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LEGISLATURE OF NEBRASKA
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH LEGISLATURE
FIRST SESSION
LEGISLATIVE BILL 577
Introduced by Bostar, 29.
Read first time January 19, 2021
Committee:
1 A BILL FOR AN ACT relating to elections; to amend sections 32-307,
2 32-308, 32-315, 32-1506, 60-4,130, and 60-4,130.02, Reissue Revised
3 Statutes of Nebraska, and sections 25-2221, 32-202, 32-312, 32-947,
4 32-1002, 60-484, 60-484.02, 60-4,144, and 62-301, Revised Statutes
5 Cumulative Supplement, 2020; to establish Election Day as a holiday;
6 to change provisions relating to holidays; to change provisions
7 relating to early voting and provide for early voting to be postage-
8 paid; to change provisions relating to automatic voter registration;
9 to harmonize provisions; to provide an operative date; to repeal the
10 original sections; and to outright repeal section 32-309, Reissue
11 Revised Statutes of Nebraska.
12 Be it enacted by the people of the State of Nebraska,
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1 Section 1. Section 25-2221, Revised Statutes Cumulative Supplement,
2 2020, is amended to read:
3 25-2221 Except as may be otherwise more specifically provided, the
4 period of time within which an act is to be done in any action or
5 proceeding shall be computed by excluding the day of the act, event, or
6 default after which the designated period of time begins to run. The last
7 day of the period so computed shall be included unless it is a Saturday,
8 a Sunday, or a day during which the offices of courts of record may be
9 legally closed as provided in this section, in which event the period
10 shall run until the end of the next day on which the office will be open.
11 All courts and their offices may be closed on Saturdays, Sundays,
12 days on which a specifically designated court is closed by order of the
13 Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and these holidays: New Year's Day,
14 January 1; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the third Monday in
15 January; President's Day, the third Monday in February; Arbor Day, the
16 last Friday in April; Memorial Day, the last Monday in May; Independence
17 Day, July 4; Labor Day, the first Monday in September; Indigenous
18 Peoples' Day and Columbus Day, the second Monday in October; Election
19 Day, the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in each
20 even-numbered year; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, the
21 fourth Thursday in November; the day after Thanksgiving; Christmas Day,
22 December 25; and all days declared by law or proclamation of the Governor
23 to be holidays. Such days shall be designated as nonjudicial days. If any
24 such holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be a holiday. If
25 any such holiday falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be a
26 holiday. Court services shall be available on all other days. If the date
27 designated by the state for observance of any legal holiday pursuant to
28 this section, except Veterans Day, is different from the date of
29 observance of such holiday pursuant to a federal holiday schedule, the
30 federal holiday schedule shall be observed.
31 Sec. 2. Section 32-202, Revised Statutes Cumulative Supplement,
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1 2020, is amended to read:
2 32-202 In addition to any other duties prescribed by law, the
3 Secretary of State shall:
4 (1) Supervise the conduct of primary and general elections in this
5 state;
6 (2) Provide training for election commissioners, county clerks, and
7 other election officials in providing for registration of voters and the
8 conduct of elections;
9 (3) Enforce the Election Act;
10 (4) With the assistance and advice of the Attorney General, make
11 uniform interpretations of the act;
12 (5) Provide periodic training for the agencies and their agents and
13 contractors in carrying out their duties under sections 32-308 to 32-310;
14 (6) Develop and print forms for use as required by sections 32-308,
15 32-310, 32-320, 32-329, 32-947, 32-956, and 32-958;
16 (7) Contract with the Department of Administrative Services for
17 storage and distribution of the forms;
18 (8) Require reporting to ensure compliance with sections 32-308 and
19 to 32-310;
20 (9) Prepare and transmit reports as required by the National Voter
21 Registration Act of 1993, 52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.;
22 (10) Develop and print a manual describing the requirements of the
23 initiative and referendum process and distribute the manual to election
24 commissioners and county clerks for distribution to the public upon
25 request;
26 (11) Develop and print pamphlets described in section 32-1405.01;
27 (12) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations as necessary for
28 elections conducted under sections 32-952 to 32-959; and
29 (13) Establish a free access system, such as a toll-free telephone
30 number or an Internet web site, that any voter who casts a provisional
31 ballot may access to discover whether the vote of that voter was counted
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1 and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not
2 counted. The Secretary of State shall establish and maintain reasonable
3 procedures necessary to protect the security, confidentiality, and
4 integrity of personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used by
5 the free access system. Access to information about an individual
6 provisional ballot shall be restricted to the individual who cast the
7 ballot.
8 Sec. 3. Section 32-307, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, is
9 amended to read:
10 32-307 No materials advocating or advertising any political issue,
11 candidate, or party shall be displayed or distributed within fifty feet
12 of any voter registration site. No alcohol shall be served within fifty
13 feet of any voter registration site. The registration procedure shall be
14 conducted in a neutral manner and shall not be connected with anything
15 unrelated to the object of registering electors except as otherwise
16 provided in sections 32-308 and to 32-310.
17 Sec. 4. Section 32-308, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, is
18 amended to read:
19 32-308 (1) The Secretary of State and the Director of Motor Vehicles
20 shall enter into an agreement to match information in the computerized
21 statewide voter registration list with information in the data base of
22 the Department of Motor Vehicles to the extent required to enable each
23 such official to verify the accuracy of the information provided on
24 applications for voter registration. The Director of Motor Vehicles shall
25 enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security under
26 section 205(r)(8) of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 405(r)
27 (8), as such section existed on April 17, 2003, for purposes of the
28 Election Act.
29 (2) The Department of Motor Vehicles, with the assistance of the
30 Secretary of State, shall prescribe a voter registration application
31 which may be used to register to vote or change his or her address for
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1 voting purposes at the same time an elector applies for an original or
2 renewal motor vehicle operator's license, an original or renewal state
3 identification card, or a replacement thereof. The voter registration
4 application shall be designed so that the elector's information is
5 transmitted to the election commissioner or county clerk pursuant to
6 subsection (3) of this section unless the elector specifies on the form
7 that he or she does not want to register to vote or update his or her
8 voter registration record. The voter registration application shall
9 contain the information required pursuant to section 32-312 and shall be
10 designed so that it does not require the duplication of information in
11 the application for the motor vehicle operator's license or state
12 identification card, except that it may require a second signature of the
13 applicant. The department and the Secretary of State shall make the voter
14 registration application available to any person applying for an
15 operator's license or state identification card. The application shall be
16 completed at the office of the department by the close of business on the
17 third Friday preceding any election to be registered to vote at such
18 election. A registration application received after the deadline shall
19 not be processed by the election commissioner or county clerk until after
20 the election. If a voter registration application is submitted under this
21 section with the signature of the applicant but the applicant is not
22 eligible to register to vote, the submission shall not be considered a
23 violation of section 32-1502 or 32-1503 and the document submitted shall
24 not be considered a valid or completed voter registration application for
25 purposes of registration or enforcement of the Election Act unless the
26 applicant has willfully and knowingly taken affirmative steps to register
27 to vote knowing that he or she is not eligible to do so.
28 (3) The Department of Motor Vehicles, in conjunction with the
29 Secretary of State, shall develop a process to electronically transmit
30 voter registration application information received under subsection (2)
31 of this section to the election commissioner or county clerk of the
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1 county in which the applicant resides within the time limits prescribed
2 in subsection (4) of this section for each applicant verified by the
3 Department of Motor Vehicles to be a citizen of the United States and at
4 least eighteen years of age or will be eighteen years of age on or before
5 the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the then-current
6 year. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall not transmit voter
7 registration application information for applications pursuant to section
8 60-480.01 . The Director of Motor Vehicles shall designate an
9 implementation date for the process which shall be on or before January
10 1, 2016.
11 (4) The voter registration application information shall be
12 transmitted to the election commissioner or county clerk of the county in
13 which the applicant resides not later than ten days after receipt, except
14 that if the voter registration application information is received within
15 five days prior to the third Friday preceding any election, it shall be
16 transmitted not later than five days after its original submission. Any
17 information on whether an applicant registers or declines to register and
18 the location of the office at which he or she registers shall be
19 confidential and shall only be used for voter registration purposes.
20 (5) For each voter registration application for which information is
21 transmitted electronically pursuant to this section, the Secretary of
22 State shall obtain a copy of the electronic representation of the
23 applicant's signature from the Department of Motor Vehicles' records of
24 his or her motor vehicle operator's license or state identification card
25 for purposes of voter registration. Each voter registration application
26 electronically transmitted under this section shall include information
27 provided by the applicant that includes whether the applicant is a
28 citizen of the United States, whether the applicant is of sufficient age
29 to register to vote, the applicant's residence address, the applicant's
30 postal address if different from the residence address, the date of birth
31 of the applicant, the party affiliation of the applicant or an indication
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1 that the applicant is not affiliated with any political party, the
2 applicant's motor vehicle operator's license number, the applicant's
3 previous registration location by city, county, or state, if applicable,
4 and the applicant's signature.
5 (6) State agency personnel involved in the voter registration
6 process pursuant to this section and section 32-309 shall not be
7 considered deputy registrars or agents or employees of the election
8 commissioner or county clerk.
9 Sec. 5. Section 32-312, Revised Statutes Cumulative Supplement,
10 2020, is amended to read:
11 32-312 The registration application prescribed by the Secretary of
12 State pursuant to section 32-304 or 32-311.01 shall provide the
13 instructional statements and request the information from the applicant
14 as provided in this section.
15 CITIZENSHIP—"Are you a citizen of the United States of America?"
16 with boxes to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a
17 citizen of the United States.
18 AGE—"Are you at least eighteen years of age or will you be eighteen
19 years of age on or before the first Tuesday following the first Monday of
20 November of this year?" with boxes to check to indicate whether or not
21 the applicant will be eighteen years of age or older on election day.
22 WARNING—"If you checked 'no' in response to either of these
23 questions, do not complete this application.".
24 NAME—the name of the applicant giving the first and last name in
25 full, the middle name in full or the middle initial, and the maiden name
26 of the applicant, if applicable.
27 RESIDENCE—the name and number of the street, avenue, or other
28 location of the dwelling where the applicant resides if there is a
29 number. If the registrant resides in a hotel, apartment, tenement house,
30 or institution, such additional information shall be included as will
31 give the exact location of such registrant's place of residence. If the
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1 registrant lives in an incorporated or unincorporated area not identified
2 by the use of roads, road names, or house numbers, the registrant shall
3 state the section, township, and range of his or her residence and the
4 corporate name of the school district as described in section 79-405 in
5 which he or she is located.
6 POSTAL ADDRESS—the address at which the applicant receives mail if
7 different from the residence address.
8 ADDRESS OF LAST REGISTRATION—the name and number of the street,
9 avenue, or other location of the dwelling from which the applicant last
10 registered.
11 TELEPHONE NUMBERS—the telephone numbers of the applicant. At the
12 request of the applicant, a designation shall be made that a telephone
13 number is an unlisted number, and such designation shall preclude the
14 listing of such telephone number on any list of voter registrations.
15 EMAIL ADDRESS—an email address of the applicant. At the request of
16 the applicant, a designation shall be made that the email address is
17 private, and such designation shall preclude the listing of the
18 applicant's email address on any list of voter registrations.
19 DRIVER'S LICENSE NUMBER OR LAST FOUR DIGITS OF SOCIAL SECURITY
20 NUMBER—if the applicant has a Nebraska driver's lic