Chapter 146-election Administration Improvement

42 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2009 Edition
Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 146 - ELECTION ADMINISTRATION IMPROVEMENT

SUBCHAPTER I-PAYMENTS TO STATES FOR ELECTION ADMINISTRATION IMPROVEMENTS AND REPLACEMENT OF PUNCH CARD AND LEVER VOTING MACHINES

Sec.
15301.      Payments to States for activities to improve administration of elections.
15302.      Replacement of punch card or lever voting machines.
15303.      Guaranteed minimum payment amount.
15304.      Authorization of appropriations.
15305.      Administration of programs.
15306.      Effective date.

SUBCHAPTER II-COMMISSION

Part A-Establishment and General Organization

I74subpart 1-election assistance commission
15321.      Establishment.
15322.      Duties.
15323.      Membership and appointment.
15324.      Staff.
15325.      Powers.
15326.      Dissemination of information.
15327.      Annual report.
15328.      Requiring majority approval for actions.
15329.      Limitation on rulemaking authority.
15330.      Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart 2-election assistance commission standards board and board of advisors

15341.      Establishment.
15342.      Duties.
15343.      Membership of Standards Board.
15344.      Membership of Board of Advisors.
15345.      Powers of Boards; no compensation for service.
15346.      Status of Boards and members for purposes of claims against Board.

Subpart 3-technical guidelines development committee

15361.      Technical Guidelines Development Committee.
15362.      Process for adoption.

Part B-Testing, Certification, Decertification, and Recertification of Voting System Hardware and Software

15371.      Certification and testing of voting systems.

Part C-Studies and Other Activities To Promote Effective Administration of Federal Elections

15381.      Periodic studies of election administration issues.
15382.      Study, report, and recommendations on best practices for facilitating military and overseas voting.
15383.      Report on human factor research.
15384.      Study and report on voters who register by mail and use of Social Security information.
15385.      Study and report on electronic voting and the electoral process.
15386.      Study and report on free absentee ballot postage.
15387.      Consultation with Standards Board and Board of Advisors.

Part D-Election Assistance

I74subpart 1-requirements payments
15401.      Requirements payments.
15402.      Allocation of funds.
15403.      Condition for receipt of funds.
15404.      State plan.
15405.      Process for development and filing of plan; publication by Commission.
15406.      Requirement for public notice and comment.
15407.      Authorization of appropriations.
15408.      Reports.

Subpart 2-payments to states and units of local government to assure access for individuals with disabilities

15421.      Payments to States and units of local government to assure access for individuals with disabilities.
15422.      Amount of payment.
15423.      Requirements for eligibility.
15424.      Authorization of appropriations.
15425.      Reports.

Subpart 3-grants for research on voting technology improvements

15441.      Grants for research on voting technology improvements.
15442.      Report.
15443.      Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart 4-pilot program for testing of equipment and technology

15451.      Pilot program.
15452.      Report.
15453.      Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart 5-protection and advocacy systems

15461.      Payments for protection and advocacy systems.
15462.      Authorization of appropriations.

Subpart 6-national student and parent mock election

15471.      National Student and Parent Mock Election.
15472.      Authorization of appropriations.

SUBCHAPTER III-UNIFORM AND NONDISCRIMINATORY ELECTION TECHNOLOGY AND ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Part A-Requirements

15481.      Voting systems standards.
15482.      Provisional voting and voting information requirements.
15483.      Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements and requirements for voters who register by mail.
15484.      Minimum requirements.
15485.      Methods of implementation left to discretion of State.

Part B-Voluntary Guidance

15501.      Adoption of voluntary guidance by Commission.
15502.      Process for adoption.

SUBCHAPTER IV-ENFORCEMENT

15511.      Actions by the Attorney General for declaratory and injunctive relief.
15512.      Establishment of State-based administrative complaint procedures to remedy grievances.

SUBCHAPTER V-HELP AMERICA VOTE COLLEGE PROGRAM

15521.      Establishment of program.
15522.      Activities under Program.
15523.      Authorization of appropriations.

SUBCHAPTER VI-TRANSFER TO COMMISSION OF FUNCTIONS UNDER CERTAIN LAWS

15531.      Transfer of functions of Office of Election Administration of Federal Election Commission.
15532.      Transfer of functions.
15533.      Transfer of property, records, and personnel.
15534.      Effective date; transition.

SUBCHAPTER VII-MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

15541.      State defined.
15542.      Audits and repayment of funds.
15543.      Review and report on adequacy of existing electoral fraud statutes and penalties.
15544.      Other criminal penalties.
15545.      No effect on other laws.

SUBCHAPTER I-PAYMENTS TO STATES FOR ELECTION ADMINISTRATION IMPROVEMENTS AND REPLACEMENT OF PUNCH CARD AND LEVER VOTING MACHINES

§15301. Payments to States for activities to improve administration of elections

(a) In general

  Not later than 45 days after October 29, 2002, the Administrator of General Services (in this subchapter referred to as the “Administrator”) shall establish a program under which the Administrator shall make a payment to each State in which the chief executive officer of the State, or designee, in consultation and coordination with the chief State election official, notifies the Administrator not later than 6 months after October 29, 2002, that the State intends to use the payment in accordance with this section.

(b) Use of payment

  (1) In general

    A State shall use the funds provided under a payment made under this section to carry out one or more of the following activities:
      (A) Complying with the requirements under subchapter III of this chapter.
      (B) Improving the administration of elections for Federal office.
      (C) Educating voters concerning voting procedures, voting rights, and voting technology.
      (D) Training election officials, poll workers, and election volunteers.
      (E) Developing the State plan for requirements payments to be submitted under subpart 1 of part D of subchapter II of this chapter.
      (F) Improving, acquiring, leasing, modifying, or replacing voting systems and technology and methods for casting and counting votes.
      (G) Improving the accessibility and quantity of polling places, including providing physical access for individuals with disabilities, providing nonvisual access for individuals with visual impairments, and providing assistance to Native Americans, Alaska Native citizens, and to individuals with limited proficiency in the English language.
      (H) Establishing toll-free telephone hotlines that voters may use to report possible voting fraud and voting rights violations, to obtain general election information, and to access detailed automated information on their own voter registration status, specific polling place locations, and other relevant information.

  (2) Limitation

    A State may not use the funds provided under a payment made under this section-
      (A) to pay costs associated with any litigation, except to the extent that such costs otherwise constitute permitted uses of a payment under this section; or
      (B) for the payment of any judgment.

(c) Use of funds to be consistent with other laws and requirements

  In order to receive a payment under the program under this section, the State shall provide the Administrator with certifications that-
    (1) the State will use the funds provided under the payment in a manner that is consistent with each of the laws described in section 15545 of this title, as such laws relate to the provisions of this chapter; and
    (2) the proposed uses of the funds are not inconsistent with the requirements of subchapter III of this chapter.

(d) Amount of payment

  (1) In general

    Subject to section 15303(b) of this title, the amount of payment made to a State under this section shall be the minimum payment amount described in paragraph (2) plus the voting age population proportion amount described in paragraph (3).

(2) Minimum payment amount

  The minimum payment amount described in this paragraph is-
    (A) in the case of any of the several States or the District of Columbia, one-half of 1 percent of the aggregate amount made available for payments under this section; and
    (B) in the case of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, or the United States Virgin Islands, one-tenth of 1 percent of such aggregate amount.

(3) Voting age population proportion amount

  The voting age population proportion amount described in this paragraph is the product of-
    (A) the aggregate amount made available for payments under this section minus the total of all of the minimum payment amounts determined under paragraph (2); and
    (B) the voting age population proportion for the State (as defined in paragraph (4)).

(4) Voting age population proportion defined

  The term “voting age population proportion” means, with respect to a State, the amount equal to the quotient of-
    (A) the voting age population of the State (as reported in the most recent decennial census); and
    (B) the total voting age population of all States (as reported in the most recent decennial census).

(Pub. L. 107–252, title I, §101, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1668.)

References in Text

  Subchapter III of this chapter, referred to in subsecs. (b)(1)(A) and (c)(2), was in the original “title III”, meaning title III of Pub. L. 107–252, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1704, which enacted subchapter III of this chapter and amended section 405 of this title. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Tables.
  This chapter, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 107–252, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1666, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out below and Tables.

Short Title

  Pub. L. 107–252, §1(a), Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1666, provided that: “This Act [enacting this chapter and chapter 1526 of Title 36, Patriotic And National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations, amending sections 405, 1973ff, 1973ff–1, 1973ff–3, 1973gg–6, and 1973gg–7 of this title, section 438 of Title 2, The Congress, sections 3132 and 7323 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, section 8G of the Inspector General Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95–452, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, and section 1566 of Title 10, Armed Forces, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1973ff–1 and 1973ff–3 of this title and section 8G of the Inspector General Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95–452, set out in the Appendix to Title 5] may be cited as the ‘Help America Vote Act of 2002’.”

§15302. Replacement of punch card or lever voting machines

(a) Establishment of program

(1) In general

  Not later than 45 days after October 29, 2002, the Administrator shall establish a program under which the Administrator shall make a payment to each State eligible under subsection (b) of this section in which a precinct within that State used a punch card voting system or a lever voting system to administer the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2000 (in this section referred to as a “qualifying precinct”).

(2) Use of funds

  A State shall use the funds provided under a payment under this section (either directly or as reimbursement, including as reimbursement for costs incurred on or after January 1, 2001, under multiyear contracts) to replace punch card voting systems or lever voting systems (as the case may be) in qualifying precincts within that State with a voting system (by purchase, lease, or such other arrangement as may be appropriate) that-

(3) Deadline

  (A) In general

  (B) Waiver

    If a State certifies to the Administrator not later than January 1, 2004, that the State will not meet the deadline described in subparagraph (A) for good cause and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet such deadline, the State shall ensure that all of the punch card voting systems or lever voting systems in the qualifying precincts within that State will be replaced in time for the first election for Federal office held after November 1, 2010.

(b) Eligibility

(1) In general

  A State is eligible to receive a payment under the program under this section if it submits to the Administrator a notice not later than the date that is 6 months after October 29, 2002 (in such form as the Administrator may require) that contains-

(2) Compliance of states that require changes to State law

  In the case of a State that requires State legislation to carry out an activity covered by any certification submitted under this subsection, the State shall be permitted to make the certification notwithstanding that the legislation has not been enacted at the time the certification is submitted and such State shall submit an additional certification once such legislation is enacted.

(c) Amount of payment

  (1) In general

    Subject to paragraph (2) and section 15303(b) of this title, the amount of payment made to a State under the program under this section shall be equal to the product of-
    (A) the number of the qualifying precincts within the State; and
    (B) $4,000.

  (2) Reduction

    If the amount of funds appropriated pursuant to the authority of section 15304(a)(2) of this title is insufficient to ensure that each State receives the amount of payment calculated under paragraph (1), the Administrator shall reduce the amount specified in paragraph (1)(B) to ensure that the entire amount appropriated under such section is distributed to the States.

(d) Repayment of funds for failure to meet deadlines

  (1) In general

    If a State receiving funds under the program under this section fails to meet the deadline applicable to the State under subsection (a)(3) of this section, the State shall pay to the Administrator an amount equal to the noncompliant precinct percentage of the amount of the funds provided to the State under the program.

(2) Noncompliant precinct percentage defined

  In this subsection, the term “noncompliant precinct percentage” means, with respect to a State, the amount (expressed as a percentage) equal to the quotient of-
    (A) the number of qualifying precincts within the State for which the State failed to meet the applicable deadline; and
    (B) the total number of qualifying precincts in the State.

(e) Punch card voting system defined

  For purposes of this section, a “punch card voting system” includes any of the following voting systems:

(Pub. L. 107–252, title I, §102, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1670; Pub. L. 110–28, title VI, §6301(a), May 25, 2007, 121 Stat. 171; Pub. L. 111–8, div. D, title VI, §625(a), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 678.)

Amendments

  2009-Subsec. (a)(3)(B). Pub. L. 111–8 substituted “November 1, 2010” for “March 1, 2008”.
  2007-Subsec. (a)(3)(B). Pub. L. 110–28 substituted “March 1, 2008” for “January 1, 2006”.

Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

  Pub. L. 111–8, div. D, title VI, §625(b), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 678, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [Pub. L. 107–252].”

Effective Date of 2007 Amendment

  Pub. L. 110–28, title VI, §6301(b), May 25, 2007, 121 Stat. 171, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [Pub. L. 107–252].”

§15303. Guaranteed minimum payment amount

(a) In general

  In addition to any other payments made under this subchapter, the Administrator shall make a payment to each State to which a payment is made under either section 15301 or 15302 of this title and with respect to which the aggregate amount paid under such sections is less than $5,000,000 in an amount equal to the difference between the aggregate amount paid to the State under sections 15301 and 15302 of this title and $5,000,000. In the case of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the United States Virgin Islands, the previous sentence shall be applied as if each reference to “$5,000,000” were a reference to “$1,000,000”.

(b) Pro rata reductions

  The Administrator shall make such pro rata reductions to the amounts described in sections 15301(d) and 15302(c) of this title as are necessary to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title I, §103, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1672.)

§15304. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

  There are authorized to be appropriated for payments under this subchapter $650,000,000, of which-
    (1) 50 percent shall be for payments under section 15301 of this title; and
    (2) 50 percent shall be for payments under section 15302 of this title.

(b) Continuing availability of funds after appropriation

  Any payment made to a State under this subchapter shall be available to the State without fiscal year limitation (subject to subsection (c)(2)(B) of this section).

(c) Use of returned funds and funds remaining unexpended for requirements payments

  (1) In general

    The amounts described in paragraph (2) shall be transferred to the Election Assistance Commission (established under subchapter II of this chapter) and used by the Commission to make requirements payments under subpart 1 of part D of subchapter II of this chapter.

  (2) Amounts described

    The amounts referred to in this paragraph are as follows:
      (A) Any amounts paid to the Administrator by a State under section 15302(d)(1) of this title.
      (B) Any amounts appropriated for payments under this subchapter which remain unobligated as of September 1, 2003.

(d) Deposit of amounts in State election fund

  When a State has established an election fund described in section 15404(b) of this title, the State shall ensure that any funds provided to the State under this subchapter are deposited and maintained in such fund.

(e) Authorization of appropriations for Administrator

  In addition to the amounts authorized under subsection (a) of this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator such sums as may be necessary to administer the programs under this subchapter.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title I, §104, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1672.)

§15305. Administration of programs

  In administering the programs under this subchapter, the Administrator shall take such actions as the Administrator considers appropriate to expedite the payment of funds to States.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title I, §105, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1673.)

§15306. Effective date

  The Administrator shall implement the programs established under this subchapter in a manner that ensures that the Administrator is able to make payments under the program not later than the expiration of the 45-day period which begins on October 29, 2002.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title I, §106, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1673.)

SUBCHAPTER II-COMMISSION

Part A-Establishment and General Organization

subpart 1-election assistance commission

§15321. Establishment

  There is hereby established as an independent entity the Election Assistance Commission (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the “Commission”), consisting of the members appointed under this subpart. Additionally, there is established the Election Assistance Commission Standards Board (including the Executive Board of such Board) and the Election Assistance Commission Board of Advisors under subpart 2 of this part (hereafter in this subpart referred to as the “Standards Board” and the “Board of Advisors”, respectively) and the Technical Guidelines Development Committee under subpart 3 of this part.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §201, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1673.)

§15322. Duties

  The Commission shall serve as a national clearinghouse and resource for the compilation of information and review of procedures with respect to the administration of Federal elections by-
    (1) carrying out the duties described in subpart 3 of this part (relating to the adoption of voluntary voting system guidelines), including the maintenance of a clearinghouse of information on the experiences of State and local governments in implementing the guidelines and in operating voting systems in general;
    (2) carrying out the duties described in part B of this subchapter (relating to the testing, certification, decertification, and recertification of voting system hardware and software);
    (3) carrying out the duties described in part C of this subchapter (relating to conducting studies and carrying out other activities to promote the effective administration of Federal elections);
    (4) carrying out the duties described in part D of this subchapter (relating to election assistance), and providing information and training on the management of the payments and grants provided under such part;
    (5) carrying out the duties described in part B of subchapter III of this chapter (relating to the adoption of voluntary guidance); and
    (6) developing and carrying out the Help America Vote College Program under subchapter V of this chapter.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §202, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1673.)

§15323. Membership and appointment

(a) Membership

  (1) In general

    The Commission shall have four members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

    (2) Recommendations

    (3) Qualifications

    (4) Date of appointment

(b) Term of service

    (1) In general

    (2) Terms of initial appointees

    (3) Vacancies

      (A) In general

      (B) Expired terms

      (C) Unexpired terms

(c) Chair and vice chair

  (1) In general

  (2) Number of terms

(d) Compensation

  (1) In general

  (2) Other activities

§15324. Staff

(a) Executive Director, General Counsel, and other staff

  (1) Executive Director

  (2) Term of service for Executive Director

  (3) Procedure for appointment

    (A) In general

    (B) Requiring consideration of nominees

    (C) Interim service of General Counsel

    (D) Special rules for interim Executive Director

      (i) Convening of search committees

       (ii) Interim initial appointment

  (4) General Counsel

  (5) Other staff

  (6) Applicability of certain civil service laws

(b) Experts and consultants

(c) Staff of Federal agencies

(d) Arranging for assistance for Board of Advisors and Standards Board

(e) Consultation with Board of Advisors and Standards Board on certain matters

References in Text

§15325. Powers

(a) Hearings and sessions

(b) Information from Federal agencies

(c) Postal services

(d) Administrative support services

(e) Contracts

§15326. Dissemination of information

§15327. Annual report

§15328. Requiring majority approval for actions

§15329. Limitation on rulemaking authority

§15330. Authorization of appropriations

subpart 2-election assistance commission standards board and board of advisors

§15341. Establishment

§15342. Duties

§15343. Membership of Standards Board

(a) Composition

  (1) In general

  (2) List of local election officials

  (3) Requiring mix of political parties represented

(b) Procedures for notice and certification of appointment

  (1) Notice to chair of Federal Election Commission

  (2) Certification

  (3) Effect of failure to provide notice

  (4) Role of Commission

  (c) Executive Board

    (1) In general

    (2) Terms

    (3) Staggering of initial terms

    (4) Duties

§15344. Membership of Board of Advisors

(a) In general

(b) Manner of appointments

(c) Term of service; vacancy

(d) Chair

§15345. Powers of Boards; no compensation for service

(a) Hearings and sessions

  (1) In general

  (2) Meetings

    The Standards Board and the Board of Advisors shall each hold a meeting of its members-
      (A) not less frequently than once every year for purposes of voting on the voluntary voting system guidelines referred to it under section 15362 of this title;
      (B) in the case of the Standards Board, not less frequently than once every 2 years for purposes of selecting the Executive Board; and
      (C) at such other times as it considers appropriate for purposes of conducting such other business as it considers appropriate consistent with this subchapter.

(b) Information from Federal agencies

The Standards Board and the Board of Advisors may each secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Board considers necessary to carry out this chapter. Upon request of the Executive Board (in the case of the Standards Board) or the Chair (in the case of the Board of Advisors), the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Board.

(c) Postal services

  The Standards Board and the Board of Advisors may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as a department or agency of the Federal Government.

(d) Administrative support services

  Upon the request of the Executive Board (in the case of the Standards Board) or the Chair (in the case of the Board of Advisors), the Administrator of the General Services Administration shall provide to the Board, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services that are necessary to enable the Board to carry out its duties under this subchapter.

(e) No compensation for service

  Members of the Standards Board and members of the Board of Advisors shall not receive any compensation for their service, but shall be paid travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Board.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §215, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1681.)

References in Text

  This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (b), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 107–252, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1666, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 15301 of this title and Tables.

§15346. Status of Boards and members for purposes of claims against Board

(a) In general

  The provisions of chapters 161 and 171 of title 28 shall apply with respect to the liability of the Standards Board, the Board of Advisors, and their members for acts or omissions performed pursuant to and in the course of the duties and responsibilities of the Board.

(b) Exception for criminal acts and other willful conduct

  Subsection (a) of this section may not be construed to limit personal liability for criminal acts or omissions, willful or malicious misconduct, acts or omissions for private gain, or any other act or omission outside the scope of the service of a member of the Standards Board or the Board of Advisors.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §216, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1681.)

subpart 3-technical guidelines development committee

§15361. Technical Guidelines Development Committee

(a) Establishment

  There is hereby established the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (hereafter in this subpart referred to as the “Development Committee”).

(b) Duties

  (1) In general

    The Development Committee shall assist the Executive Director of the Commission in the development of the voluntary voting system guidelines.

  (2) Deadline for initial set of recommendations

    The Development Committee shall provide its first set of recommendations under this section to the Executive Director of the Commission not later than 9 months after all of its members have been appointed.

(c) Membership

  (1) In general

    The Development Committee shall be composed of the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (who shall serve as its chair), together with a group of 14 other individuals appointed jointly by the Commission and the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, consisting of the following:

      (B) A representative of the American National Standards Institute.
      (C) A representative of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
      (D) Two representatives of the National Association of State Election Directors selected by such Association who are not members of the Standards Board or Board of Advisors, and who are not of the same political party.
      (E) Other individuals with technical and scientific expertise relating to voting systems and voting equipment.

(2) Quorum

  A majority of the members of the Development Committee shall constitute a quorum, except that the Development Committee may not conduct any business prior to the appointment of all of its members.

(d) No compensation for service

  Members of the Development Committee shall not receive any compensation for their service, but shall be paid travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Development Committee.

(e) Technical support from National Institute of Standards and Technology

  (1) In general

    At the request of the Development Committee, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall provide the Development Committee with technical support necessary for the Development Committee to carry out its duties under this part.

  (2) Technical support

    The technical support provided under paragraph (1) shall include intramural research and development in areas to support the development of the voluntary voting system guidelines under this subpart, including-

  (3) No private sector intellectual property rights in guidelines

    No private sector individual or entity shall obtain any intellectual property rights to any guideline or the contents of any guideline (or any modification to any guideline) adopted by the Commission under this chapter.

(f) Publication of recommendations in Federal Register

  At the time the Commission adopts any voluntary voting system guideline pursuant to section 15362 of this title, the Development Committee shall cause to have published in the Federal Register the recommendations it provided under this section to the Executive Director of the Commission concerning the guideline adopted.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §221, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1682.)

References in Text

  This chapter, referred to in subsec. (e)(3), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 107–252, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1666, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 15301 of this title and Tables.

§15362. Process for adoption

(a) General requirement for notice and comment

  Consistent with the requirements of this section, the final adoption of the voluntary voting system guidelines (or modification of such a guideline) shall be carried out by the Commission in a manner that provides for each of the following:
    (1) Publication of notice of the proposed guidelines in the Federal Register.
    (2) An opportunity for public comment on the proposed guidelines.
    (3) An opportunity for a public hearing on the record.
    (4) Publication of the final guidelines in the Federal Register.

(b) Consideration of recommendations of Development Committee; submission of proposed guidelines to Board of Advisors and Standards Board

  (1) Consideration of recommendations of Development Committee

    In developing the voluntary voting system guidelines and modifications of such guidelines under this section, the Executive Director of the Commission shall take into consideration the recommendations provided by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee under section 15361 of this title.

  (2) Board of Advisors

    The Executive Director of the Commission shall submit the guidelines proposed to be adopted under this subpart (or any modifications to such guidelines) to the Board of Advisors.

  (3) Standards Board

    The Executive Director of the Commission shall submit the guidelines proposed to be adopted under this subpart (or any modifications to such guidelines) to the Executive Board of the Standards Board, which shall review the guidelines (or modifications) and forward its recommendations to the Standards Board.

(c) Review

  Upon receipt of voluntary voting system guidelines described in subsection (b) of this section (or a modification of such guidelines) from the Executive Director of the Commission, the Board of Advisors and the Standards Board shall each review and submit comments and recommendations regarding the guideline (or modification) to the Commission.

(d) Final adoption

  (1) In general

    A voluntary voting system guideline described in subsection (b) of this section (or modification of such a guideline) shall not be considered to be finally adopted by the Commission unless the Commission votes to approve the final adoption of the guideline (or modification), taking into consideration the comments and recommendations submitted by the Board of Advisors and the Standards Board under subsection (c) of this section.

  (2) Minimum period for consideration of comments and recommendations

    The Commission may not vote on the final adoption of a guideline described in subsection (b) of this section (or modification of such a guideline) until the expiration of the 90-day period which begins on the date the Executive Director of the Commission submits the proposed guideline (or modification) to the Board of Advisors and the Standards Board under subsection (b) of this section.

(e) Special rule for initial set of guidelines

  Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, the most recent set of voting system standards adopted by the Federal Election Commission prior to October 29, 2002, shall be deemed to have been adopted by the Commission as of October 29, 2002, as the first set of voluntary voting system guidelines adopted under this subpart.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §222, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1683.)

Part B-Testing, Certification, Decertification, and Recertification of Voting System Hardware and Software

§15371. Certification and testing of voting systems

(a) Certification and testing

  (1) In general

  (2) Optional use by States

    At the option of a State, the State may provide for the testing, certification, decertification, or recertification of its voting system hardware and software by the laboratories accredited by the Commission under this section.

(b) Laboratory accreditation

  (1) Recommendations by National Institute of Standards and Technology

  (2) Approval by Commission

    (A) In general

    (B) Accreditation of laboratories not on Director list

(c) Continuing review by National Institute of Standards and Technology

  (1) In general

  (2) Approval by Commission required for revocation

    The accreditation of a laboratory for purposes of this section may not be revoked unless the revocation is approved by a vote of the Commission.

(d) Transition

Part C-Studies and Other Activities To Promote Effective Administration of Federal Elections

§15381. Periodic studies of election administration issues

(a) In general

(b) Election administration issues described

    (B) The best practices (as identified by the Commission) that are used by States with respect to the recounts and contests described in clause (i).
    (C) Whether or not there is a need for more consistency among State recount and contest procedures used with respect to elections for Federal office.
    (14) The technical feasibility of providing voting materials in eight or more languages for voters who speak those languages and who have limited English proficiency.
    (15) Matters particularly relevant to voting and administering elections in rural and urban areas.
    (16) Methods of voter registration for members of the uniformed services and overseas voters, and methods of ensuring that such voters receive timely ballots that will be properly and expeditiously handled and counted.
    (17) The best methods for establishing voting system performance benchmarks, expressed as a percentage of residual vote in the Federal contest at the top of the ballot.
    (18) Broadcasting practices that may result in the broadcast of false information concerning the location or time of operation of a polling place.
    (19) Such other matters as the Commission determines are appropriate.

(c) Reports

  The Commission shall submit to the President and to the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate a report on each study conducted under subsection (a) of this section together with such recommendations for administrative and legislative action as the Commission determines is appropriate.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §241, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1686.)

Election Data Collection Grants

§15382. Study, report, and recommendations on best practices for facilitating military and overseas voting

(a) Study

  (1) In general

  (2) Issues considered

(b) Report and recommendations

§15383. Report on human factor research

  Not later than 1 year after October 29, 2002, the Commission, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall submit a report to Congress which assesses the areas of human factor research, including usability engineering and human-computer and human-machine interaction, which feasibly could be applied to voting products and systems design to ensure the usability and accuracy of voting products and systems, including methods to improve access for individuals with disabilities (including blindness) and individuals with limited proficiency in the English language and to reduce voter error and the number of spoiled ballots in elections.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §243, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1688.)

§15384. Study and report on voters who register by mail and use of Social Security information

(a) Registration by mail

  (1) Study

    (A) In general

    (B) Specific issues studied

  (2) Report

(b) Use of Social Security information

References in Text

§15385. Study and report on electronic voting and the electoral process

(a) Study

  (1) In general

  (2) Issues to be studied

(b) Report

  (1) Submission

  (2) Internet posting

§15386. Study and report on free absentee ballot postage

(a) Study on the establishment of a free absentee ballot postage program

  (1) In general

(2) Public survey

As part of the study conducted under paragraph (1), the Commission shall conduct a survey of potential beneficiaries under the program described in such paragraph, including the elderly and disabled, and shall take into account the results of such survey in determining the feasibility and advisability of establishing such a program.

(b) Report

  (1) Submission

  (2) Costs

  (3) Implementation

  (4) Recommendations regarding the elderly and disabled

(c) Postal Service defined

§15387. Consultation with Standards Board and Board of Advisors

  The Commission shall carry out its duties under this part in consultation with the Standards Board and the Board of Advisors.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title II, §247, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1692.)

Part D-Election Assistance

subpart 1-requirements payments

§15401. Requirements payments

(a) In general

(b) Use of funds

  (1) In general

  (2) Other activities

  (3) Activities under Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act

(c) Retroactive payments

  (1) In general

  (2) Special rule regarding multiyear contracts

(d) Adoption of Commission guidelines and guidance not required to receive payment

(e) Schedule of payments

(f) Limitation

References in Text

Amendments

§15402. Allocation of funds

(a) In general

(b) State allocation percentage defined

(c) Minimum amount of payment

(d) Pro rata reductions

(e) Continuing availability of funds after appropriation

§15403. Condition for receipt of funds

(a) In general

(b) State plan requirement; certification of compliance with applicable laws and requirements

(c) Methods of compliance left to discretion of State

(d) Timing for filing of certification

(e) Chief State election official defined

References in Text

Amendments

§15404. State plan

(a) In general

    (7) How the State, in using the requirements payment, will maintain the expenditures of the State for activities funded by the payment at a level that is not less than the level of such expenditures maintained by the State for the fiscal year ending prior to November 2000.
    (8) How the State will adopt performance goals and measures that will be used by the State to determine its success and the success of units of local government in the State in carrying out the plan, including timetables for meeting each of the elements of the plan, descriptions of the criteria the State will use to measure performance and the process used to develop such criteria, and a description of which official is to be held responsible for ensuring that each performance goal is met.
    (9) A description of the uniform, nondiscriminatory State-based administrative complaint procedures in effect under section 15512 of this title.
    (10) If the State received any payment under subchapter I of this chapter, a description of how such payment will affect the activities proposed to be carried out under the plan, including the amount of funds available for such activities.
    (11) How the State will conduct ongoing management of the plan, except that the State may not make any material change in the administration of the plan unless the change-
      (A) is developed and published in the Federal Register in accordance with section 15405 of this title in the same manner as the State plan;
      (B) is subject to public notice and comment in accordance with section 15406 of this title in the same manner as the State plan; and
      (C) takes effect only after the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date the change is published in the Federal Register in accordance with subparagraph (A).

(b) Requirements for election fund

  (1) Election fund described

    For purposes of subsection (a)(5) of this section, a fund described in this subsection with respect to a State is a fund which is established in the treasury of the State government, which is used in accordance with paragraph (2), and which consists of the following amounts:
      (A) Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by the State for carrying out the activities for which the requirements payment is made to the State under this subpart.
      (B) The requirements payment made to the State under this subpart.
      (C) Such other amounts as may be appropriated under law.
      (D) Interest earned on deposits of the fund.

  (2) Use of fund

  (3) Treatment of States that require changes to State law

(c) Protection against actions based on information in plan

  (1) In general

  (2) Exception for criminal acts

References in Text

Amendments

§15405. Process for development and filing of plan; publication by Commission

(a) In general

(b) Publication of plan by Commission

§15406. Requirement for public notice and comment

References in Text

§15407. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

(b) Availability

Amendments

§15408. Reports

subpart 2-payments to states and units of local government to assure access for individuals with disabilities

§15421. Payments to States and units of local government to assure access for individuals with disabilities

(a) In general

(b) Use of funds

(c) Schedule of payments

§15422. Amount of payment

(a) In general

(b) Continuing availability of funds after appropriation

§15423. Requirements for eligibility

(a) Application

(b) Contents of application

(c) Protection against actions based on information in application

  (1) In general

  (2) Exception for criminal acts

References in Text

§15424. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

(b) Availability

§15425. Reports

(a) Reports by recipients

(b) Report by Secretary to Committees

subpart 3-grants for research on voting technology improvements

§15441. Grants for research on voting technology improvements

(a) In general

(b) Eligibility

(c) Applicability of regulations governing patent rights in inventions made with Federal assistance

(d) Recommendation of topics for research

  (1) In general

  (2) Review of grant applications received by Commission

  (3) Monitoring and adjustment of grant activities at request of Commission

  (4) Evaluation of grants at request of Commission

    (A) In general

    (B) Inclusion in reports

(e) Provision of information on projects

References in Text

§15442. Report

(a) In general

(b) Deadline

§15443. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

(b) Availability of funds

subpart 4-pilot program for testing of equipment and technology

§15451. Pilot program

(a) In general

(b) Eligibility

(c) Recommendation of topics for pilot programs

  (1) In general

  (2) Review of grant applications received by Commission

  (3) Monitoring and adjustment of grant activities at request of Commission

  (4) Evaluation of grants at request of Commission

    (A) In general

    (B) Inclusion in reports

(d) Provision of information on projects

References in Text

§15452. Report

(a) In general

(b) Deadline

§15453. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

(b) Availability of funds

subpart 5-protection and advocacy systems

§15461. Payments for protection and advocacy systems

(a) In general

(b) Minimum grant amount

(c) Training and technical assistance program

  (1) In general

  (2) Use of funds

  (3) Eligibility

References in Text

§15462. Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general

(b) Availability

References in Text

subpart 6-national student and parent mock election

§15471. National Student and Parent Mock Election

(a) In general

(b) Requirement

§15472. Authorization of appropriations

SUBCHAPTER III-UNIFORM AND NONDISCRIMINATORY ELECTION TECHNOLOGY AND ADMINISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Part A-Requirements

§15481. Voting systems standards

(a) Requirements

  (1) In general

    (B) A State or jurisdiction that uses a paper ballot voting system, a punch card voting system, or a central count voting system (including mail-in absentee ballots and mail-in ballots), may meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(iii) by-
      (i) establishing a voter education program specific to that voting system that notifies each voter of the effect of casting multiple votes for an office; and
      (ii) providing the voter with instructions on how to correct the ballot before it is cast and counted (including instructions on how to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error).

  (2) Audit capacity

    (A) In general

      (B) Manual audit capacity

  (3) Accessibility for individuals with disabilities

  (4) Alternative language accessibility

  (5) Error rates

  (6) Uniform definition of what constitutes a vote

(b) Voting system defined

    (2) the practices and associated documentation used-
      (A) to identify system components and versions of such components;
      (B) to test the system during its development and maintenance;
      (C) to maintain records of system errors and defects;
      (D) to determine specific system changes to be made to a system after the initial qualification of the system; and
      (E) to make available any materials to the voter (such as notices, instructions, forms, or paper ballots).

(c) Construction

  (1) In general

  (2) Protection of paper ballot voting systems

(d) Effective date

§15482. Provisional voting and voting information requirements

(a) Provisional voting requirements

  States described in section 1973gg–2(b) of this title may meet the requirements of this subsection using voter registration procedures established under applicable State law. The appropriate State or local official shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures necessary to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used by the free access system established under paragraph (5)(B). Access to information about an individual provisional ballot shall be restricted to the individual who cast the ballot.

(b) Voting information requirements

  (1) Public posting on election day

  (2) Voting information defined

(c) Voters who vote after the polls close

(d) Effective date for provisional voting and voting information

§15483. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements and requirements for voters who register by mail

(a) Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements

  (1) Implementation

    (A) In general

    (B) Exception

  (2) Computerized list maintenance

    (A) In general

        (iii) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this subparagraph, if a State is described in section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg–2(b)), that State shall remove the names of ineligible voters from the computerized list in accordance with State law.

    (B) Conduct

  (3) Technological security of computerized list

  (4) Minimum standard for accuracy of State voter registration records

  (5) Verification of voter registration information

    (A) Requiring provision of certain information by applicants

      (i) In general

      (ii) Special rule for applicants without driver's license or social security number

      (iii) Determination of validity of numbers provided

    (B) Requirements for State officials

      (i) Sharing information in databases

      (ii) Agreements with Commissioner of Social Security

    (C) Omitted

    (D) Special rule for certain States

(b) Requirements for voters who register by mail

  (1) In general

  (2) Requirements

    (A) In general

        (ii) in the case of an individual who votes by mail, submits with the ballot-
          (I) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
          (II) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

  (B) Fail-safe voting

    (i) In person

    (ii) By mail

  (3) Inapplicability

      (B)(i) who registers to vote by mail under section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg–4) and submits with such registration either-
        (I) a driver's license number; or
        (II) at least the last 4 digits of the individual's social security number; and

      (ii) with respect to whom a State or local election official matches the information submitted under clause (i) with an existing State identification record bearing the same number, name and date of birth as provided in such registration; or
      (C) who is-
        (i) entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act [42 U.S.C. 1973ff et seq.];
        (ii) provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section 1973ee–1(b)(2)(B)(ii) of this title; or
        (iii) entitled to vote otherwise than in person under any other Federal law.

  (4) Contents of mail-in registration form

    (A) In general

    (B) Incomplete forms

  (5) Construction

(c) Permitted use of last 4 digits of social security numbers

(d) Effective date

  (1) Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements

    (A) In general

    (B) Waiver

  (2) Requirement for voters who register by mail

    (A) In general

    (B) Applicability with respect to individuals

References in Text

Codification

§15484. Minimum requirements

§15485. Methods of implementation left to discretion of State

Part B-Voluntary Guidance

§15501. Adoption of voluntary guidance by Commission

(a) In general

(b) Deadlines

(c) Quadrennial update

§15502. Process for adoption

SUBCHAPTER IV-ENFORCEMENT

§15511. Actions by the Attorney General for declaratory and injunctive relief

§15512. Establishment of State-based administrative complaint procedures to remedy grievances

(a) Establishment of State-based administrative complaint procedures to remedy grievances

  (1) Establishment of procedures as condition of receiving funds

  (2) Requirements for procedures

(b) Requiring Attorney General approval of compliance plan for States not receiving funds

  (1) In general

(2) States without approved plan deemed out of compliance

  (3) Nonparticipating State defined

References in Text

SUBCHAPTER V-HELP AMERICA VOTE COLLEGE PROGRAM

§15521. Establishment of program

(a) In general

(b) Purposes of Program

§15522. Activities under Program

(a) In general

(b) Requirements for grant recipients

(c) Coordination with institutions of higher education

§15523. Authorization of appropriations

SUBCHAPTER VI-TRANSFER TO COMMISSION OF FUNCTIONS UNDER CERTAIN LAWS

§15531. Transfer of functions of Office of Election Administration of Federal Election Commission

§15532. Transfer of functions

§15533. Transfer of property, records, and personnel

(a) Property and records

(b) Personnel

  (1) In general

  (2) Effect

References in Text

§15534. Effective date; transition

(a) Effective date

(b) Transition

(c) No effect on authorities of Office of Election Administration prior to appointment of members of Commission

References in Text

SUBCHAPTER VII-MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

§15541. State defined

References in Text

§15542. Audits and repayment of funds

(a) Recordkeeping requirement

(b) Audits and examinations

  (1) Audits and examinations

  (2) Recipients of assistance subject to provisions of section

  (3) Mandatory audit

  (4) Special rule for payments by General Services Administration

  (5) Special rule

  (6) Special rules for audits by the Commission

(c) Recoupment of funds

§15543. Review and report on adequacy of existing electoral fraud statutes and penalties

(a) Review

(b) Report

§15544. Other criminal penalties

(a) Conspiracy to deprive voters of a fair election

(b) False information in registering and voting

§15545. No effect on other laws

(a) In general

(b) No effect on preclearance or other requirements under Voting Rights Act

References in Text

>

Updated August 6, 2015