HJR 681/SJR 363

Joint Subcommittee to Study Virginia's Election Process and Voting Technologies

July 26, 2001, Richmond

Task Force #2: Voter Registration and Election Day Processes

This task force reviewed the present voter registration process. It heard presentations by the Department of Motor Vehicles and State Board of Elections including information on the co-location of DMV and voter registration offices, improvements in the combined DMV/voter registration application form, and steps now taken by DMV customer service representatives to ensure that applicants who want to register complete and sign the application. It reviewed issues concerning voter eligibility with a panel of voter registrars and election officials.

The task force identified the following items and issues for further review:

  • DMV/SBE will prepare a "concept paper" to discuss ways to scan and retain declinations to register, the destruction of the forms, and the best way to provide access to application forms to answer election day questions on voter registrations. The task force also suggested possible revisions to the pending new form to flag the need to complete portions following the applicant's signature.
  • DMV will provide a terminal to demonstrate the process for registering voters at a future task force meeting and will develop an action plan on the training of customer service representatives to make certain that voter registration applications are fully completed prior to transmittal to the SBE.
  • SBE will provide a list of organizations requesting materials for voter registration drives and report on ways to standardize procedures (information, training, etc.) for individuals and organizations initiating voter registration drives.
  • SBE will look into developing a more aggressive educational program for college students on voter registration issues in Virginia.
  • The task force will obtain an Attorney General's opinion on possible conflicts between recent statutory changes to state law regarding incompetence and existing constitutional provisions regarding incompetence with respect to the eligibility to vote and, if necessary, will evaluate possible statutory changes.
  • The task force will evaluate possible statutory changes that would create greater consistency in current state laws regarding the deadlines to apply for absentee ballots and vote absentee.
  • Staff will provide information on how to provide more timely information on deaths to the Division of Vital Statistics.
  • Staff will prepare draft legislation to implement the recommendations of the Federal Voting Assistance Program for task force review.
  • Staff will provide a paper to show the various lists that courts can currently use for juror selection in addition to voter registration lists.
  • Staff will provide possible statutory changes to clarify voter eligibility issues for the homeless and so-called "snow birds" for task force review.
  • Staff will prepare possible statutory changes to clarify the ability of the SBE to modify absentee ballot deadlines in the case of local, state or national emergencies.

The task force will meet twice in September on dates to be determined: first, to follow up on the voter registration issues identified above, and second, to evaluate additional election process issues that will be identified at its meeting on Tuesday, August 28, 2001, at 10:00 a.m. in the 4th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building. The task force is also meeting July 31 on issues concerning officers of election.

The Honorable William T. Bolling, Task Force Chairman

The Honorable James K. O'Brien, Jr., Chairman
Legislative Services contact: Mary Spain


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