WEST virginia Legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4401
By Delegates Skinner, Hornbuckle, Manchin, Fleischauer, Pushkin, Byrd, Rowe and Reynolds
[Introduced February 4, 2016; referred to the committee on Roads and Transportation then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §3-2-11 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to voter registration; providing that each person who receives a driver’s license or official identification card is automatically registered to vote without party identification.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-2-11 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. Registration of voters.
§3-2-11. Registration in conjunction with driver licensing.
(a) The Division of Motor
Vehicles or other division or department that may be established by law to
perform motor vehicle driver licensing services shall provide each qualified
registrant, as an integral and simultaneous part of every
application form for the issuance, renewal or change of address of a
motor vehicle driver's license or official identification card pursuant to the
provisions of article two, chapter seventeen-b of this code, a voter
registration application as prescribed in which meets the
requirements of section five of this article, when the division=s regional offices are open for regular business. An
individual may apply for voter registration using an approved electronic voter
registration system if available at a Division of Motor Vehicles regional
office. No application for issuance, renewal or change of address of a
motor vehicle driver’s license or for an official identification card, may be
processed until the applicant has completed the portion of the application
related to voter registration. Each person who receives a driver’s license,
renews a driver’s license, records a change of driver’s address or receives an
official identification card shall be registered to vote without party identification.
The application form shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the Division of Motor Vehicles is required to release the first name, middle name, last name, premarital name, if applicable, complete residence address, complete date of birth of an applicant and the applicant=s electronic signature, entered in the division=s records for driver license or nonoperator identification purposes upon notice and written consent of the applicant. The notice and consent is a required component of an electronic voter registration application made available to the general public by the Secretary of State. The release of an applicant=s signature by the Division of Motor Vehicles to the Office of the Secretary of State applies to any voter registration application approved through an electronic voter registration system approved by the Secretary of State regardless of the location of the online user and provided the user grants written consent.
(c) A person who fails to sign the voter registration application or who fails to return the voter registration application to a driver licensing facility or to an appropriate voter registration office is considered to have declined to register. Information regarding a person's failure to sign the voter registration application is confidential and may not be used for any purpose other than to determine voter registration.
(d) A qualified voter who submits the application for registration pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section in person at a driver licensing facility at the time of applying for, obtaining, renewing or transferring his or her driver's license or official identification card and who presents identification and proof of age at that time is not required to make his or her first vote in person or to again present identification in order to make that registration valid.
(e) A qualified voter who submits by mail or by delivery by a third party an application for registration on the form used in conjunction with driver licensing is required to make his or her first vote in person and present identification as required for other mail registration in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g), section ten of this article. If the applicant has been previously registered in the jurisdiction and the application is for a change of address, change of name, change of political party affiliation or other correction, the presentation of identification and first vote in person is not required.
(f) An application for voter registration submitted pursuant to the provisions of this section updates a previous voter registration by the applicant and authorizes the cancellation of registration in any other county or state in which the applicant was previously registered.
(g) A change of address from one residence to another within the same county which is submitted for driver licensing or nonoperator=s identification purposes in accordance with applicable law serves as a notice of change of address for voter registration purposes if requested by the applicant after notice and written consent of the applicant.
(h) Completed applications for voter registration or change of address for voting purposes received by an office providing driver licensing services shall be forwarded to the Secretary of State within five days of receipt unless other means are available for a more expedited transmission. The Secretary of State shall remove and file any forms which have not been signed by the applicant and shall forward completed, signed applications to the clerk of the appropriate county commission within five days of receipt.
(i) Voter registration application forms containing voter information which are returned to a driver licensing office unsigned shall be collected by the Division of Motor Vehicles, submitted to the Secretary of State and maintained by the Secretary of State=s office according to the retention policy adopted by the Secretary of State.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that any person with a West Virginia driver’s license or an official identification card is automatically registered to vote, with no party identification.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.