CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE S1663 February 17, 2005

S. 450

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE.-This Act may be cited as the ''Count Every Vote Act of 2005''.

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.-The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

TITLE I-VOTER VERIFICATION AND AUDITING

Sec. 101. Promoting accuracy, integrity, and security through preservation of a voter-verified paper record or hard copy.

Sec. 102. Requirement for mandatory recounts.

Sec. 103. Specific, delineated requirement of study, testing, and development of best practices.

Sec. 104. Voter verification and audit capacity funding.

Sec. 105. Reports and provision of security consultation services.

Sec. 106. Improvements to voting systems.

TITLE II-PROVISIONAL BALLOTS

Sec. 201. Requirements for casting and counting provisional ballots.

TITLE III-ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002

SUBTITLE A-SHORTENING VOTER WAIT TIMES

Sec. 301. Minimum required voting systems, poll workers, and election resources.

Sec. 302. Requirements for jurisdictions with substantial voter wait times.

SUBTITLE B-NO-EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING

Sec. 311. No-excuse absentee voting.

SUBTITLE C-COLLECTION AND DISSEMINATION OF ELECTION DATA

Sec. 321. Data collection.

SUBTITLE D-ENSURING WELL RUN ELECTIONS

Sec. 331. Training of election officials.

Sec. 332. Impartial administration of elections.

SUBTITLE E-STANDARDS FOR PURGING VOTERS

Sec. 341. Standards for purging voters.

SUBTITLE F-ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION AND EARLY VOTING

Sec. 351. Election day registration.

Sec. 352. Early voting.

TITLE IV-VOTER REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION

Sec. 401. Voter registration.

Sec. 402. Establishing voter identification.

Sec. 403. Requirement for Federal certification of technological security of voter registration lists.

TITLE V-PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES

Sec. 501. Prohibition on certain campaign activities.

TITLE VI-ENDING DECEPTIVE PRACTICES

Sec. 601. Ending deceptive practices.

TITLE VII-CIVIC PARTICIPATION BY EXOFFENDERS

Sec. 701. Voting rights of individuals convicted of criminal offenses.

TITLE VIII-FEDERAL ELECTION DAY ACT

Sec. 801. Short title.

Sec. 802. Federal Election Day as a public holiday.

Sec. 803. Study on encouraging government employees to serve as poll workers.

TITLE IX-TRANSMISSION OF CERTIFICATE OF ASCERTAINMENT OF ELECTORS

Sec. 901. Transmission of certificate of ascertainment of electors.

TITLE X-STRENGTHENING THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION

Sec. 1001. Strengthening the Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1002. Repeal of exemption of Election Assistance Commission from certain Government contracting requirements.

Sec. 1003. Authorization of appropriations.

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TITLE I-VOTER VERIFICATION AND AUDITING

SEC. 101. PROMOTING ACCURACY, INTEGRITY, AND SECURITY THROUGH PRESERVATION OF A VOTER-VERIFIED PAPER RECORD OR HARD COPY.

(a) VOTER VERIFICATION AND MANUAL AUDIT CAPACITY.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Section 301(a)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:

''(2) VOTER VERIFICATION AND MANUAL AUDIT CAPACITY.-

''(A) VOTER VERIFICATION.-

''(i) The voting system shall produce an individual voter-verifiable paper record of the vote that shall be made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the vote is cast.

''(ii) The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error made by the system in the voterverifiable paper record before the permanent voter-verified paper record is preserved in accordance with subparagraph (B)(i).

''(B) MANUAL AUDIT CAPACITY.-The permanent voter-verified paper record produced in accordance with subparagraph (A) shall-

''(i) be preserved within the polling place, in the manner, if any, in which all other paper ballots are preserved within that polling place, or, in the manner employed by the jurisdiction for preserving paper ballots in general, for later use in any manual audit;

''(ii) be suitable for a manual audit equivalent to that of a paper ballot voting system; and

''(iii) be available as the official record and shall be the official record used for any recount conducted with respect to any Federal election in which the system is used.''.

(2) PROHIBITION OF USE OF THERMAL PAPER.-Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

''(7) PROHIBITION OF USE OF THERMAL PAPER.-The voter-verified paper record produced in accordance with paragraph (2)(A) shall not be produced on thermal paper, but shall instead be produced on paper of archival quality.''.

(3) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 301(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Help America Vote Act (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)(1)(A)(ii)) is amended by inserting ''and before the paper record is produced under paragraph (2)'' before the semicolon at the end.

(b) VOTER-VERIFICATION OF RESULTS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AND LANGUAGE MINORITY VOTERS.-Paragraph (3) of section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)(3)) is amended to read as follows:

''(3) ACCESSIBILITY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AND FOR LANGUAGE MINORITIES.-

''(A) IN GENERAL.-The voting system shall-

''(i) be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access, participation (including privacy and independence), inspection, and verification as for other voters;

''(ii) be accessible for language minority individuals to the extent required under section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1), in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access, participation (including privacy and independence), inspection, and verification as for other voters; ''

(iii) satisfy the requirement of clauses (i) and (ii) through the use of at least one direct recording electronic voting system or other voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place; and ''(iv) if purchased with funds made available under title II on or after November 1, 2006, meet the voting system standards for disability access (as outlined in this paragraph).

''(B) VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.-Any direct recording electronic voting system or other voting system described in subparagraph (A)(iii) shall use a mechanism that separates the function of vote generation from the function of vote casting and shall produce, in accordance with paragraph (2)(A), an individual paper record which-

''(i) shall be used to meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(B);

''(ii) shall be available for visual, audio, and pictorial inspection and verification by the voter, with language translation available for all forms of inspection and verification in accordance with the requirements of section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965;

''(iii) shall not require the voter to handle the paper; and

''(iv) shall not preclude the use of Braille or tactile ballots for those voters who need them. The requirement of clause (iii) shall not apply to any voting system certified by the Independent Testing Authorities before the date of the enactment of this Act.

''(C) REQUIREMENTS FOR LANGUAGE MINORITIES.- Any record produced under subparagraph (B) shall be subject to the requirements of section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the extent such section is applicable to the State or jurisdiction in which such record is produced.''.

(c) ADDITIONAL VOTING SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.- Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)), as amended by subsection (a)(2), is amended by adding to the end the following new paragraphs:

''(8) INSTRUCTION OF ELECTION OFFICIALS.- Each State shall ensure that election officials are instructed on the right of any individual who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, other disability, or inability to read or write to be given assistance by a person chosen by that individual under section 208 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

''(9) PROHIBITION OF USE OF UNDISCLOSED SOFTWARE IN VOTING SYSTEMS.-No voting system shall at any time contain or use any undisclosed software. Any voting system containing or using software shall disclose the source code, object code, and executable representation of that software to the Commission, and the Commission shall make that source code, object code, and executable representation available for inspection upon request to any citizen.

''(10) PROHIBITION OF USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES IN VOTING SYSTEMS.-No voting system shall use any wireless communication device.

''(11) CERTIFICATION OF SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE.-All software and hardware used in any electronic voting system shall be certified by laboratories accredited by the Commission as meeting the requirements of paragraphs (9) and (10).

''(12) SECURITY STANDARDS FOR MANUFACTURERS OF VOTING SYSTEMS USED IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS.-

''(A) IN GENERAL.-No voting system may be used in an election for Federal office unless the manufacturer of such system meets the requirements described in subparagraph (B).

''(B) REQUIREMENTS DESCRIBED.-The requirements described in this subparagraph are as follows:

''(i) The manufacturer shall conduct background checks on individuals who are programmers and developers before such individuals work on any software used in connection with the voting system.

''(ii) The manufacturer shall document the chain of custody for the handling of software used in connection with voting systems. ''(iii) The manufacturer shall ensure that any software used in connection with the voting system is not transferred over the Internet.

''(iv) In the same manner and to the same extent described in paragraph (9), the manufacturer shall provide the codes used in any software used in connection with the voting system to the Commission and may not alter such codes once certification by the Independent Testing Authorities has occurred unless such system is recertified.

''(v) The manufacturer shall implement procedures to ensure internal security, as required by the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

''(vi) The manufacturer shall meet such other requirements as may be established by the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.''.

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the amendments made by this section on and after November 1, 2006.

SEC. 102. REQUIREMENT FOR MANDATORY RECOUNTS. On and after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Election Assistance Commission shall conduct random unannounced manual mandatory recounts of the voterverified records of each election for Federal office (and, at the option of the State or jurisdiction involved, of elections for State and local office held at the same time as such an election for Federal office) in 2 percent of the polling locations (or, in the case of any polling location which serves more than 1 precinct, 2 percent of the precincts) in each State and with respect to 2 percent of the ballots cast by uniformed and overseas voters immediately following the election and shall promptly publish the results of those recounts in the Federal Register. In addition, the verification system used by the Election Assistance Commission shall meet the error rate standards described in section 301(a)(5) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

SEC. 103. SPECIFIC, DELINEATED REQUIREMENT OF STUDY, TESTING, AND DEVELOPMENT OF BEST PRACTICES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle C of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15381 et seq.) is amended by-

(1) redesignating section 247 as section 248; and

(2) by inserting after section 246 the following new section:

''SEC. 247. STUDY, TESTING, AND DEVELOPMENT OF BEST PRACTICES TO ENHANCE ACCESSIBILITY AND VOTERVERIFICATION MECHANISMS FOR DISABLED VOTERS. ''The Election Assistance Commission shall study, test, and develop best practices to enhance accessibility and voterverification mechanisms for individuals with disabilities.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 104. VOTER-VERIFICATION AND AUDIT CAPACITY FUNDING.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new part:

''PART 7-VOTER-VERIFICATION AND AUDIT CAPACITY FUNDING

''SEC. 297. VOTER-VERIFICATION AND AUDIT CAPACITY FUNDING.

''(a) PAYMENTS TO STATES.-Subject to subsection (b), not later than the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, the Election Assistance Commission shall pay to each State an amount to assist the State in paying for the implementation of the voterverification and audit capacity requirements of paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 301(a), as amended by subsections (a) and (b) of section 2 of such Act.

''(b) LIMITATION.-The amount paid to a State under subsection (a) for each voting system purchased by a State may not exceed the average cost of adding a printer with accessibility features to each type of voting system that the State could have purchased to meet the requirements described in such subsection.

''SEC. 298. APPROPRIATION.

''There are authorized and appropriated $500,000,000 to the Election Assistance Commission, without fiscal year limitation, to make payments to States in accordance with section 297(a). Furthermore, there are authorized and appropriated $20,000,000 to the Election Assistance Commission, for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010, in addition to any amounts otherwise appropriated for administrative costs to assist with conducting recounts, the implementation of voter verification systems, and improved security measures.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 105. REPORTS AND PROVISION OF SECURITY CONSULTATION SERVICES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle C of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15381 et seq.), as amended by section 103, is amended by-

(1) redesignating section 248 as section 249; and

(2) by inserting after section 247 the following new section:

''SEC. 248. REPORTS AND PROVISION OF SECURITY CONSULTATION SERVICES.

''(a) REPORT TO CONGRESS ON SECURITY REVIEW.- Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, the Commission, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall submit to Congress a report on a proposed security review and certification process for all voting systems used in elections for Federal office, including a description of the certification process to be implemented under section 231.

''(b) REPORT TO CONGRESS ON OPERATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.-Not later than 3 months after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report on operational and management systems applicable with respect to elections for Federal office, including the security standards for manufacturers described in section 301(a)(7), that should be employed to safeguard the security of voting systems, together with a proposed schedule for the implementation of each such system.

''(c) PROVISION OF SECURITY CONSULTATION SERVICES.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-On and after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, the Commission, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall provide security consultation services to States and local jurisdictions with respect to the administration of elections for Federal office.

''(2) APPROPRIATION.-To carry out the purposes of paragraph (1), $2,000,000 is appropriated for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 106. IMPROVEMENTS TO VOTING SYSTEMS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subparagraph (B) of section 301(a)(1) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)(1)(B)) is amended by striking '', a punch card voting system, or a central count voting system''.

(b) CLARIFICATION OF REQUIREMENTS FOR PUNCH CARD SYSTEMS.-Subparagraph (A) of section 301(a)(1) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)(1)(A)) is amended by inserting ''punch card voting system,'' after ''any''.

(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the amendments made by this section on and after November 1, 2006.

(d) RESIDUAL VOTE BENCHMARK.-.

(1) IN GENERAL.-The error rate of the voting system (as defined under section 301 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002) in counting ballots (determined by taking into account only those errors which are attributable to the voting system and not attributable to an act of the voter) shall not exceed the error rate standards established under the voting systems standards issued and maintained by Election Assistance Commission.

(2) RESIDUAL BALLOT PERFORMANCE BENCHMARK.- In addition to the error rate standards described in paragraph (1), the Election Assistance Commission shall issue and maintain a uniform benchmark for the residual ballot error rate that jurisdictions may not exceed. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the residual vote error rate shall be equal to the combination of overvotes, spoiled or uncountable votes, and undervotes cast in the contest at the top of the ballot, but excluding an estimate, based upon the best available research, of intentional undervotes. The Commission shall base the benchmark issued and maintained under this subparagraph on evidence of good practices in representative jurisdictions.

(3) HISTORICALLY HIGH INTENTIONAL UNDERVOTES.-

(A) Congress finds that there are certain distinct communities in certain geographic areas that have historically high rates of intentional undervoting in elections for Federal office, relative to the rest of the Nation. (B) In establishing the benchmark described in subparagraph (B), the Election Assistance Commission shall-

(i) study and report to Congress on the occurrences of distinct communities that have significantly higher than average rates of historical intentional undervoting; and (ii) promulgate for local jurisdictions in which that distinct community has a substantial presence either a separate benchmark or an exclusion from the national benchmark, as appropriate.

 

TITLE II-PROVISIONAL BALLOTS

SEC. 201. REQUIREMENTS FOR CASTING AND COUNTING PROVISIONAL BALLOTS.

(a) ELIGIBILITY OF PROVISIONAL BALLOTS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Paragraph (4) of section 302(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15482(a)(4)) is amended by inserting at the end the following new sentence: ''The determination of eligibility shall be made without regard to the location at which the voter cast the provisional ballot and without regard to any requirement to present identification to any election official.''.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply to States and jurisdictions on and after November 1, 2006.

(b) TIMELY PROCESSING OF BALLOTS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Subsection (a) of section 302 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15482(a)) is amended by inserting after paragraph (5) the following new paragraph:

''(6) The appropriate State election official shall develop, according to guidelines established by the Election Assistance Commission, reasonable procedures to assure the timely processing and counting of provisional ballots, including-

''(A) standards for timely processing and counting to assure that, after the conclusion of the provisional vote count, parties and candidates may have full, timely, and effective recourse to the recount and contest procedures provided by State law; and ''(B) standards for the informed participation of candidates and parties such as are consistent with reasonable procedures to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information collected in the course of the processing and counting of provisional ballots.''.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Subsection (d) of section 302 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15482(d)) is amended- (A) by striking ''Each State'' and inserting the following:

''(1) IN GENERAL.-Except as provided in paragraph (2), each State''; and (B) by inserting at the end the following new paragraph:

''(2) PROCESSING.-Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (a)(6) on and after the date that is 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005.''.

(3) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on the date that is 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE III-ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002

Subtitle A-Shortening Voter Wait Times

SEC. 301. MINIMUM REQUIRED VOTING SYSTEMS, POLL WORKERS, AND ELECTION RESOURCES.

(a) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

''Subtitle C-Additional Requirements

''SEC. 321. MINIMUM REQUIRED VOTING SYSTEMS AND POLL WORKERS.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Each State shall provide for the minimum required number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources (including all other physical resources) for each voting site on the day of any Federal election and on any days during which such State allows early voting for a Federal election in accordance with the standards determined under section 299.

''(b) VOTING SITE.-For purposes of this

section and section 299, the term 'voting site' means a polling location, except that in the case of any polling location which serves more than 1 precinct, such term shall mean a precinct.

''(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after October 1, 2006.''. (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 401 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15511) is amended by striking ''and 303'' and inserting ''303, and subtitle C''. (b) STANDARDS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

''Subtitle E-Guidance and Standards

''SEC. 299. STANDARDS FOR ESTABLISHING THE MINIMUM REQUIRED VOTING SYSTEMS AND POLL WORKERS.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than January 1, 2006, the Commission shall issue standards regarding the minimum number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources (including all other physical resources) required under section 321 on the day of any Federal election and on any days during which early voting is allowed for a Federal election.

''(b) DISTRIBUTION.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-The standards described in subsection (a) shall provide for a uniform and nondiscriminatory distribution of such systems, workers, and other resources, and shall take into account, among other factors, the following with respect to any voting site:

''(A) The voting age population.

''(B) Voter turnout in past elections.

''(C) The number of voters registered.

''(D) The number of voters who have registered since the most recent Federal election.

''(E) Census data for the population served by such voting site.

''(F) The educational levels and socio-economic factors of the population served by such voting site.

''(G) The needs and numbers of disabled voters and voters with limited English proficiency.

''(H) The type of voting systems used. ''

(2) NO FACTOR DISPOSITIVE.-The standards shall provide that any distribution of such systems shall take into account the totality of all relevant factors, and no single factor shall be dispositive under the standards. ''(3) PURPOSE.-To the extent possible, the standards shall provide for a distribution of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources with the goals of-

''(A) ensuring an equal waiting time for all voters in the State; and

''(B) preventing a waiting time of over 1 hour at any polling place.

''(c) DEVIATION.-The standards described in subsection (a) shall permit States, upon giving reasonable public notice, to deviate from any allocation requirements in the case of unforseen circumstances such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack.''.

(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 202 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15322) is amended by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as paragraphs (6) and (7), respectively, and by inserting after paragraph (4) the following new paragraph:

''(5) carrying out the duties described under subtitle E;''.

SEC. 302. REQUIREMENTS FOR JURISDICTIONS WITH SUBSTANTIAL VOTER WAIT TIMES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15301 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new title:

''

TITLE X-REMEDIAL PLANS FOR STATES WITH EXCESSIVE VOTER WAIT TIMES

''SEC. 1001. REMEDIAL PLANS FOR STATES WITH EXCESSIVE VOTER WAIT TIMES.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Each jurisdiction for which the Election Assistance Commission determines that a substantial number of voters waited more than 90 minutes to cast a vote in the election on November 2, 2004, shall comply with a State remedial plan established under this section.

''(b) STATE REMEDIAL PLANS.-For each State or jurisdiction which is required to comply with this section, the Election Assistance Commission shall establish a State remedial plan to minimize the waiting times of voters.

''(c) JURISDICTION.-For purposes of this section, the term 'jurisdiction' has the same meaning as the term 'registrar's jurisdiction' under section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

Subtitle B-No-excuse Absentee Voting

SEC. 311. NO-EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING. Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 322. NO-EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Each State and jurisdiction shall permit any person who is otherwise qualified to vote in an election for Federal office to vote in such election in a manner other than in person without regard to any restrictions on absentee voting under State law.

''(b) SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-Any ballot cast under subsection (a) shall be submitted and processed in the manner provided for absentee ballots under State law.

''(2) DEADLINE.-Any ballot cast under subsection (a) shall be counted if postmarked or signed before the close of the polls on election day and received by the appropriate State election official on or before the date which is 10 days after the date of the election or the date provided for the receipt of absentee ballots under State law, whichever is later.

''(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after October 1, 2006.''.

Subtitle C-Collection and Dissemination of Election Data

SEC. 321. DATA COLLECTION. Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 323. PUBLIC REPORTS ON FEDERAL ELECTIONS.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than 6 months after a Federal election, each State and jurisdiction shall publicly report information on such election, including the following information with respect to the election:

''(1) The total number of individuals of voting age in the population.

''(2) The total number of individuals registered to vote.

''(3) The total number of registered voters who voted.

''(4) The number of absentee and overseas ballots requested, including the numbers of such ballots requested by military personnel and citizens living overseas.

''(5) The number of absentee and overseas ballots cast, including the numbers of such ballots cast by military personnel and citizens living overseas.

''(6) The total number of absentee and overseas ballots counted, including the number of such ballots which were cast by military personnel and citizens living overseas that were counted.

''(7) The total number of absentee and overseas ballots rejected, including the numbers of such ballots which were cast by military personnel and citizens living overseas that were rejected, and the reasons for any such rejections.

''(8) The number of votes cast in early voting at the polls before the day of the election.

''(9) The number of provisional ballots cast.

''(10) The number of provisional ballots counted.

''(11) The number of provisional ballots rejected and the reasons any provisional ballots were rejected.

''(12) The number of voting sites (within the meaning of section 321(b)) in the State or jurisdiction.

''(13) The number of voting machines in each such voting site on election day and the type of each voting machine.

''(14) The total number of voting machines available in the State or jurisdiction for distribution to each such voting site.

''(15) The total number of voting machines actually distributed to such voting sites (including voting machines distributed as replacement voting machines on the day of the election).

''(16) The total number of voting machines of any type, whether electronic or manual, that malfunctioned on the day of the election and the reason for any malfunction.

''(17) The total number of voting machines that were replaced on the day of the election.

''(b) REPORT BY EAC.-The Commission shall collect the information published under subsection (a) and shall report to Congress not later than 9 months after any Federal election the following:

''(1) The funding and expenditures of each State under the provisions of this Act.

''(2) The voter turnout in the election.

''(3) The number of registered voters and the number of individuals eligible to register who are not registered.

''(4) The number of voters who have registered to vote in a Federal election since the most recent such election.

''(5) The extent to which voter registration information has been shared among government agencies (including any progress on implementing statewide voter registration databases under section 303(a)).

''(6) The extent to which accurate voter information has been maintained over time.

''(7) The number and types of new voting systems purchased by States and jurisdictions.

''(8) The amount of time individuals waited to vote.

''(9) The number of early votes, provisional votes, absentee ballots, and overseas ballots distributed, cast, and counted.

''(10) The amount of training that poll workers received.

''(11) The number of poll workers.

''(12) The number of polling locations and precincts.

''(13) The ratio of the number of voting machines to the number of registered voters.

''(14) any other information pertaining to electoral participation as the Commission deems appropriate.

''(c) Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after November 1, 2006.''. Subtitle D-Ensuring Well Run Elections

SEC. 331. TRAINING OF ELECTION OFFICIALS. Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 324. TRAINING OF ELECTION OFFICIALS.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Each State and jurisdiction shall require that each person who works in a polling place during an election for Federal office receives adequate training not earlier than 3 months before the election.

''(b) TRAINING.-The training required under subsection (a) shall, at a minimum, include-

''(1) hands-on training on all voting systems used in the election;

''(2) training on accommodating individuals with disabilities, individuals who are of limited English proficiency, and individuals who are illiterate;

''(3) training on requirements for the identification of voters;

''(4) training on the appropriate use of provisional ballots and the process for casting such ballots;

''(5) training on registering voters on the day of the election;

''(6) training on which individuals have the authority to challenge voter eligibility and the process for any such challenges; and

''(7) training on security procedures.

''(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after August 1, 2006.''.

SEC. 332. IMPARTIAL ADMINISTRATION OF ELECTIONS. Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 325. ELECTION ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS.

''(a) PUBLICATION OF STATE ELECTION LAWS.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-Each State shall be required to publish all State laws, regulations, procedures, and practices relating to Federal elections on January 1 of each year in which there is a regularly scheduled election for a Federal office.

''(2) MAINTENANCE OF LAWS ON THE INTERNET.- Each State shall be required to maintain an updated version of all material published under paragraph (1) on an easily accessible public web site on the Internet.

''(b) NOTICE OF CHANGES IN STATE ELECTION LAWS.-Not later than 15 days prior to any Federal election, each State shall issue a public notice describing all changes in State law affecting voting in Federal elections and the administration of Federal elections since the most recent prior such election. If any State or local government makes any change affecting the administration of Federal elections within 15 days of a Federal election, the State or local government shall provide adequate public notice.

''(c) OBSERVERS.-

''(1) STANDARDS.-Each State shall issue nondiscriminatory standards for granting access to nonpartisan election observers. Such standards shall take into account the need to avoid disruption and crowding in polling places.

''(2) IN GENERAL.-Each State shall allow uniform and nondiscriminatory access to any polling place for purposes of observing a Federal election to nonpartisan domestic observers (including voting rights and civil rights organizations) and international observers in accordance with the standards published under paragraph (1).

''(3) NOTICE OF DENIAL OF OBSERVATION REQUEST.- Each State shall issue a public notice with respect to any denial of a request by any observer described in paragraph (2) for access to any polling place for purposes of observing a Federal election. Such notice shall be issued not later than 24 hours after such denial.

''(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after October 1, 2006.''. Subtitle E-Standards for Purging Voters

SEC. 341. STANDARDS FOR PURGING VOTERS.

Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 326. REMOVAL FROM VOTER REGISTRATION LIST.

''(a) PUBLIC NOTICE.-Not later than 45 days before any Federal election, each State shall provide public notice of- ''(1) all names which have been removed from the voter registration list of such State under section 303 since the later of the most recent election for Federal office or the day of the most recent previous public notice provided under this section; and

''(2) the criteria, processes, and procedures used to determine which names were removed.

''(b) NOTICE TO INDIVIDUAL VOTERS.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-No individual shall be removed from the voter registration list under section 303 unless such individual is first provided with a notice which meets the requirements of paragraph (2).

''(2) REQUIREMENTS OF NOTICE.-The notice required under paragraph (1) shall be-

''(A) provided to each voter in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner;

''(B) consistent with the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.); and

''(C) in the form and manner prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission.

''(c) PRIVACY.-No State or jurisdiction may disclose the reason for the removal of any voter from the voter registration list unless ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction.

''(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after September 1, 2006.''. Subtitle F-Election Day Registration and Early Voting

SEC. 351. ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION.

(a) REQUIREMENT.-Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 327. ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-

''(1) REGISTRATION.-Notwithstanding section 8(a)(1)(D) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-6), each State shall permit any individual on the day of a Federal election-

''(A) to register to vote in such election at the polling place using the form established by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to section 299A; and

''(B) to cast a vote in such election and have that vote counted in the same manner as a vote cast by an eligible voter who properly registered during the regular registration period.

''(2) EXCEPTION.-The requirements under paragraph (1) shall not apply to a State in which, under a State law in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, there is no voter registration requirement for individuals in the State with respect to elections for Federal office. ''(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) on and after October 1, 2006.''.

(b) ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION FORM.- Subtitle E of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 299A. ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION FORM. ''The Commission shall develop an election day registration form for elections for Federal office.''.

SEC. 352. EARLY VOTING.

(a) REQUIREMENTS.-Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

 

''SEC. 328. EARLY VOTING.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-Each State shall allow individuals to vote in an election for Federal office not less than 15 days prior to the day scheduled for such election in the same manner as voting is allowed on such day.

''(b) MINIMUM EARLY VOTING REQUIREMENTS.- Each polling place which allows voting prior to the day of a Federal election pursuant to subsection (a) shall-

''(1) allow such voting for no less than 4 hours on each day (other than Sunday); and

''(2) have minimum uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs.

''(c) APPLICATION OF ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION TO EARLY VOTING.-A State shall permit individuals to register to vote at each polling place which allows voting prior to the day of a Federal election pursuant to subsection (a) in the same manner as the State is required to permit individuals to register to vote and vote on the day of the election under section 327.

''(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State shall be

required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after October 1, 2006.''. (b) STANDARDS FOR EARLY VOTING.-Subtitle E of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 299B. STANDARDS FOR EARLY VOTING. ''(a) IN GENERAL.-The Commission shall issue standards for the administration of voting prior to the day scheduled for a Federal election. Such standards shall include the nondiscriminatory geographic placement of polling places at which such voting occurs and the public listing of the date, time, and location of polling places no earlier than 10 days before the date on which such voting begins.

''(b) DEVIATION.-The standards described in subsection (a) shall permit States, upon giving reasonable public notice, to deviate from any requirement in the case of unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.''.

 

 

TITLE IV-VOTER REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION

SEC. 401. VOTER REGISTRATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Paragraph (4) of section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)(4)) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

''(C) EXCEPTION.-On and after the date of the enactment of this Act-

''(i) in lieu of the questions and statements required under subparagraph (A), such mail voter registration form shall include an affidavit to be signed by the registrant attesting both to citizenship and age; and ''(ii) subparagraph (B) shall not apply.''.

(b) PROCESSING OF REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 329. PROCESSING OF REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS. ''(a) IN GENERAL.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each State and jurisdiction shall accept and process a voter registration application for an election for Federal office unless there is a material omission or information that specifically affects the eligibility of the voter.

''(b) PRESUMPTION TO REGISTER.-There shall be a presumption that persons who submit voter registration applications should be registered.

''(c) PRESUMPTION TO CURE MATERIAL OMISSION.- Each State and jurisdiction shall-

''(1) provide a process to permit voters an opportunity to cure any material omission within a reasonable period of time; and

''(2) accept any application which is so cured as having been filed on the date on which such application is originally received.

''(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this subsection on and after October 1, 2006.''.

(2) MATERIAL OMISSION.-Subtitle E of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 299C. STANDARDS FOR MATERIAL OMISSION FROM REGISTRATION FORMS.

''(a) IN GENERAL.-The Election Assistance Commission shall establish guidelines as to what does and does not constitute a 'material omission or information that specifically affects the eligibility of the voter' for purposes of section 329.

''(b) CERTAIN INFORMATION NOT A MATERIAL OMISSION.-In establishing the guidelines under subsection (a), the Commission shall provide that the following shall not constitute a 'material omission or information that specifically affects the eligibility of the voter':

''(1) The failure to provide a social security number or driver's license number.

''(2) The failure to provide information concerning citizenship or age in a manner other than the attestation required under section 9(b)(2) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973-gg-7).''.

(c) INTERNET REGISTRATION.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle C of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15381), as added and amended by this Act, is amended by redesignating section 249 as section 250 and by inserting after section 248 the following new section:

''SEC. 249. STUDY ON INTERNET REGISTRATION AND OTHER USES OF THE INTERNET IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS.

''(a) STUDY.-The Commission shall conduct a study on-

''(1) the feasibility of voter registration through the Internet for Federal elections; and

''(2) other uses of the Internet in Federal elections, including-

''(A) the use of the Internet to publicize information related to Federal elections; and

''(B) the use of the Internet to vote in Federal elections.

''(b) REPORT.-Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, the Commission shall transmit to Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under subsection (a).''.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 402. ESTABLISHING VOTER IDENTIFICATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.-

(1) IN PERSON VOTING.-Clause (i) of section 303(b)(2)(A) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)(2)(A)(i)) is amended by striking ''or'' at the end of subclause (I) and by adding at the end the following new subclause: ''(III) executes a written affidavit attesting to such individual's identity; or''. (2) VOTING BY MAIL.-Clause (ii) of section 303(b)(2)(A) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)(2)(A)(ii)) is amended by striking ''or'' at the end of subclause (I), by striking the period at the end of subclause

(II) and inserting ''; or'', and by adding at the end the following new subclause:

''(III) a written affidavit, executed by such individual, attesting to such individual's identity.''.

(3) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the amendments made by this subsection on and after November 1, 2006.

(b) STANDARDS FOR VERIFYING VOTER INFORMATION.- Subtitle E of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 299D. VOTER IDENTIFICATION. ''The Commission shall develop standards for verifying the identification information required under section 303(a)(5) in connection with the registration of an individual to vote in a Federal election.''.

(c) FUNDING FOR FREE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS.- Subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15401 et seq.), as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:

''PART 8-PHOTO IDENTIFICATION

''SEC. 298A. PAYMENTS FOR FREE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. ''(a) IN GENERAL.-In addition to any other payments made under this subtitle, the Election Assistance Commission shall make payments to States to promote the issuance to registered voters of free photo identifications. ''(b) USE OF FUNDS.-A State receiving a payment under this part shall use the payment only to provide free photo identification cards to registered voters who do not have an identification card and who cannot obtain an identification card without undue hardship.

''(c) ALLOCATION OF FUNDS.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-The amount of the grant made to a State under this part for a year shall be equal to the product of- ''(A) the total amount appropriated for payments under this part for the year under section 298B; and

''(B) an amount equal to-

''(i) the voting age population of the State (as reported in the most recent decennial census); divided by ''(ii) the total voting age of all eligible States which submit an application for payments under this part (as reported in the most recent decennial census).

''SEC. 298B. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. ''(a) IN GENERAL.-In addition to any other amounts authorized to be appropriated under this subtitle, there are authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 and such sums as are necessary for each subsequent fiscal year for the purpose of making payments under section 298A.

''(b) AVAILABILITY.-Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authority of this section shall remain available until expended.''.

SEC. 403. REQUIREMENT FOR FEDERAL CERTIFICATION OF TECHNOLOGICAL SECURITY OF VOTER REGISTRATION LISTS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 303(a)(3) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(a)(3)) is amended by striking ''measures to prevent the'' and inserting ''measures, as certified by the Election Assistance Commission, to prevent''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE V-PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES

SEC. 501. PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 319 the following new section:

''CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES BY ELECTION OFFICIALS AND VOTING SYSTEM MANUFACTURERS

''SEC. 319A. (a) PROHIBITION.-

''(1) CHIEF STATE ELECTION OFFICIALS.-It shall be unlawful for any chief State election official to take part in prohibited political activities with respect to any election for Federal office over which such official has managerial authority.

''(2) VOTING SYSTEM MANUFACTURERS.-It shall be unlawful for any person who owns or serves as the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, or president of any entity that designs or manufacturers a voting system to take part in prohibited political activities with respect to any election for a Federal office for which a voting system produced by such manufacturer is used.

''(b) DEFINITIONS.-For purposes of this section:

''(1) CHIEF STATE ELECTION OFFICIAL.-The term 'chief State election official' means the individual designated as such under section 10 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.''

''(2) PROHIBITED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES.-The term 'prohibited political activities' means campaigning to support or oppose a candidate or slate of candidates for Federal office, making public speeches in support of such a candidate, fundraising and collecting contributions on behalf of such a candidate, distributing campaign materials with respect to such a candidate, organizing campaign events with respect to such a candidate, and serving in any position on any political campaign committee of such a candidate.

''(b) OWNERSHIP.-For purposes of subsection (a)(2), a person shall be considered to own an entity if such person controls at least 20 percent, by vote or value, of the entity.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE VI-ENDING DECEPTIVE PRACTICES

SEC. 601. ENDING DECEPTIVE PRACTICES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-

(1) Subsection (b) of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1971(b)) is amended- (A) by striking ''No person'' and inserting the following:

''(1) IN GENERAL.-No person''; and

(B) by inserting at the end the following new paragraph:

''(2) DECEPTIVE ACTS.-No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall knowingly deceive any other person regarding the time, place, or manner of conducting a general, primary, run-off, or special election for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates, or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions; nor shall any person knowingly deceive any person regarding the qualifications or restrictions of voter eligibility for any general, primary, run-off, or special election for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates, or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions.''.

(2) The heading of section 2004(b) of the Revised Statutes is amended by striking ''OR COERCION'' and inserting ''COERCION, OR DECEPTIVE ACTS''.

(b) CRIMINAL PENALTY.-Section 594 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-

(1) by striking ''Whoever'' and inserting the following: ''(a) INTIMIDATION.-Whoever''; and

(2) by inserting at the end the following:

''(b) DECEPTIVE ACTS.-Whoever knowingly deceives any person regarding-

''(1) the time, place, or manner of conducting a general, primary, run-off, or special election for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates, or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions; or

''(2) the qualifications or restrictions of voter eligibility for any general, primary, run-off or special election for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates, or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both.''.

(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE VII-CIVIC PARTICIPATION BY EXOFFENDERS

SEC. 701. VOTING RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS CONVICTED OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES.

(a) SHORT TITLE.-This title may be cited as the Civic Participation Act of 2005.

(b) FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.-

(1) FINDINGS.-Congress makes the following findings:

(A) The right to vote is the most basic constitutive act of citizenship and regaining the right to vote reintegrates offenders into free society. The right to vote may not be abridged or denied by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, gender, or previous condition of servitude. Basic constitutional principles of fairness and equal protection require an equal opportunity for United States citizens to vote in Federal elections.

(B) Congress has ultimate supervisory power over Federal elections, an authority that has repeatedly been upheld by the Supreme Court.

(C) Although State laws determine the qualifications for voting in Federal elections, Congress must ensure that those laws are in accordance with the Constitution. Currently, those laws vary throughout the Nation, resulting in discrepancies regarding which citizens may vote in Federal elections.

(D) An estimated 4,700,000 individuals in the United States, or 1 in 44 adults, currently cannot vote as a result of a felony conviction. Women represent about 676,000 of those 4,700,000.

(E) State disenfranchisement laws disproportionately impact ethnic minorities.

(F) Fourteen States disenfranchise some or all ex-offenders who have fully served their sentences, regardless of the nature or seriousness of the offense.

(G) In those States that disenfranchise exoffenders who have fully served their sentences, the right to vote can be regained in theory, but in practice this possibility is often illusory.

(H) In those States that disenfranchise exoffenders, an ex-offender's right to vote can only be restored through a gubernatorial pardon or order, or a certificate granted by a parole board. Some States require waiting periods as long as 10 years after completion of the sentence before an ex-offender can initiate the application for restoration of the right to vote.

(I) Offenders convicted of a Federal offense often have additional barriers to regaining voting rights. Many States do not offer a restoration procedure for Federal offenders who have completed supervision. The only method available to such persons is a Presidential pardon.

(J) Few persons who seek to have their right to vote restored have the financial and political resources needed to succeed. (K) Thirteen percent of the African-American adult male population, or 1,400,000 African- American men, are disenfranchised. Given current rates of incarceration, 3 in 10 African-American men in the next generation will be disenfranchised at some point during their lifetimes. Hispanic citizens are also disproportionately disenfranchised, since those citizens are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. (L) The discrepancies described in this paragraph should be addressed by Congress, in the name of fundamental fairness and equal protection.

(2) PURPOSE.-The purpose of this title is to restore fairness in the Federal election process by ensuring that ex-offenders who have fully served their sentences are not denied the right to vote.

(c) DEFINITIONS.-In this title:

(1) CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OR FACILITY.- The term ''correctional institution or facility'' means any prison, penitentiary, jail, or other institution or facility for the confinement of individuals convicted of criminal offenses, whether publicly or privately operated, except that such term does not include any residential community treatment center (or similar public or private facility).

(2) ELECTION.-The term ''election'' means-

(A) a general, special, primary, or runoff election;

(B) a convention or caucus of a political party held to nominate a candidate;

(C) a primary election held for the selection of delegates to a national nominating convention of a political party; or

(D) a primary election held for the expression of a preference for the nomination of persons for election to the office of President.

(3) FEDERAL OFFICE.-The term ''Federal office'' means the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, Congress.

(4) PAROLE.-The term ''parole'' means parole (including mandatory parole), or conditional or supervised release (including mandatory supervised release), imposed by a Federal, State, or local court.

(5) PROBATION.-The term ''probation'' means probation, imposed by a Federal, State, or local court, with or without a condition on the individual involved concerning-

(A) the individual's freedom of movement;

(B) the payment of damages by the individual;

(C) periodic reporting by the individual to an officer of the court; or

(D) supervision of the individual by an officer of the court.

(d) RIGHTS OF CITIZENS.-The right of an individual who is a citizen of the United States to vote in any election for Federal office shall not be denied or abridged because that individual has been convicted of a criminal offense unless, at the time of the election, such individual-

(1) is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility; or

(2) is on parole or probation for a felony offense

(e) ENFORCEMENT.-

(1) ATTORNEY GENERAL.-The Attorney General may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such declaratory or injunctive relief as is necessary to remedy a violation of this section.

(2) PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.- (A) NOTICE.-A person who is aggrieved by a violation of this section may provide written notice of the violation to the chief election official of the State involved. (B) ACTION.-Except as provided in subparagraph (C), if the violation is not corrected within 90 days after receipt of a notice provided under subparagraph (A), or within 20 days after receipt of the notice if the violation occurred within 120 days before the date of an election for Federal office, the aggrieved person may bring a civil action in such a court to obtain declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation.

(C) ACTION FOR VIOLATION SHORTLY BEFORE A FEDERAL ELECTION.-If the violation occurred within 30 days before the date of an election for Federal office, the aggrieved person shall not be required to provide notice to the chief election official of the State under subparagraph (A) before bringing a civil action in such a court to obtain declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation.

(f) RELATION TO OTHER LAWS.-

(1) NO PROHIBITION ON LESS RESTRICTIVE LAWS.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a State from enacting any State law that affords the right to vote in any election for Federal office on terms less restrictive than those terms established by this section.

(2) NO LIMITATION ON OTHER LAWS.-The rights and remedies established by this section shall be in addition to all other rights and remedies provided by law, and shall not supersede, restrict, or limit the application of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.) or the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.).

(g) NOTIFICATION OF RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS.-Subtitle C of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 330. NOTIFICATION OF RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS.

''(a) NOTIFICATION.-

''(1) IN GENERAL.-On the date determined under subsection (b), each State shall notify any qualified ex-offender who resides in the State that such qualified ex-offender has the right to vote in an election for Federal office pursuant to the Civic Participation Act of 2005 and may register to vote in any such election.

''(2) QUALIFIED EX-OFFENDER.-For the purpose of this section, the term 'qualified exoffender' means any individual who resides in the State who has been convicted of a criminal offense and is not serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility and who is not on parole or probation for a felony offense.

''(b) DATE OF NOTIFICATION.-The notification required under subsection (a) shall be given on the later of the date on which such individual is released from a correctional institution or facility for serving a felony sentence or the date on which such individual is released from parole for a felony offense.

''(c) DEFINITIONS.-Any term which is used in this section that is also used in the Civic Participation Act of 2005 shall have the meaning given to such term in that Act. ''(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.-Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after the date of the enactment of the Civic Participation Act of 2005.''.

(h) EFFECTIVE DATE.- (1) IN GENERAL.-This section shall apply to citizens of the United States voting in any election for Federal office after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) AMENDMENTS.-The amendment made by subsection (g) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE VIII-FEDERAL ELECTION DAY ACT

SEC. 801. SHORT TITLE. This title may be cited as the ''Federal Election Day Act of 2005''.

SEC. 802. FEDERAL ELECTION DAY AS A PUBLIC HOLIDAY.

(a) ELECTION DAY AS A FEDERAL HOLIDAY.- Section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the matter relating to Columbus Day, the following undesignated paragraph: ''Federal Election Day, the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in each even numbered year.''.

(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.-Section 241(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15381(b)) is amended by striking paragraph (10) and by redesignating paragraphs (11) through (19) as paragraphs (10) through (18), respectively.

(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 803. STUDY ON ENCOURAGING GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TO SERVE AS POLL WORKERS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Subtitle C of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15381), as added and amended by this Act, is amended by redesignating section 250 as section 250A and by inserting after section 249 the following new section:

''SEC. 250. STUDY ON ENCOURAGING GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TO SERVE AS POLL WORKERS.

''(a) STUDY.-The Commission shall conduct a study on appropriate methods to encourage State and local government employees to serve as poll workers in Federal elections.

''(b) REPORT.-Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, the Commission shall transmit to Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under subsection (a).

''(c) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.- Of the amount authorized to be appropriated under section 210 for fiscal year 2006, $100,000 shall be authorized solely to carry out the purposes of this section.''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE IX-TRANSMISSION OF CERTIFICATE OF ASCERTAINMENT OF ELECTORS

SEC. 901. TRANSMISSION OF CERTIFICATE OF ASCERTAINMENT OF ELECTORS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 6 of title 3, United States Code, is amended- (1) by inserting ''and before the date that is 6 days before the date on which the electors are to meet under section 7,'' after ''under and in pursuance of the laws of such State providing for such ascertainment,''; and (2) by striking ''by registered mail'' and inserting ''by overnight courier''.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

TITLE X-STRENGTHENING THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION

SEC. 1001. STRENGTHENING THE ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION.

(a) RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.-Part 1 of subtitle A of Title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.) is amended by striking section 209.

(b) BUDGET REQUESTS.-Part 1 of subtitle A of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.), as amended by subsection (a), is amended by inserting after section 208 the following new section:

''SEC. 209. SUBMISSION OF BUDGET REQUESTS. ''Whenever the Commission submits any budget estimate or request to the President or the Office of Management and Budget, it shall concurrently transmit a copy of such estimate or request to the Congress and to the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate.''.

(c) EXEMPTION FROM PAPERWORK REDUCTION

ACT.-Paragraph (1) of section 3502 of title 44, United States Code, is amended by redesignating subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) as subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E), respectively, and by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph: ''(B) the Election Assistance Commission;''. (d) NIST AUTHORITY.-Subtitle E of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added and amended by this Act, is amendedby adding at the end the following new section:

''SEC. 299E. TECHNICAL SUPPORT. ''At the request of the Commission, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall provide the Commission with technical support necessary for the Commission to carry out its duties under this title.''.

(e) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.- Section 210 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15330) is amended by striking ''for each of fiscal years 2003 through 2005 such sums as may be necessary (but not to exceed $10,000,000 for each such year)'' and inserting ''$35,000,000 for fiscal year 2006 (of which $4,000,000 are authorized solely to carry out the purposes of section 299E) and such sums as may be necessary for the succeeding fiscal year''.

(f) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 1002. REPEAL OF EXEMPTION OF ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION FROM CERTAIN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 205 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15325) is amended by striking subsection (e).

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to contracts entered into by the Election Assistance Commission on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 1003. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

Subsection (a) of section 257 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15408(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

''(4) For fiscal year 2006, $3,000,000,000.

''(5) For each fiscal year after 2006, such sums as are necessary.''.

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