21.140.14 96th Legislative Session 684

2021 South Dakota Legislature

Senate Bill 116

Introduced by: Senator Frye-Mueller

An Act to revise certain provisions regarding voter registration records.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:

Section 1. That § 12-4-9 be AMENDED.

12-4-9. Master registration file--Contents--Public inspection--Limitations--Duty to update--Penalty.

The county auditor shall maintain and safeguard a file of voters in computer format that contains the information of each person registered in each voting precinct within the county. This file shall be known as the master registration file and shall be, at all times during office hours, open to public inspection. However, public access to social security numbers, driver license numbers, and dates of birth contained in the master registration file is prohibited. The master registration file shall contain all information from each voter's registration card. The master registration file shall also include the date of the last election the voter has voted in and when the voter's information was last updated. The master registration file may also contain additional voter history information. Any voter registration form for a purged or unregistered voter shall be kept for twenty-two months. No purged or unregistered voter may be included in the master registration file. The master registration file shall be updated no less than once a month. A person who fails to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Section 2. That § 12-4-18 be AMENDED.

12-4-18. Registration records--Incompetent, deceased or convicted felon--Removal--Penalty.

The clerk of courts shall, within fifteen days after the close of each month, prepare and deliver to the auditor an abstract from the records of the names of persons declared mentally incompetent in the preceding month. The notice shall be sent to the county auditor of the county in which the person declared incompetent resides.

Each county coroner shall, within five days after the close of each week, prepare and deliver to the auditor a list of the names of persons declared deceased in the preceding week.

The county auditor shall remove from the master registration list the file:

(1) The names of persons identified as mentally incompetent in accordance with the information provided pursuant to this section and;

(2) The names of those persons sentenced to imprisonment in the federal penitentiary system and may remove; and

(3) The names published in an obituary of deceased persons in accordance with the information provided pursuant to this section.

Voter registration records maintained in or transmitted to the statewide voter registration file shall be matched with the death records maintained as vital statistics records by the Department of Health and the records of felony convictions maintained by the Unified Judicial System. Any voter identified as deceased or who is serving a sentence for a felony conviction shall be removed from the voter registration records. The State Board of Elections may promulgate rules, pursuant to chapter 1-26, determining how voter registration records shall be matched.

A person who fails to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Section 3. That a NEW SECTION be added:

12-4-18.1. Master registration file--Removal--Failure to vote--Penalty.

If the county auditor has reason to believe that a person no longer resides at the person's registered address, the auditor shall mail a notice to that person requesting confirmation that the person still resides at the person's registered address. The county auditor shall remove the person from the master registration file if the person fails to:

(1) Respond to such a notice and vote in the registered precinct at least once during a period of four consecutive years, which period shall include two general federal elections; or

(2) Update the voter's registration with the auditor and vote at least once during a period of four consecutive years, which period shall include two general federal elections.

The secretary of state, pursuant to chapter 1-26 and in compliance with federal law, shall prescribe by rule the means by which a person is removed from a master registration list pursuant to this section and create the confirmation notice that shall be sent to a registered voter before removal.

A person who fails to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Section 4. Each county auditor, within thirty days after the effective date on this Act, shall purge the names of all deceased persons from the master registration file. Each county auditor shall certify to the secretary of state that the auditor has complied with this requirement.

Catchlines are not law. (§ 2-16-13.1) Underscores indicate new language.

Overstrikes indicate deleted language.