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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2429         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 592

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act requiring photo identification for voting.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

George N. Peterson, Jr.

9th Worcester

Bradford Hill

4th Essex

Elizabeth A. Poirier

14th Bristol

Viriato Manuel deMacedo

1st Plymouth

Donald Humason

 

Paul K. Frost

7th Worcester

Sheila C. Harrington

1st Middlesex

Nicholas A. Boldyga

3rd Hampden

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

Steven S. Howitt

4th Bristol

Keiko M. Orrall

12th Bristol

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Kevin J. Kuros

8th Worcester

Matthew A. Beaton

11th Worcester

Ryan C. Fattman

18th Worcester


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2429        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 592

By Mr. Jones of North Reading, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 592) of Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and others for legislation to require photo-identification for persons voting in elections.  Election Laws. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 2731 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act requiring photo identification for voting.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 76 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended, by striking out, in line 2, the words "and, if requested" and inserting in place thereof the following:-

              valid photo identification issued by the commonwealth of Massachusetts or the government of the United States, as defined in section 76B, and

              SECTION 2. Chapter 54 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended, by striking out section 76B in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

              Section 76B. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, "valid photo identification" shall mean a document that: (1) shows the name of the individual to whom the document was issued, and the name conforms to the name of the individual’s voter registration record; (2) shows a photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued; (3) includes an expiration date, and the document is not expired or expired after the date of the most recent general election; and (4) was issued by the commonwealth of Massachusetts or the government of the United States.

              (b) (1) A person seeking to vote that does not provide sufficient valid photo identification, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, may be challenged under section 85 of this chapter.

              (2) A person seeking to vote that does not provide valid photo identification, as defined under subsection (a) of this section, may cast a provisional ballot under section 76C.

              (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny the rights of any individual who:

              (1) is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 1973ff-1 et seq.;

              (2) is provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section 3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1973ee-1(b)(2); or

              (3) is otherwise entitled by federal law to vote otherwise than in person.

              SECTION 3. Section 76C of Chapter 54 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding, after subsection (k), the following new subsection:-

              (l) A voter who fails to provide valid photo identification as defined under section 76B and casts a provisional ballot shall be required to provide such identification in person to the city or town clerk, or elections board or commission, of the municipality in which they reside, within 8 business days from the date of the election in which the provisional ballot was cast. A voter who fails to provide such identification in the time specified shall forfeit that vote, and that provisional ballot shall be discarded.

              SECTION 4: Section 92 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding, in line 5, after the words "eighty-seven," the following clause:--

              as well as enclosing in the same envelope a copy of a valid photo identification, as defined in section 76B of this chapter,

              SECTION 5.  Section 8E of Chapter 90 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by chapter 170 of the acts of 2012, is hereby further amended by inserting, at the end of the first paragraph, the following sentence:-

              The registry shall establish a waiver for indigent persons to obtain an identification card at no cost.

              SECTION 6.  Chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting, after section 61, the following new language:-

              Section 62.  (a) The registry of motor vehicles shall establish a definition of "indigency" for the purposes of this chapter and uniform standards and procedures for the determination that: (1) a person is indigent and is unable to afford an identification card; or (2) a person is indigent, but has the ability to pay a reduced fee for an identification card. The definition and standards, and any amendments thereto, shall be used by the registry in determining eligibility for a free identification card. In the formulation of the definition, standards and procedures, the registry shall utilize: (1) the reporting system operated by the commissioner of transitional assistance for the purpose of verifying financial eligibility of participants in state or federally funded programs; (2) the accessibility of income data available from the department of revenue; and (3) verifying material assets through the registry of motor vehicles.

              (b) A person claiming indigency under subsection (a) shall execute a waiver authorizing the registrar, or the registrar’s designee, to obtain the person’s wage, tax and asset information from the department of revenue, department of transitional assistance and within the registry of motor vehicles that the registry may find useful in verifying the person’s claim of indigency. The waiver shall authorize the registrar, or the registrar’s designee, to conduct any further reassessment required by this section.

              (c) It shall be the responsibility of the registrar to ensure that a person claiming to be indigent meets the definition of indigency under subsection (a). A person seeking an indigency waiver shall be interviewed by the registrar or the registrar’s designee prior to the granting of a waiver. The person conducting the interview shall explain to the person seeking the waiver: (1) the definition of indigency; (2) the process used to verify the person’s information with other state agencies; and (3) the penalties for misrepresenting financial information in applying for an indigency waiver. The registrar or the registrar’s designee conducting the interview shall prepare a written indigency intake report that shall record the results of the interview and state a recommendation on whether or not the person seeking the waiver is indigent. The person seeking the waiver and the registrar or the registrar’s designee conducting the interview shall sign the indigency intake report. In signing the report, the person seeking the waiver shall certify under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information contained therein is true and that the person has not concealed any information relevant to the person’s financial status. All statements contained in the report shall be deemed material statements. The completed report shall be presented to the registrar who may adopt or reject the recommendations in the report, either in whole or in part.

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