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SB24-072

Voting for Confined Eligible Electors

Concerning provisions to ensure that confined eligible electors at a county jail or detention center may vote.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subjects:
Elections & Redistricting
Local Government
Bill Summary

Under current law, county clerk and recorders must make best efforts to coordinate with the county sheriff or the county sheriff's designee at each county jail or detention center to facilitate voting for all confined eligible electors. The bill requires a county sheriff to designate at least one individual to facilitate voting for confined eligible electors at the county jail or detention center (sheriff's designee) and requires the sheriff's designee to coordinate with the county clerk and recorder.

The sheriff's designee must provide information to confined individuals regarding eligibility to vote, how confined individuals can verify or change their voter registration, and how eligible confined individuals can register to vote and ensure there is reasonable access to resources to verify or change a voter registration or register to vote.

The bill also requires that the county clerk and recorder and the sheriff's designee coordinate to establish a temporary voter service and polling center at the county jail or detention center to allow one day of in-person voting for all confined eligible electors. The temporary voter service and polling center must be open for at least 6 hours. Additionally, the clerk and recorder is required to confirm through the department of corrections online offender database that a confined individual is not serving a felony sentence before the individual can register to vote or is permitted to vote at the temporary voter service and polling center.

Additionally, for mail ballot elections, the sheriff's designee is required to:

  • Establish a location at the county jail or detention center for ballots voted by confined eligible electors to be returned;
  • Ensure that confined eligible electors have information regarding the methods by which they may return voted ballots, the designated location for voted ballots to be returned, and the latest time on election day that ballots may be deposited at the designated location; and
  • Inspect outgoing mail at the county jail or detention center for ballots and ensure that any ballots in outgoing mail are placed instead in the designated location for collection.

By not earlier than 3:00 p.m. on election day, a team of bipartisan election judges acting at the direction of the county clerk and recorder is required to conduct a final collection of ballots from the county jail or detention center that have been deposited at the designated location.

The bill further requires the election plan that is required under current law to include information concerning how the clerk and recorder and the sheriff's designee will facilitate the process for confined eligible electors to cure a deficiency on a voted ballot and requires the sheriff's designee to establish a process for a confined eligible elector to cure a deficiency on their ballot.

The failure of the sheriff or the sheriff's designee to comply with the requirements set forth in the bill constitutes an election offense that is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Finally, the office of the secretary of state is required to create training materials for county clerk and recorders to minimally use in providing training and technical assistance to the sheriff's designee.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Sponsors

Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. J. Gonzales
Rep. M. Rutinel

Sponsor

Co-sponsor

Upcoming Schedule

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details