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Legislative Year: 2023 Change

Bill Detail: SB23-276

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Title Modifications To Laws Regarding Elections
Status Governor Signed (06/06/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • Elections & Redistricting
House Sponsors E. Sirota (D)
Senate Sponsors S. Fenberg (D)
House Committee State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 04/11/2023

The bill modifies the Uniform Election Code of 1992 (code), the
law regarding initiatives and referendums, and the Fair Campaign
Practices Act.
Elections generally. The bill allows any form of identification
currently specified in the code to be presented in digital format.
Qualification and registration of electors. The bill repeals the
authorization for a 17 year-old who is preregistered to vote as an 18
year-old in a general election from voting as a 17 year-old in a primary
election or presidential primary election that precedes that general
election; repeals certain criteria for determining residence; and facilitates
voter registration for people who live on Indian reservations.
Political party organization. The bill modifies the meeting dates
on which a judicial district central committee holds its organizational
Access to ballot by candidates. The bill eliminates the option for
all active electors in a county who have not declared an affiliation to
specify a party preference and specifies that all such electors will receive
a mailing that contains the ballots of all of the major political parties;
conforms provisions regarding presidential electors to federal law; makes
the deadlines for a candidate to file a petition in a congressional vacancy
election consistent with other deadlines; clarifies who can challenge a
candidate's eligibility for office; modifies notice requirements for
candidates for designation for nomination by assembly; aligns the minor
political party candidate petition calendar with the major political party
candidate petition calendar; repeals the ability of a preregistrant to sign
a petition to nominate a candidate for a primary election; modifies the
standards for a petition entity to operate in the state and the conditions
under which the secretary of state (secretary) may deny or revoke a
petition entity's license to operate; requires a candidate to submit a paid
circulator report, if applicable, to the secretary; modifies the procedures
for a candidate to cure a nominating petition signature deficiency; and
creates a process for a candidate to protest when the secretary has
determined that a petition is insufficient.
Notice and preparation of elections. The bill requires voter
service and polling centers (VSPC) and drop boxes to be located on
campuses of private institutions of higher education and increases the
number of VSPCs and drop boxes on campuses of private and state
institutions of higher education; clarifies the number of in-person voting
days at a VSPC on an Indian reservation; clarifies that a VSPC may be in
a multi-use building where alcohol is served so long as it is in a separate
part of the building; repeals obsolete language regarding voting
equipment; increases the state's reimbursement to counties for the cost of
conducting elections beginning in July, 2024; clarifies the secretary's
authority to determine conditions of use for voting systems; updates
provisions regarding the use of voting systems to align with current
practice; clarifies that a clerk and recorder or designated election official
(clerk) is required to submit a plan regarding voting to the secretary
before every election; modifies the standards for accessible voting
systems to align with federal standards; and repeals obsolete language
regarding direct recording electronic voting systems.
Election judges. The bill changes the deadline by which the
county chairperson of each major political party in a county is required to
certify to the clerk the names and addresses of registered electors
recommended to serve as election judges in the county and allows
counties with fewer than 15,000 active voters to have 2, rather than 3,
election judges at each VSPC.
Conduct of elections. The bill eliminates references to precincts;
modifies the number of election judges in certain counties; clarifies the
number of watchers allowed in certain locations for primary, general, and
congressional vacancy elections; modifies who may appoint an election
watcher and the circumstances under which a clerk is required to revoke
the certificate of an election watcher; specifies the circumstances under
which a clerk is required to revoke the certificate of a watcher for the use
of a mobile phone in a polling location; specifies that an election watcher
may use a phone to send or receive text messages while watching election
activities so long as the watcher is not in view of personally identifiable
information; specifies the conditions under which an elector may take a
mobile phone into a VSPC; updates provisions regarding voting machines
and the inspection of voting machines by election judges; repeals obsolete
provisions regarding the manner of voting by eligible electors (electors),
write-in ballots, and how voting system software is installed; specifies
that if a ballot is damaged and cannot be counted by electronic
vote-counting equipment, a team of bipartisan election judges is required
to make a duplicate copy of the ballot; specifies the manner in which the
secretary is required to retain election setup records; and clarifies that the
secretary will conduct a random audit of voting devices only if a
risk-limiting audit is not possible after an election.
Mail ballot elections. The bill specifies when a clerk must update
the voter registration system after an elector has cured deficient
identification or a missing or deficient signature; specifies how often a
clerk must collect ballots from each drop box and when a clerk must
begin counting ballots in counties with over 10,000 electors; and in
counties that have issued electronic tablets to confined eligible electors,
directs the clerk and the sheriff to determine and include in the mail ballot
election plan the process by which they will facilitate voter registration,
ballot delivery, and ballot return using electronic tablets issued to
confined eligible electors.
Recounts. The bill modifies deadlines and the process for testing
voting systems in connection with a mandatory recount of votes cast;
repeals obsolete provisions regarding recounts in nonpartisan local
elections; modifies recount timelines and payment requirements; and
clarifies who has standing to request a recount challenge.
Certificates of election and election contests. The bill repeals
obsolete language regarding the election of precinct officers and
duplicative language regarding the resolution of tie votes and updates
requirements regarding lists of presidential electors to conform with
federal law.
Recall elections. The bill clarifies how the date of a recall election
is determined.
Election offenses. The bill repeals obsolete provisions regarding
voting in an incorrect polling location and specifies that it is not
electioneering for a person to incidentally display apparel that supports
political issues on the campus of any institution of higher education,
rather than just a state institution of higher education, where a VSPC is
Initiative and referendum. The bill repeals an obsolete provision
regarding filing a paid circulator report with the secretary; prohibits a
petition entity from circulating ballot petitions if the entity or a principal
of the entity has been convicted of certain crimes; increases penalties for
petition entities that violate state law regarding petition circulation; and
repeals obsolete language regarding the effective date of bills enacted
during the 2020 legislative session.
Fair campaign practices. The bill clarifies the definition of
independent expenditure committee; specifies that a candidate
committee is prohibited from knowingly accepting contributions from
certain entities and making contributions to certain entities; specifies the
time frame for the termination of candidate committee accounts; limits
the amount of unexpended campaign contributions that may be
transferred from one candidate committee to another for a different office
sought by the same candidate; clarifies that an elected official may use
unexpended campaign contributions for child care costs; clarifies when
a referred measure is submitted to the voters by the general assembly;
requires the electronic filing of candidate disclosure statements; states
that a candidate may be disqualified if the secretary of state finds that the
candidate willfully filed a false or incomplete disclosure statement; and
states that any candidate who willfully files a false or incomplete
disclosure statement or other document required by law is guilty of a
Public official disclosure law. The bill specifies that the
information included in the public disclosures filed by certain public
officials must include information for the previous calendar year; and
requires the person making the disclosure to include certain information
about the sources of compensation the person received.
Use of state money. The bill prohibits the department of state
from using an appropriation of state money for marketing or advertising
that features the name, photograph, or likeness of a federal, state, or local
candidate for office.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (09/05/2023) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
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  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
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Votes House and Senate Votes
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