HJR 681/SJR 363
Joint Subcommittee to
Study Virginia's Election Process and Voting Technologies
September 25, 2001, Richmond
Task Force #2 Voter
Registration and Election Day Processes
Vote fraud issues. A
representative of the Voting Integrity Project emphasized the need to
eliminate fraudulent voter registrations, potential nationwide measures
to reduce multiple registrations, and the possibility of making voter
registration lists available to watchdog groups for review. Arlington's
Commonwealth's Attorney noted that the prosecution of election law violations
is a lower priority item for the Commonwealth's attorneys, and State Board
representatives cited issues such as non-citizen registrations, nursing
home abuses, and the need for a state-level resource for prosecutions.
The task force requested staff to draft amendments to strengthen Code
§ 24.2-104, which provides for assistance by the Attorney General
in investigating and prosecuting election law violations.
demand" voter registration form and indexing systems. DMV representatives
outlined a three-part proposal:
- A "print-on-demand" voter
application process would replace the two-page carbon-interleaf combined
driver/voter application form DL 1M with a one-page driver's license
application that asks whether the applicant wishes to register or change
his voter registration address. If the voter checks the box at the top
of the form indicating that he does want to register, DMV will print
out a one-page voter application that includes the common data used
by DMV, SBE, and the registrars. The voter application will be given
to the customer for completion and signing. DMV costs for the project
include a one-time capital cost of $294,819 and a yearly recurring cost
of $10,525; SBE costs will be supplied later. The task force agreed
to recommend a budget amendment to fund this proposal.
- A process to simultaneously
image DMV applications with the declination response and generate an
electronic index for retrieving these documents by name and social security
- A process to convert the
4.5 million paper declinations currently filed at DMV into electronic
files with batch order indexing by Customer Service Center (CSC) location
and date of transaction. The costs to implement these last two proposals
are $865,360 and $756,000, respectively. Because the costs of these
two proposals are substantial and the current response time by DMV in
retrieving the paper declinations for the State Board of Elections appeared
to be satisfactory, the task force agreed to forward these proposals
to the joint subcommittee without a recommendation at this time.
Task Force draft recommendations
and legislation. Members reviewed a series of draft recommendations
and legislation based on past meetings and agreed to recommend the following:
- Draft legislation to give
members of local electoral boards the ability to administer oaths and
accept absentee ballots.
- A budget amendment to enable
the State Board to implement the Social Security Administration's Deceased
Address Match Program.
- Draft legislation to clean
up various absentee ballot provisions and delete obsolete absentee ballot
and registration provisions.
- Draft legislation to grant
additional authority to the Secretary of the State Board of Elections
to designate alternative methods and procedures for the handling of
absentee ballots in the event of a public emergency.
The task force agreed to give
further consideration to the following:
- The State Board of Elections'
request for additional authority to postpone elections in the event
of a natural disaster.
- Draft legislation to enhance
current state statutes giving the Attorney General's office a greater
ability to prosecute vote fraud cases and to solicit input from the
Attorney General on proposed changes.
- State Board of Elections'
proposals to clarify the application of the FOIA to electoral boards.
- Draft legislation to implement
the recommendations of the State Board of Elections regarding recount
and contest laws.
Staff will circulate a draft
of recommendations for Task Force review and comment and for presentation
to the joint subcommittee at its October 12 meeting.
The Honorable William T. Bolling,
Task Force Chairman
The Honorable James K. O'Brien,
Legislative Services contact: Mary Spain
| Legislative Services | General