Text: S.2106 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (11/08/2017)


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 2106


To require States to automatically register eligible voters at the time they turn 18 to vote in Federal elections, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 8, 2017

Ms. Klobuchar (for herself, Mrs. Feinstein, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Markey, and Ms. Hassan) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration


A BILL

To require States to automatically register eligible voters at the time they turn 18 to vote in Federal elections, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Register America to Vote Act”.

SEC. 2. Purpose.

The purposes of this Act are—

(1) to require every State to develop and implement a system to ensure that every eligible person is automatically registered to vote when they turn 18 years old; and

(2) to protect the right to vote by allowing voters who are automatically registered or had previously registered in a State to update their address through the day of the election.

SEC. 3. Automatic voter registration.

(a) Requirement.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than November 6, 2018, the chief State election official of each State shall establish and operate a system of automatic registration for the registration of any eligible individual at the time the individual turns 18 to vote for elections for Federal office in the State.

(2) EXCEPTION.—The requirements under paragraph (1) shall not apply to a State in which, under a State law in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this section, there is no voter registration requirement for individuals in the State with respect to elections for Federal office.

(3) LIMITS ON USE OF AUTOMATIC REGISTRATION.—The registration of any individual under this subsection, and any action by an individual to opt-out of such automatic registration, may not be used as evidence against that individual in any State or Federal law enforcement proceeding.

(b) Same day registration.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 8(a)(1)(D) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg–6), each noncomplying State shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election—

(A) to register to vote in such election at the polling place using a form that meets the requirements under section 9(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20509(b)); and

(B) to cast a vote in such election.

(2) NONCOMPLYING STATE.—For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “noncomplying State” means, with respect to any Federal election occurring on or after November 6, 2018, any State which is required to meet the requirements of subsection (a) and which does not have a system described in subsection (a) established and operated before the date of such Federal election.

(c) Automatic voter registration grants.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall make a payment in an amount determined under paragraph (3) to each State.

(2) USE OF FUNDS.—A State receiving a payment under this subsection shall use the payment—

(A) to implement automatic voter registration in accordance with subsection (a); and

(B) to improve election security systems related to voter registration.

(3) ALLOCATION OF FUNDS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph (C), the amount of a payment made to a State under this subsection shall be equal to the product of—

(i) the total amount appropriated for payments pursuant to the authorization under paragraph (4); and

(ii) the State allocation percentage for the State (as determined under subparagraph (B)).

(B) STATE ALLOCATION PERCENTAGE DEFINED.—The “State allocation percentage” for a State is the amount (expressed as a percentage) equal to the quotient of—

(i) the voting age population of the State (as reported in the most recent decennial census); and

(ii) the total voting age population of all States (as reported in the most recent decennial census).

(C) MINIMUM AMOUNT OF PAYMENT.—The amount of a payment made to a State under this subsection may not be less than one-half of 1 percent of the total amount appropriated for payments under this subsection under paragraph (4).

(D) PRO RATA REDUCTIONS.—The Commission shall make such pro rata reductions to the allocations determined under subparagraph (A) as are necessary to comply with the requirements of subparagraph (C).

(E) CONTINUING AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS AFTER APPROPRIATION.—A payment to a State under this subsection shall be available to the State without fiscal year limitation.

(4) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—There are authorized to be appropriated $325,000,000 for payments under this subsection.

(B) AVAILABILITY.—Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authority of subparagraph (A) shall remain available without fiscal year limitation until expended.

(d) Enforcement.—Section 11 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20510), relating to civil enforcement and the availability of private rights of action, shall apply with respect to subsections (a) and (b) in the same manner as such section applies to such Act.

(e) Relation to other laws.—Except as provided, nothing in this Act may be construed to authorize or require conduct prohibited under, or to supersede, restrict, or limit the application of any of the following:

(1) The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.).

(2) The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301 et seq.).

(3) The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.).

(4) The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20901 et seq.).

(f) Definitions.—In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) CHIEF STATE ELECTION OFFICIAL.—The term “chief State election official” means, with respect to a State, the individual designated by the State under section 10 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20509) to be responsible for coordination of the State’s responsibilities under such Act.

(2) COMMISSION.—The term “Commission” means the Election Assistance Commission.

(3) ELECTION.—The term “election” has the meaning given such term under section 301(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

(4) FEDERAL OFFICE.—The term “Federal office” has the meaning given such term under section 301(3) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

(5) STATE.—The term “State” means each of the several States and the District of Columbia.

SEC. 4. State registration portability.

(a) In general.—Section 8(e) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(e)) is amended to read as follows:

“(e) Procedure for voting following failure To return card.—Notwithstanding failure to notify the registrar of the change of address prior to the date of an election, a registrant who has moved from an address in the State to an address in the same State shall, upon oral or written affirmation by the registrant of the change of address before an election official, be permitted to vote (at the option of the voter)—

“(1) at the polling place of the registrant's current address; or

“(2) at a central location within the same registrar's jurisdiction.”.

(b) Effective date.—The amendment made by this section shall take effect on January 1, 2019.


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