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H.R. 3300 (115th): Help Our Service Members and Citizens Abroad Vote Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 19, 2017 (Introduced).


I

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3300

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 19, 2017

(for himself and Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania) 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 require States to submit pre-election reports on the extent to which absentee ballots for elections for Federal office are or will be available for transmission to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters by not later than 45 days before the election, to repeal the authority of States to waive the requirement of such Act that States transmit absentee ballots for such elections to such voters by not later than 45 days before the election, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Help Our Service Members and Citizens Abroad Vote Act.

2.

Pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots

Section 102(c) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(c)) is amended to read as follows:

(c)

Reports on Availability, transmission, and receipt of absentee ballots

(1)

Pre-election report on absentee ballot availability

Not later than 55 days before any regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each State shall submit a report to the Attorney General, the Election Assistance Commission (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the Commission), and the Presidential Designee, and make that report publicly available that same day, certifying that absentee ballots for the election are or will be available for transmission to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters by not later than 45 days before the election. The report shall be in a form prescribed jointly by the Attorney General and the Commission and shall require the State to certify specific information about ballot availability from each unit of local government which will administer the election.

(2)

Pre-election report on absentee ballot transmission

Not later than 43 days before any regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each State shall submit a report to the Attorney General, the Commission, and the Presidential Designee, and make that report publicly available that same day, certifying whether all absentee ballots have been transmitted by not later than 45 days before the election to all qualified absent uniformed services and overseas voters whose requests were received at least 45 days before the election. The report shall be in a form prescribed jointly by the Attorney General and the Commission, and shall require the State to certify specific information about ballot transmission, including the total numbers of ballot requests received and ballots transmitted, from each unit of local government which will administer the election.

(3)

Post-election report on number of absentee ballots transmitted and received

Not later than 90 days after the date of each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each State and unit of local government which administered the election shall (through the State, in the case of a unit of local government) submit a report to the Attorney General, the Commission, and the Presidential Designee on the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election and the combined number of such ballots which were returned by such voters and cast in the election, and shall make such report available to the general public that same day.

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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 (52 U.S.C. 20302) is amended by striking subsection (g).

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 102(a)(8)(A) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(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 (52 U.S.C. 20302), 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 (52 U.S.C. 20302(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);.

4.

Effective date

The amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to elections occurring on or after January 1, 2018.