SECOND REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 1952
95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES COX (Sponsor), FUNDERBURK, JONES (89), SCHAAF, GRISAMORE, BIVINS, SCHAD, RUESTMAN AND GATSCHENBERGER (Co-sponsors).
4721L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapter 115, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to voter registration challenges.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 115, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 115.142, to read as follows:
115.142. 1. Any registered voter may challenge the registration of another voter at a hearing before the local election authority with jurisdiction over the registration of the voter being challenged.
2. A voter desiring to challenge a registration shall file with the local election authority a sworn statement of the grounds for the challenge that:
(1) Identifies the voter whose registration is being challenged; and
(2) States a specific qualification for registration that the challenged voter has not met based on the personal knowledge of the voter desiring to challenge the registration.
3. (1) (a) Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, on the filing of a sworn statement alleging a ground based on residence, the local election authority shall promptly deliver to the voter whose registration is challenged a confirmation notice in accordance with paragraph (b) of this subdivision.
(b) If the local election authority has reason to believe that a voter's current residence is different from that indicated in the voter registration system, the local election authority shall deliver to the voter a written confirmation notice requesting confirmation of the voter's current residence. The local election authority shall include an official confirmation notice response form with each confirmation notice delivered to a voter. The confirmation notice shall be delivered by forwardable mail to the voter's last known address. The local election authority shall maintain a list of the confirmation notices mailed to voters, which for each notice shall include the voter's name and the date the notice is mailed. The local election authority shall maintain and retain the list in accordance with rules prescribed by the secretary of state.
(2) If the voter fails to submit the official confirmation notice response form to the local election authority within thirty days after the confirmation notice is mailed, the local election authority shall enter the voter's name on a suspense list containing the name of each voter who failed to submit a response under this subsection.
(3) The local election authority shall not deliver a confirmation notice resulting from a sworn statement filed after the seventy-fifth day before the date of the general election for state and county elections until after the date of that election. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who submits a registration application after the seventy-fifth day and before the thirtieth day before the general election for state and county elections.
4. (1) On the filing of a sworn statement alleging a ground other than residence, the local election authority shall schedule a hearing on the challenge. The hearing procedure shall not apply to an allegation of a ground based on residence.
(2) The local election authority shall conduct the hearing no later than the twentieth day after the date the statement is filed or on a later date requested by either party and agreed to by both parties.
(3) A party may appear personally at the hearing to offer evidence or argument. A party may offer evidence or argument by affidavit without personally appearing if the party submits the affidavit to the local election authority before the hearing begins.
5. The local election authority shall deliver written notice of the hearing on the challenge to each party to the controversy not later than the fifteenth day before the date of the hearing. The notice shall include the date, hour, and place set for the hearing, and a brief explanation of the right to appeal the local election authority's decision. The notice delivered to the voter whose registration is challenged shall be accompanied by a copy of the sworn statement of the grounds for the challenge.
6. (1) After hearing and considering the evidence or argument, the local election authority shall promptly determine the challenge and issue a decision in writing. If the local election authority determines that the voter's registration should not be canceled, the registration shall continue in effect. If the local election authority determines that the voter's registration should be cancelled, the local election authority shall cancel the registration on the thirty-first day after the date the local election authority's decision is issued.
(2) The local election authority shall retain a copy of the decision on file with the duplicate registration certificate of the voter whose registration was challenged, and shall deliver a copy to each party to the challenge.