Md. Code, Elec. Law § 3-203

Current with changes from the 2021 Legislative Session through Ch. 42
Section 3-203 - Electronic Voter Registration System
(a)
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2)
(i) "Applicable transaction" means:
1. at the Motor Vehicle Administration, an initial application for or renewal of a driver's license or identification card, or a change of name or address on an existing driver's license or identification card, or any other transaction in which the Motor Vehicle Administration obtains all of the information from an applicant that satisfies the requirements to register to vote;
2. at the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, any application for or renewal of health insurance coverage;
3. at a local department of social services, an initial application for a State or federally funded public assistance program or an application for a recertification, renewal, or change of name or address relating to a State or federally funded public assistance program; or
4. at the Mobility Certification Office in the Maryland Transit Administration, an initial application for paratransit service or an application for recertification for paratransit service.
(ii) "Applicable transaction" includes any transaction described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph that is completed online.
(3) "Automatic voter registration agency" means:
(i) the Motor Vehicle Administration;
(ii) the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange;
(iii) local departments of social services; and
(iv) the Mobility Certification Office in the Maryland Transit Administration.
(4) "Automatic voter registration system" means a system that, as an integral part of each applicable transaction at an automatic voter registration agency:
(i) informs an applicant:
1. that the applicant shall be registered to vote or shall have a voter registration record updated, if applicable, unless the applicant declines to register to vote or update a voter registration record or if the applicant is not eligible to register to vote;
2. of the qualifications to register to vote under § 3-102 of this title;
3. that the applicant should not register if the applicant does not meet all the qualifications;
4. of the penalties for the submission of a false application; and
5. that voter registration is voluntary and that neither registering nor declining to register to vote will in any way affect the availability of services or benefits;
(ii) requires the electronic signature of the applicant, subject to the penalties for perjury, by which the applicant attests that the information provided by the applicant is true and that the applicant meets all the qualifications to become a registered voter, including United States citizenship; and
(iii) electronically transmits the voter registration information of each applicant who does not decline to register to vote or update a voter registration record directly to the State Board:
1. in a manner and format specified jointly by the automatic voter registration agency and the State Board; and
2. within 5 days of the applicable transaction.
(5) "Local department of social services" means:
(i) the local departments of social services in the Department of Human Services; and
(ii) the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
(b)
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an automatic voter registration agency shall implement an automatic voter registration system on or before July 1, 2019.
(2) A local department of social services shall implement an automatic voter registration system on or before December 1, 2019.
(c) An automatic voter registration system:
(1) may not require any information that duplicates the information required to complete an applicable transaction;
(2) shall require only the minimum amount of information necessary for both an applicable transaction and a voter registration to:
(i) prevent duplicate voter registration; and
(ii) enable election officials to review the eligibility of an applicant and to administer voter registration and other aspects of the election process; and
(3) shall inform an applicant that if the applicant does not select a political party affiliation, the individual will be designated as not affiliated with a political party and will be unable to vote in a party primary election.
(d) An agent of an automatic voter registration agency who is responsible for carrying out the requirements of this section may not:
(1) seek to influence an applicant's political preference or party registration;
(2) display any political preference or party allegiance; or
(3) make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to:
(i) discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or
(ii) lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.
(e) The State Board shall ensure that each individual whose voter registration information is transmitted to the State Board through an automatic voter registration system is promptly registered to vote.
(f) If the State Board receives notice from an individual that the individual was inadvertently registered to vote through an automatic voter registration agency after declining to register to vote, the State Board shall correct the error in accordance with § 3-601.1 of this title.
(g) Voter registration information or information relating to the decision of an applicant at an automatic voter registration agency to decline to register to vote may not be used for any purpose other than the maintenance of registration statistics, election administration, or prosecution of criminal violations of the election law.
(h) Notwithstanding § 3-501 of this title and § 4-401 of the General Provisions Article, the identity of an automatic voter registration agency through which a particular voter has registered may not be disclosed to the public.
(i) The State Board may adopt regulations as necessary to implement this section.
(j)
(1) Each automatic voter registration agency shall:
(i) on or before July 1, 2019, submit a report, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means that describes:
1. the efforts of the automatic voter registration agency to register voters in the preceding calendar year; and
2. the implementation of an automatic voter registration system; and
(ii) on or before January 1, 2020, and January 1 each subsequent year, submit a report, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means that describes:
1. the number of individuals who completed an applicable transaction in the preceding calendar year at the automatic voter registration agency and the number of those individuals who registered to vote or updated a voter registration record; and
2. any efforts the automatic voter registration agency plans to make to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the voter registration process at the agency.
(2) The Department of Human Services shall consolidate and submit the reports required under paragraph (1)(i) and (ii) of this subsection as a single document on behalf of all the local departments of social services.

Md. Code, EL § 3-203

Amended by 2018 Md. Laws, Ch. 19,Sec. 1, eff. 7/1/2019.
Amended by 2016 Md. Laws, Ch. 173,Sec. 1, eff. 6/1/2016.
Amended by 2016 Md. Laws, Ch. 172,Sec. 1, eff. 6/1/2016.