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SB236 SUB1 Senate Bill 236 History

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WEST virginia legislature

2019 regular session

Committee Substitute

for

Senate Bill 236

Senators Lindsay, Jeffries, and Baldwin, original sponsors

[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary; Reported on January 24, 2019]

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §3‑2‑2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating generally to eligibility to register to vote; providing that a person who has been convicted of certain criminal offenses and rendered ineligible to vote may register to vote upon completion of his or her sentence, upon an order from a court vacating or overturning  his or her conviction, or upon an order of pardon from the Governor; requiring the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide a person in the custody or under the supervision of the division with written notice that he or she is no longer ineligible to register to vote and a voter registration form upon release or discharge of such person; requiring a probation officer of the Supreme Court of Appeals’ Division of Probation Services to provide a person under such officer’s supervision with written notice that he or she is no longer ineligible to register to vote and a voter registration form upon discharge of such person; and clarifying that renewed eligibility of previously convicted persons to register to vote does not permit such persons to register after pre-election registration deadlines.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


Article 2. registration of voters.

§3‑2‑2. Eligibility to register to vote.

(a) Any person who possesses the constitutional qualifications for voting may register to vote. To be qualified, a person must be a citizen of the United States and a legal resident of West Virginia and of the county where he or she is applying to register, shall be at least 18 years of age, except that a person who is at least 17 years of age and who will be 18 years of age by the time of the next ensuing general election may also be permitted to register, and shall not be otherwise legally disqualified: Provided, That a registered voter who has not reached 18 years of age may vote both partisan and nonpartisan ballots in a federal, state, county, municipal, or special primary election if he or she will be 18 years of age by the time of the corresponding general election.

(b) (1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony, treason, or bribery in an election, under either state or federal law, is disqualified from voting and is not eligible is ineligible to register or to continue to be registered to vote while serving his or her sentence, including any period of incarceration, probation, or parole related thereto. Any person who has been declared mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction is disqualified from voting and shall not be eligible is ineligible to register or to continue to be registered to vote for as long as that disability continues.

(2) Renewed eligibility to register. — A person otherwise meeting the constitutional and statutory qualifications to vote, who is ineligible to register to vote because of a criminal conviction as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, is eligible and shall be permitted to register to vote upon any of the following events:

(A) The completion of his or her sentence, including any period of incarceration, probation, or parole related thereto;

(B) Issuance of an order from a court of competent jurisdiction to vacate or overturn all convictions rendering such person ineligible to register to vote; or

(C) Issuance of an order of pardon from the Governor for all convictions rendering such person ineligible to register to vote.

(3) Notice of renewed eligibility to register. — Upon the occurrence of an event described in subdivision (2) of this subsection:

(A) If a person is in the custody or under the supervision of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the division shall provide such person, upon release or discharge from supervision, written notification that he or she is no longer ineligible to register to vote based on his or her conviction and a copy of a voter registration form.

(B) If a person is under the supervision of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s Division of Probation Services, the probation officer shall provide such person, upon discharge, written notification that he or she is no longer ineligible to register to vote based on his or her conviction and a copy of a voter registration form.

(4) Nothing in this subsection may be construed to permit a person to register to vote in an election after the close of voting registration before such election, as provided in §3‑2‑6 or §3‑2‑6a of this code, whichever is applicable.

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide notice and an opportunity to persons convicted of certain crimes that they are eligible to vote when they are no longer under conviction.

Strike‑throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

 

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