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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3452         FILED ON: 1/18/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 585

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Sean Garballey and Diana DiZoglio

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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 establishing on-campus election law reforms.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Diana DiZoglio

14th Essex

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

Katherine M. Clark

Fifth Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3452        FILED ON: 1/18/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 585

By Representatives Garballey of Arlington and DiZoglio of Methuen, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 585) of Sean Garballey and others for legislation to establish a comprehensive on-campus student voter registration civic education system .  Election Laws. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act establishing on-campus election law reforms.
 

              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.  The first sentence of 42 E of the General Laws as appearing in chapter 51 is hereby amended by striking out, “at all locations where student may register for classes” and inserting in its place the words: - once within the first three weeks of each student’s entry to school during fall semester or arrival on campus and before graduation in the spring.  The sentence: - at least one convenient location where students may receive voter registration services including: affidavits of voter registration forms, personal assistance in completing affidavits of voter registration, and collection and transmission of the affidavits to the appropriate city or town clerk’s office shall be designated according to campus culture and logistics, is inserted before “Such locations shall be published along with annual course listings for students or in some other school wide publication.” The phrase : - and a prominent link to the appropriate page of  Office of Secretary of  State’s  website for  individuals to learn more about voter qualifications and download a voter registration affidavit will be placed  on the  school’s  webpage  is added to the end of the section.
SECTION 2. Section 42 C of the General Laws as appearing in chapter 51 is hereby amended by striking out, “in any city or town which accepts the provisions of this section” from the beginning and end of the section. The first paragraph shall be amended by striking out, “voter education and voluntary registration sessions shall be held by registers, assistant registrars, or election commissioners and inserting in its place the words: - A permanent on–campus volunteer based voter registration and civic education system shall be established according to campus culture and logistics. The phrase: - twice per school year during the scheduled fall and spring semester’s on-campus voter registration sessions, a non-partisan voter education program and non-partisan civic engagement exercise shall be conducted according to campus culture and logistics, will be inserted striking out, “one day each year between the first day in April and the fifteenth day of May.” The sentence: - Non-partisan civic education forums according to campus culture and logistics shall take place for all students who are eligible to vote or are qualified to pre –registrar. is inserted as the last sentence of the paragraph striking out “Said sessions shall take place as part of an educational assembly for all seniors.”
The paragraph: - Voter education shall include: how to register to vote, the proper operation of voting machines, the process of voting including Help America Vote Act (HAVA) voter identification requirements, the use of absentee ballots if applicable, the importance of voting and media literacy, Integration of a nonpartisan civic curriculum into course work-scheduling available time in lesson plans, syllabi or both that will address nonpartisan contemporary civic and voting issues as they arise during the fall and spring semesters, provide the opportunity for eligible students to complete and hand in either to appropriate school officials or selected  nonprofit  voter registration  agency, completed applications for voter registration, is added     
The first sentence of the second paragraph of section 42 E of the General Laws appearing in chapter 51 is amended by striking out “or” between “registrars and assistant registrars and inserting: - volunteer behind “assistant registrars” The word: - volunteer is also inserted behind registrars in the sentence reading “The registrars shall forthwith transmit any such completed affidavits of registration of the city or town where the registrant claims to reside.”
SECTION 3. Public high schools and public colleges within the first week of the fall academic term and within the first three weeks of the spring terms shall determine the number of public high schools or public college students who are sixteen or will reach the age of sixteen during the academic year and obtain sufficient Voter Registration Forms as required by the Office of the Secretary of State. 
All public high schools and public colleges offering voter registration services shall inform students of their right to complete a Voter Registration Form, inform students that their decision to register to vote shall have no bearing on their high school or college record and shall not inquire about or keep records pertaining to any student’s eligibility to vote.
SECTION 4. The Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State shall offer public high schools, public colleges, and school districts the opportunity to use coded Voter Registration Forms that identify each application as originating from a public high school or public college.
If a public high school, public college, or school district elects to uses coded Voter Registration Form, it shall be exempt from all reporting requirements.
The Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of State shall make available and provide for delivery of such coded applications to any public high school, public colleges, or school district within the state that submits a request.
The appropriate City or Town Clerk’s Office scanning Voter Registration Forms shall capture any designated agency codes thereon and report them to the Election Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.
SECTION 5. The voter registration applicant must be a citizen of the United States is or will be at least sixteen years old when he or she submits an application to pre-registrar to vote and is a resident of the country or city to which application is made.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect on September first two thousand and fourteen provided that the provisions of this act shall only apply to public school and public college districts on and after September first two thousand and fourteen.  In two thousand and fifteen the act shall apply to all educational institutions.



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