SECOND REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE BILL NO. 1739
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
5868H.05P 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 as provided in this section:
(1) Sections 432.200 to 432.295 shall only apply to transactions between parties that have agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means;
(2) Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, as used in this section 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) A local election authority is authorized to develop, maintain, and approve systems that transmit voter registration applications electronically under section 432.200 to 432.295;
(4) Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, 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 data and signature format from the local election authority and the approval of the voter to collect and store the signature and data; and
(5) Local election authorities who maintain a voter registration application system shall direct voter registration applicants from other jurisdictions to the system used by the local election authority for that jurisdiction to accept voter registration applications electronically.
2. A system maintained by the secretary of state’s office shall be used to accept voter registration applications electronically subsequent to approval from the committee formed as set forth in this subsection.
(1) Within thirty days of the effective date of this section, the president of the Missouri association of county clerks and election authorities shall appoint fourteen of its members to serve on a committee to approve and develop uniform standards, systems, and modifications that shall be used by the secretary of state in any electronic voter registration application system offered by that office. The committee shall have fourteen local election authorities, including 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. In addition, one representative appointed by the secretary of state’s office shall serve on the committee.
(2) The committee shall immediately meet to approve electronic signature formats and a minimum set of data collection standards for use in a voter registration application system maintained by the secretary of state;
(3) Once the format and data collection standards are approved by the committee and implemented for the system maintained by the secretary of state, local election authorities shall accept the transmission of voter registration applications submitted to the approved system under the provisions of section 432.200;
(4) The secretary of state’s office shall direct eligible voters to a local election authority’s system to accept voter registration applications electronically if the local election authority has a system in place as of the effective date of this section or implements a system that meets the same standards and format that has been approved by the committee for the secretary of state’s system;
(5) The committee shall meet not less than semi-annually through June 30, 2017, to recommend and approve changes and enhancements proposed by the secretary of state or election authorities to the electronic voter registration application system. Vacancies that occur on the committee shall be filled by the president of the Missouri association of county clerks and election authorities at the time of the vacancy;
(6) To improve the accuracy of voter registration application data and reduce costs for local election authorities, the system maintained by the secretary of state shall, as soon as is practical, provide a method where the data entered by the voter registration applicant does not have to be re-entered by the election authority to the state voter registration database.
3. Each applicant who registers using an approved electronic voter registration application system shall be deemed to be registered as of the date the signed application is submitted to the system, if such application is accepted and not rejected by the election authority and the verification notice required under section 115.155 is not returned as undeliverable by the postal service.
4. This section shall not apply to voter registration and absentee records submitted by voters authorized under federal law, section 115.291, or sections 115.900 to 115.940 to submit electronic records and signatures.
5. High quality copies, including electronic copies, of signatures made on paper documents may be used for petition signature verification purposes and retained as records.
6. Any signature required for petition submission under chapter 116 shall be handwritten on a paper document.
7. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 432.230, 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 not authorized under subsection 2 of this section without prior approval from the election authority. Except as provided in subsection 2 of this section, 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.
8. An election authority that agrees to conduct a transaction by electronic means may refuse to conduct other transactions by electronic means.
9. No election authority or the secretary of state shall furnish to any member of the public any data collected under a voter registration application system except as authorized in subsection 1 of section 115.157.
10. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the secretary of state to cease operating a voter registration application in place as of the effective date of this act.