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H.R. 4250 (pcs) To provide new patient protections under group health plans. ...

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  2d Session
                                H. R. 4250

To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require States 
 to provide notice and an opportunity for review prior to removing any 
   individual from the official list of eligible voters by reason of 
               criminal conviction or mental incapacity.



                             April 29, 2004

Mr. Price of North Carolina (for himself, Ms. Corrine Brown of Florida, 
   Mr. Davis of Florida, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Ms. Jackson-Lee of 
  Texas, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Ms. Lee, Mr. Ballance, Mr. Clay, Mr. 
Ford, Mr. Owens, Mr. Payne, Mr. Towns, Mr. Watt, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Berman, 
  Mr. Dingell, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Case, Mr. 
   Grijalva, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Sherman, and Mr. Holt) introduced the 
     following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House 


                                 A BILL

To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require States 
 to provide notice and an opportunity for review prior to removing any 
   individual from the official list of eligible voters by reason of 
               criminal conviction or mental incapacity.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Protect American Voters Act of 


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Prior to the 2000 Presidential election, which was 
        decided by only 547 votes in Florida, several Florida counties 
        purged their voting rolls of just under 58,000 people who 
        supposedly had committed felonies and were therefore forbidden 
        to vote by Florida law. Those removed from the voting rolls 
        received no notification and were given no chance to appeal the 
            (2) After the election, it was learned that thousands of 
        Floridians had been mistakenly included on the list of 
        convicted felons used to purge the voter rolls and were 
        incorrectly denied their right to vote.
            (3) Purging voting rolls of felons can be a difficult and 
        confusing process for State election officials. Many States do 
        not keep comprehensive data sets of convicted felons. 
        Furthermore, there have been numerous documented instances in 
        which States have incorrectly purged voters because their names 
        were similar to convicted felons, because State records did not 
        distinguish between arrests and convictions, or due to simple 
        clerical errors.
            (4) The risk that innocent Americans may be mistakenly 
        denied their Constitutional right to vote is still very real 
        and places the legitimacy of future elections at risk.


    (a) In General.--Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act 
of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-6) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (j) as subsection (k); and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (i) the following new 
    ``(j) Notice and Review Requirements for Removal of Individuals 
From List of Eligible Voters by Reason of Criminal Conviction or Mental 
            ``(1) Minimum notice prior to removal.--
                    ``(A) In general.--In addition to any other 
                requirements applicable under this section, a State may 
                not remove a registrant from the official list of 
                eligible voters for an election for Federal office by 
                reason of criminal conviction or mental incapacity 
                unless the State provides the registrant with a notice 
                of removal meeting the requirements of subparagraph (B) 
                not later than 30 days before the date of the election.
                    ``(B) Requirements for notice.--The notice required 
                under this subparagraph shall be sent by forwardable 
                mail, and shall include the following:
                            ``(i) A statement that the State intends to 
                        remove the registrant from the official list of 
                        eligible voters for elections for Federal 
                            ``(ii) A description of the reasons for 
                        removal, including (in the case of an 
                        individual proposed to be removed by reason of 
                        criminal conviction) sufficient identifying 
                        information on the criminal conviction alleged 
                        to be the basis for removal to enable the 
                        registrant to determine whether the registrant 
                        was convicted of the offense cited in the 
                            ``(iii) A statement that the registrant may 
                        obtain a review of the removal from an 
                        appropriate State election official in 
                        accordance with paragraph (2).
                            ``(iv) A postage pre-paid and pre-addressed 
                        envelope and a clear list of contact 
                        information for the appropriate state election 
                        official that includes a mailing address, 
                        telephone number, and fax number.
            ``(2) Review of decision to remove.--
                    ``(A) In general.--A registrant who receives a 
                notice of removal under paragraph (1) may submit a 
                written request to an appropriate State election 
                official to withdraw the notice and retain the 
                registrant on the official list of eligible voters, and 
                may include in the request such information and 
                evidence as the registrant considers appropriate to 
                show that the registrant is not subject to removal from 
                the list under State law, including information and 
                evidence showing that the registrant was not convicted 
                of the criminal offense cited in the notice (in the 
                case of an individual proposed to be removed by reason 
                of criminal conviction).
                    ``(B) Response by state.--Not later than 10 days 
                after receiving a request from a registrant under 
                subparagraph (A), the State shall review the 
                information and evidence included and accept or reject 
                the request, and shall notify the registrant in writing 
                of its decision.
            ``(3) Opportunity to cast provisional ballot.--Any 
        registrant who receives a notice of removal under paragraph (1) 
        and believes that the removal decision was made in error shall 
        be permitted to cast a provisional ballot in an election for 
        Federal office in accordance with section 302(a) of the Help 
        America Vote Act of 2002.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 8(a)(3)(B) of such Act (42 
U.S.C. 1973gg-6(a)(3)(B)) is amended by striking ``State law,'' and 
inserting ``State law and consistent with the requirements of 
subsection (j),''.
    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this Act shall apply 
with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal 
office in November 2004 and each succeeding election for Federal 


    Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act may be 
            (1) to affect the right of any individual to cast a 
        provisional ballot under section 302(a) of the Help America 
        Vote Act of 2002; or
            (2) to prohibit any State from providing individuals 
        threatened with removal from the official list of eligible 
        voters in the State with greater protections than those 
        required under section 8(j) of the National Voter Registration 
        Act of 1993 (as added by section 2(a)).

Pages: 1

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