Home > 104th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3058 (ih) To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to extend the period for receipt of absentee ballots, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 3058 (ih) To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to extend the period for receipt of absentee ballots, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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104th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 3058

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

  To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to 
   extend the period for receipt of absentee ballots, and for other 
                               purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
104th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 3058

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
  To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to 
   extend the period for receipt of absentee ballots, and for other 
                               purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act 
of 1996''.

SEC. 2. EXTENSION OF PERIOD FOR RECEIPT OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS.

    Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting 
Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-1) is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``and'' at the end of paragraph (2);
            (2) by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (3) 
        and inserting in lieu thereof ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(4) permit absentee ballots to be received at least until 
        the close of polls on election day.''.

SEC. 3. EXTENSION OF FEDERAL WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT PROVISIONS TO 
              SPECIAL, PRIMARY, AND RUNOFF ELECTIONS.

    (a) In General.--Section 103(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas 
Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2(a)) is amended--
            (1) by inserting after ``general'' the following: ``, 
        special, primary, and runoff''; and
            (2) by striking out ``States,'' and inserting in lieu 
        thereof ``State''.
    (b) Special Rules.--Section 103(c) of the Uniformed and Overseas 
Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2(c)) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting after ``candidate or'' 
        the following: ``, with respect to a general or special 
        election,''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2), by inserting after ``candidate or'' 
        the following: ``with respect to a general election''.
    (c) Use of Approved State Absentee Ballot in Place of Federal 
Write-in Absentee Ballot.--Section 103(e) of the Uniformed and Overseas 
Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2(e)) is amended by 
striking out ``a general'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``an''.
    (d) Certain States Exempted.--Section 103(f) of the Uniformed and 
Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2(f)) is 
amended by striking out ``general'' each place it appears.
    (e) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply with respect to elections taking place after December 31, 1996.

SEC. 4. USE OF ELECTRONIC RETURN OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 104 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens 
Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-3) is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``and'' at the end of paragraph (8);
            (2) by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (9) 
        and inserting in lieu thereof ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(10) in consultation with the Presidential designee, 
        consider means for providing for expeditious methods for the 
        return of absentee ballots, including return by electronic 
        transmittal, with maximum regard for ballot secrecy, audit 
        procedures, and other considerations relating to the integrity 
        of the election process.''.
    (b) Secrecy and Verification of Electronically Transmitted 
Ballots.--Section 104 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee 
Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-3) is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``To afford'' and inserting in lieu 
        thereof ``(a) In General.--To afford''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(b) Secrecy and Verification of Electronically Transmitted 
Ballots.--No electronic transmittal or related procedure under 
subsection (a)(10) that is paid for, in whole or in part, with Federal 
funds may be carried out in any manner that (1) permits any person 
other than the voter to view a completed ballot, or (2) otherwise 
compromises ballot secrecy. At the earliest possible opportunity, the 
original of each completed ballot that is transmitted electronically 
shall be submitted in a secrecy envelope to the applicable location in 
the State involved.''

SEC. 5. ELECTRONIC TRANSMITTAL OF BALLOTING MATERIALS.

    (a) In General.--The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee 
Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
the following new sections:

``SEC. 108. ELECTRONIC TRANSMITTAL OF BALLOTING MATERIALS.

    ``(a) In General.--Each State, in cooperation with the Presidential 
designee, shall establish a system for electronic transmittal of 
balloting materials for overseas voters. The system shall provide for--
            ``(1) electronic transmittal as an alternative method for 
        transmittal of balloting materials to overseas voters;
            ``(2) use of the format of the official post card form 
        prescribed under section 101 (or the format of any other 
        registration form provided for under State law) for purposes of 
        absentee voter registration application and absentee ballot 
        application, with the condition that a State may require 
        receipt of a form with an original signature before the ballot 
        of the voter is counted;
            ``(3) furnishing of absentee ballots by electronic 
        transmittal, from locations within the State, as selected by 
        the chief State election official, to overseas voters who 
        request such transmittal; and
            ``(4) special alternative methods of transmittal of 
        balloting materials for use only when required by an emergency 
        declared by the President or the Congress.
    ``(b) Funding Requirement.--The requirements of subsection (a) 
shall apply to a State with respect to an election--
            ``(1) if there is full payment by the Federal Government of 
        any additional cost incurred by the State after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act for the implementation of such subsection 
        (a), with such costs to be determined by the Presidential 
        designee and the chief State election official, acting jointly; 
        or
            ``(2) in any case of less than full payment, as described 
        in paragraph (1), if the State, in the manner provided for 
        under the law of the State, agrees to the application of such 
        requirements.

``SEC. 109. NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT FOR APPROVAL OF ELECTRONIC 
              TRANSMITTAL METHOD.

    ``The Presidential designee may not approve use of any method of 
electronic transmittal for purposes of this Act, unless, not later than 
90 days before the effective date of the approval, the Presidential 
designee submits to the Congress a detailed report describing the 
method.''.
    (b) Definition Amendment.--Section 107 of the Uniformed and 
Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-6) is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``and'' at the end of paragraph (7);
            (2) by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (8) 
        and inserting in lieu thereof ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(9) the term `electronic transmittal' means, with respect 
        to balloting materials, transmittal by facsimile machine or 
        other electronic method approved by the Presidential 
        designee.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply with respect to elections taking place after December 31, 1996.

SEC. 6. REPORT PROVISION.

    Section 101(b)(6) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee 
Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)(6)) is amended--
            (1) by striking out ``participation and'' and inserting in 
        lieu thereof ``participation,''; and
            (2) by inserting before the period at the end the 
        following: ``, and a separate analysis of electronic 
        transmittal of balloting materials''.

            Passed the House of Representatives May 14, 1996.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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