Election Laws


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Section 31-13-28

Voter registration eligibility and requirements.

(a) Applications for voter registration shall contain voter eligibility requirements and such information as is necessary to prevent duplicative voter registrations and enable the county board of registrars to assess the eligibility of the applicant and to administer voter registration, identify the applicant and to determine the qualifications of the applicant as an elector and the facts authorizing such person to be registered. Applications shall contain a statement that the applicant shall be required to provide qualifying identification when voting.

(b) The Secretary of State shall create a process for the county board of registrars to check to indicate whether an applicant has provided with the application the information necessary to assess the eligibility of the applicant, including the applicant's United States citizenship. This section shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with federal law. No eligible applicant whose qualifications have been assessed shall be denied registration.

(c) The county board of registrars shall accept any completed application for registration, but an applicant shall not be registered until the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship. Satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship shall be provided in person at the time of filing the application for registration or by including, with a mailed registration application, a photocopy of one of the documents listed as evidence of United States citizenship in subsection (k). After a person has submitted satisfactory evidence of citizenship, the county board of registrars shall indicate this information in the person's permanent voter file.

(d) Any person who is registered in this state on September 1, 2011, is deemed to have provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship and shall not be required to submit evidence of citizenship.

(e) For purposes of this section, proof of voter registration from another state is not satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship.

(f) A registered voter who moves from one residence to another within the state or who modifies his or her voter registration records for any other reason shall not be required to submit evidence of United States citizenship.

(g) If evidence of United States citizenship is deemed to be unsatisfactory due to an inconsistency between the document submitted as evidence and the name or sex provided on the application for registration, such applicant may sign an affidavit containing both of the following:

(1) Stating the inconsistency or inconsistencies related to the name or sex, and the reason therefor.

(2) Swearing under oath that, despite the inconsistency, the applicant is the individual reflected in the document provided as evidence of citizenship.

(h) There shall be no inconsistency between the date of birth on the document provided as evidence of citizenship and the date of birth provided on the application for registration. If such an affidavit is submitted by the applicant, the county board of registrars shall assess the eligibility of the applicant without regard to any inconsistency stated in the affidavit.

(i) All documents submitted as evidence of United States citizenship shall be kept confidential by the county board of registrars and maintained as provided by record retention laws.

(j) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an applicant from providing, or the county board of registrars from obtaining, satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship, as described in this section, at a different time or in a different manner than an application for registration is provided, as long as the applicant's eligibility can be adequately assessed by the county board of registrars as required by this section.

(k) Evidence of United States citizenship shall be demonstrated by one of the following documents, or a legible photocopy or a copy in a digital or other electronic format of one of the following documents:

(1) The applicant's driver's license or nondriver's identification card issued by the division of motor vehicles or the equivalent governmental agency of another state within the United States provided that the governmental agency of another state within the United States requires proof of lawful presence in the United States as a condition of issuance of the driver's license or nondriver's identification card.

(2) The applicant's birth certificate indicating birth in the United States or one of its territories

(3) Pertinent pages of the applicant's United States valid or expired passport identifying the applicant and the applicant's passport number, or presentation to the county board of registrars of the applicant's United States passport.

(4) The applicant's United States naturalization documents or the number of the certificate of naturalization. If only the number of the certificate of naturalization is provided, the applicant shall not be included in the registration rolls until the number of the certificate of naturalization is verified with the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services by the county election officer or the Secretary of State, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c).

(5) Other documents or methods of proof of United States citizenship issued by the federal government pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, and amendments thereto.

(6) The applicant's Bureau of Indian Affairs card number, tribal treaty card number, or tribal enrollment number.

(7) The applicant's consular report of birth abroad of a citizen of the United States of America.

(8) The applicant's certificate of citizenship issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

(9) The applicant's certification of report of birth issued by the United States Department of State.

(10) The applicant's American Indian card, with KIC classification, issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

(11) The applicant's final adoption decree showing the applicant's name and United States birthplace.

(12) The applicant's official United States military record of service showing the applicant's place of birth in the United States.

(13) An extract from a United States hospital record of birth created at the time of the applicant's birth indicating the applicant's place of birth in the United States.

(l) If an applicant is a United States citizen but does not have any of the documentation listed in this section as satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship, the applicant may submit any evidence that the applicant believes demonstrates the applicant's United States citizenship. Any applicant seeking an assessment of evidence under this section may directly contact the county board of registrars by submitting a voter registration application or the national voter registration form and any supporting evidence of United States citizenship. The county board of registrars shall give the applicant an opportunity for a hearing, upon the applicant's request in writing, and an opportunity to present any additional evidence to the county board of registrars. Notice of such hearing shall be given to the applicant at least five days prior to the hearing date. An applicant shall have the opportunity to be represented by counsel at such hearing. The county board of registrars shall assess the evidence provided by the applicant to determine whether the applicant has provided satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship. If the county board of registrars finds that the evidence presented by an applicant does not constitute satisfactory evidence of United States citizenship, the applicant shall have the right to appeal such determination by a county board of registrars by instituting an action under 8 U.S.C. § 1503. Any negative assessment of an applicant's eligibility by a county board of registrars shall be reversed if the applicant obtains a declaratory judgment pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1503, demonstrating that the applicant is a national of the United States.

(m)(1) The Department of Public Health shall not charge or accept any fee for a certified copy of a birth certificate if the certificate is requested by any person who is 17 years of age or older for purposes of meeting the voter registration requirements of this chapter. The person requesting a certified copy of a birth certificate shall swear under oath to both of the following:

a. That the person plans to register to vote in this state.

b. That the person does not possess any of the documents that constitute evidence of United States citizenship as defined in this chapter.

(2) The affidavit shall specifically list the documents that constitute evidence of United States citizenship as defined in this chapter.

(Act 2011-535, p. 888, §29; Act 2012-491, p. 1410, §1.)
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