     AMENDS:
22          20A-3a-401, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2023, Chapters 56, 106, 297, and 406
23     and last amended by Coordination Clause, Laws of Utah 2023, Chapter 106

25     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26          Section 1. Section 20A-3a-401 is amended to read:
27          20A-3a-401. Custody of voted ballots mailed or deposited in a ballot drop box --

28     Disposition -- Notice.
29          (1) This section governs ballots returned by mail or via a ballot drop box.
30          (2) (a) Poll workers shall open return envelopes containing manual ballots that are in
31     the custody of the poll workers in accordance with this section.
32          (b) The poll workers shall, first, compare the signature of the voter on the affidavit of
33     the return envelope to the signature of the voter in the voter registration records.
34          (3) After complying with Subsection (2), the poll workers shall determine whether:
35          (a) the signatures correspond;
36          (b) the affidavit is sufficient;
37          (c) the voter is registered to vote in the correct precinct;
38          (d) the voter's right to vote the ballot has been challenged;
39          (e) the voter has already voted in the election;
40          (f) the voter is required to provide valid voter identification; and
41          (g) if the voter is required to provide valid voter identification, whether the voter has
42     provided valid voter identification.
43          (4) (a) The poll workers shall take the action described in Subsection (4)(b) if the poll
44     workers determine:
45          (i) in accordance with the rules made under Subsection (11):
46          (A) that the signature on the affidavit of the return envelope is reasonably consistent
47     with the individual's signature in the voter registration records; or
48          (B) for an individual who checks the box described in Subsection (5)(c)(v), that the
49     signature is verified by alternative means;
50          (ii) that the affidavit is sufficient;
51          (iii) that the voter is registered to vote in the correct precinct;
52          (iv) that the voter's right to vote the ballot has not been challenged;
53          (v) that the voter has not already voted in the election; and
54          (vi) for a voter required to provide valid voter identification, that the voter has
55     provided valid voter identification.
56          (b) If the poll workers make all of the findings described in Subsection (4)(a), the poll
57     workers shall:
58          (i) remove the manual ballot from the return envelope in a manner that does not

59     destroy the affidavit on the return envelope;
60          (ii) ensure that the ballot does not unfold and is not otherwise examined in connection
61     with the return envelope; and
62          (iii) place the ballot with the other ballots to be counted.
63          (c) If the poll workers do not make all of the findings described in Subsection (4)(a),
64     the poll workers shall:
65          (i) disallow the vote;
66          (ii) without opening the return envelope, record the ballot as "rejected" and state the
67     reason for the rejection; and
68          (iii) place the return envelope, unopened, with the other rejected return envelopes.
69          (5) (a) If the poll workers reject an individual's ballot because the poll workers
70     determine, in accordance with rules made under Subsection (11), that the signature on the
71     return envelope is not reasonably consistent with the individual's signature in the voter
72     registration records, the election officer shall:
73          (i) contact the individual in accordance with Subsection (6); and
74          (ii) inform the individual:
75          (A) that the individual's signature is in question;
76          (B) how the individual may resolve the issue; and
77          (C) that, in order for the ballot to be counted, the individual is required to deliver to the
78     election officer a correctly completed affidavit, provided by the county clerk, that meets the
79     requirements described in Subsection (5)(c).
80          (b) The election officer shall ensure that the notice described in Subsection (5)(a)
81     includes:
82          (i) when communicating the notice by mail, a printed copy of the affidavit described in
83     Subsection (5)(c) and a courtesy reply envelope;
84          (ii) when communicating the notice electronically, a link to a copy of the affidavit
85     described in Subsection (5)(c) or information on how to obtain a copy of the affidavit; or
86          (iii) when communicating the notice by phone, either during a direct conversation with
87     the voter or in a voicemail, arrangements for the voter to receive a copy of the affidavit
88     described in Subsection (5)(c), either in person from the clerk's office, by mail, or
89     electronically.

90          (c) An affidavit described in Subsection (5)(a)(ii)(C) shall include:
91          (i) an attestation that the individual voted the ballot;
92          (ii) a space for the individual to enter the individual's name, date of birth, and driver
93     license number or the last four digits of the individual's social security number;
94          (iii) a space for the individual to sign the affidavit;
95          (iv) a statement that, by signing the affidavit, the individual authorizes the lieutenant
96     governor's and county clerk's use of the individual's signature on the affidavit for voter
97     identification purposes; and
98          (v) a check box accompanied by language in substantially the following form: "I am a
99     voter with a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act that impacts my
100     ability to sign my name consistently. I can provide appropriate documentation upon request. To
101     discuss accommodations, I can be contacted at __________________".
102          (d) In order for an individual described in Subsection (5)(a) to have the individual's
103     ballot counted, the individual shall deliver the affidavit described in Subsection (5)(c) to the
104     election officer.
105          (e) An election officer who receives a signed affidavit under Subsection (5)(d) shall
106     immediately:
107          (i) scan the signature on the affidavit electronically and keep the signature on file in the
108     statewide voter registration database developed under Section 20A-2-502;
109          (ii) if the election officer receives the affidavit no later than 5 p.m. three days before
110     the day on which the canvass begins, count the individual's ballot; and
111          (iii) if the check box described in Subsection (5)(c)(v) is checked, comply with the
112     rules described in Subsection (11)(c).
113          (6) (a) The election officer shall, within two business days after the day on which an
114     individual's ballot is rejected, notify the individual of the rejection and the reason for the
115     rejection, by phone, mail, email, or SMS text message, unless:
116          (i) the ballot is cured within one business day after the day on which the ballot is
117     rejected; or
118          (ii) the ballot is rejected because the ballot is received late or for another reason that
119     cannot be cured.
120          (b) If an individual's ballot is rejected for a reason described in Subsection (6)(a)(ii),

121     the election officer shall notify the individual of the rejection and the reason for the rejection by
122     phone, mail, email, or SMS text message, within the later of:
123          (i) 30 days after the day of the rejection; or
124          (ii) 30 days after the day of the election.
125          (c) The election officer may, when notifying an individual by phone under this
126     Subsection (6), use auto-dial technology.
127          (7) An election officer may not count the ballot of an individual whom the election
128     officer contacts under Subsection (5) or (6) unless, no later than 5 p.m. three days before the
129     day on which the canvass begins, the election officer:
130          (a) receives a signed affidavit from the individual under Subsection (5); or
131          (b) (i) contacts the individual;
132          (ii) if the election officer has reason to believe that an individual, other than the voter
133     to whom the ballot was sent, signed the ballot affidavit, informs the individual that it is
134     unlawful to sign a ballot affidavit for another person, even if the person gives permission;
135          (iii) verifies the identity of the individual by:
136          (A) requiring the individual to provide at least two types of personal identifying
137     information for the individual; and
138          (B) comparing the information provided under Subsection (7)(b)(iii)(A) to records
139     relating to the individual that are in the possession or control of an election officer; and
140          (iv) documenting the verification described in Subsection (7)(b)(iii), by recording:
141          (A) the name and voter identification number of the individual contacted;
142          (B) the name of the individual who conducts the verification;
143          (C) the date and manner of the communication;
144          (D) the type of personal identifying information provided by the individual;
145          (E) a description of the records against which the personal identifying information
146     provided by the individual is compared and verified; and
147          (F) other information required by the lieutenant governor.
148          (8) The election officer shall:
149          (a) retain and preserve the return envelopes in the manner provided by law for the
150     retention and preservation of ballots voted at that election;
151          (b) retain and preserve the documentation described in Subsection (7)(b)(iv); and

152          (c) if the election officer complies with Subsection (8)(b) by including the
153     documentation in the voter's voter registration record, make, retain, and preserve a record of the
154     name and voter identification number of each voter contacted under Subsection (7)(b).
155          (9) (a) The election officer shall record the following in the database used to verify
156     signatures:
157          (i) any initial rejection of a ballot under Subsection (4)(c), within one business day
158     after the day on which the election officer rejects the ballot; and
159          (ii) any resolution of a rejection of a ballot under Subsection (7), within one business
160     day after the day on which the ballot rejection is resolved.
161          (b) An election officer shall include, in the canvass report, a final report of the
162     disposition of all rejected and resolved ballots, including, for ballots rejected, the following:
163          (i) the number of ballots rejected because the voter did not sign the voter's ballot; and
164          (ii) the number of ballots rejected because the voter's signatures on the ballot, and in
165     records on file, do not correspond.
166          (10) Willful failure to comply with this section constitutes willful neglect of duty under
167     Section 20A-5-701.
168          (11) The director of elections within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor shall make
169     rules, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, to
170     establish:
171          (a) criteria and processes for use by poll workers in determining if a signature
172     corresponds with the signature on file for the voter under Subsections (3)(a) and (4)(a)(i)(A);
173          (b) training and certification requirements for election officers and employees of
174     election officers regarding the criteria and processes described in Subsection (11)(a); and
175          (c) in compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42
176     U.S.C. Secs. 12131 through 12165, an alternative means of verifying the identity of an
177     individual who checks the box described in Subsection (5)(c)(v).
178          (12) [If] Subject to Subsection (13), if, in response to a request, and in accordance with
179     the requirements of law, an election officer discloses the name or address of voters whose
180     ballots have been rejected and not yet resolved, the election officer shall:
181          (a) make the disclosure within two business days after the day on which the request is
182     made;

183          (b) respond to each request in the order the requests were made; and
184          (c) make each disclosure in a manner, and within a period of time, that does not reflect
185     favoritism to one requestor over another.
186          (13) A disclosure described in Subsection (12) may not include the name or address of
187     a protected individual, as defined in Subsection 20A-2-104(1).
188          Section 2. Effective date.
189          This bill takes effect on May 1, 2024.