H.R. 2168: Helping Heroes Vote Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of May 23, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2168

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 23, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration

A BILL

To amend the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to promote the efficient delivery and receipt of absentee ballots and other voting materials to absent uniformed services voters, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Helping Heroes Vote Act of 2013 .

2.

Provision of information to election officials on deployments of absent uniformed services voters

(a)

Requiring secretary of defense To provide information

Section 101(b) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b) ) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (10);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (11) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(12)

to the greatest extent practicable, notify the appropriate election official of the State in which an absent uniformed services voter is registered to vote of any change in the current mailing address of the voter which results from the voter being deployed on active duty for a period of more than 30 days from the voter’s permanent duty station or redeployed from such a deployment without first returning to the voter’s permanent duty station.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to deployments or redeployments occurring on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

3.

Revisions to 45-day absentee ballot transmission rule

(a)

Repeal of waiver authority

(1)

In general

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1) is amended by striking subsection (g).

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 102(a)(8)(A) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)(8)(A)) is amended by striking except as provided in subsection (g),.

(b)

Requiring use of express delivery in case of failure To meet requirement

Section 102 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1), as amended by subsection (a), is amended by inserting after subsection (f) the following new subsection:

(g)

Requiring use of express delivery in case of failure To transmit ballots within deadlines

(1)

Transmission of ballot by express delivery

If a State fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a)(8)(A) to transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter not later than 45 days before the election (in the case in which the request is received at least 45 days before the election)—

(A)

the State shall transmit the ballot to the voter by express delivery; or

(B)

in the case of a voter who has designated that absentee ballots be transmitted electronically in accordance with subsection (f)(1), the State shall transmit the ballot to the voter electronically.

(2)

Special rule for transmission fewer than 40 days before the election

If, in carrying out paragraph (1), a State transmits an absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter fewer than 40 days before the election, the State shall enable the ballot to be returned by the voter by express delivery, except that in the case of an absentee ballot of an absent uniformed services voter for a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the State may satisfy the requirement of this paragraph by notifying the voter of the procedures for the collection and delivery of such ballots under section 103A.

.

(c)

Clarification of treatment of weekends

Section 102(a)(8)(A) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)(8)(A)) is amended by striking the election; and inserting the following: the election (or, if the 45th day preceding the election is a weekend or legal public holiday, not later than the most recent weekday which precedes such 45th day and which is not a legal public holiday, but only if the request is received by at least such most recent weekday);.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to elections occurring on or after January 1, 2014.

4.

Establishment of alternative procedures to accept and process absentee ballots of military voters and overseas citizens in event of major disasters

(a)

Responsibilities of State election officials

Section 102(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a) ) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (10);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (11) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(12)

establish procedures to ensure the effective and timely acceptance and processing of absentee ballots transmitted by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters in the event of a major disaster (as defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)) in the State.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

5.

Prohibition of refusal to accept voter registration and absentee ballot applications from overseas voters on grounds of early submission

Section 104 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–3) is amended—

(1)

by inserting or overseas voter after absent uniformed services voter; and

(2)

by striking uniformed services. and inserting uniformed services or who do not reside outside the United States..

6.

Additional funding to carry out uocava

(a)

Funding

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Presidential designee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act $25,000,000 to carry out the requirements of such Act.

(b)

Treatment of funds

Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization under subsection (a)

(1)

shall be in addition to any other amounts appropriated to the Presidential designee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act pursuant to any other authorization under law; and

(2)

shall remain available until expended.