5868H.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk



To amend chapter 115, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to electronic signatures.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 115, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 115.960, to read as follows:

            115.960. 1. An election authority is authorized to accept voter registration applications with a signature submitted to the election authority under the provisions of sections 432.200 to 432.295 under the following conditions:

            (1) Sections 432.200 to 432.295 shall apply only to transactions between parties each of which has agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means;

            (2) As used in this subsection and section 432.200, the parties who agree to conduct voter registration transactions by electronic means shall be the local election authority who is required to accept or reject a voter registration application and the prospective voter submitting the application;

            (3) No officer, agency, or organization shall collect or submit a voter registration application with an electronic signature to an election authority without first obtaining approval of the signature format from the local election authority and the approval of the voter to collect and store the signature and data;

            (4) Within thirty days of the effective date of this section, the president of the Missouri association of county clerks and election authorities shall appoint fifteen of its members to serve on a committee to develop uniform standards and a format that shall be used by the secretary of state in any electronic voter registration application system offered by that office or agencies conducting registration under the National Voter Registration Act and accepted by local election authorities. The committee shall have representatives of each classification of counties, a representative from an election board, and at least one member who has experience processing online voter registration transactions.

            2. Nothing in this section shall require the election authority to accept voter registration records or signatures created, generated, sent, communicated, received, stored, or otherwise processed or used by electronic means or in electronic form from any officer, agency, or organization without prior approval from the election authority. No officer, agency, or organization shall give the voter the opportunity to submit a voter registration application with an electronic signature without first obtaining the approval of the local election authority.

            3. This section shall not apply to voter registration and absentee records submitted by voters authorized under federal law to submit electronic records and signatures.

            4. An election authority that agrees to conduct a transaction by electronic means may refuse to conduct other transactions by electronic means.

            5. Any signature required for petition submission under chapter 116 shall be handwritten on a paper document.

            6. High quality copies, including electronic copies, of signatures made on paper documents may be used for petition signature verification purposes and retained as records.