TITLE 17
Elections

CHAPTER 17-9.1
Registration of Voters

SECTION 17-9.1-34


§ 17-9.1-34 Electronic registration of voters.

(a) The secretary of state shall establish, maintain, and administer a portal for electronic voter registration. An applicant may use such portal to register to vote, or to update existing voter registration information, provided:

(1) The applicant's information is verifiable in the manner described in subsection (b) of this section;

(2) The applicant's signature is in a database described in subsection (b) of this section; and

(3) Such signature may be imported into such system for electronic voter registration.

(b) Upon request of the secretary of state, a state agency, quasi-public agency, or municipality shall provide information to the secretary of state that the secretary of state deems necessary to maintain the system for electronic voter registration, and the information so obtained shall be used for no other purpose. The secretary of state shall verify applicant information by cross-referencing information submitted by applicants with data or information contained in any state agency's, quasi-public agency's, or municipality's database or a database administered by the federal government, or any voter registration database of another state. The secretary of state shall not use the information obtained from any such databases except to verify information submitted by the applicant. The applicant's signature, if part of the data contained in the state agency's, quasi-public agency's, or municipality's database, shall be included as part of the applicant's information contained in the system for electronic voter registration. No information viewed or received by the secretary of state pursuant to this subsection may be transferred to, shared with, or otherwise conveyed to any other governmental or non-governmental entity for any reason except for voter registration purposes or pursuant to a court order.

(c) The submission of an electronic application shall contain all of the information that is required for an application under § 17-9.1-9, with the exception of the signature, which shall be obtained from another state agency, quasi-public agency, or municipality's database pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(d) An applicant using the system shall mark the box associated with the following statement included as part of the electronic application:

"By clicking on the box below, I swear or affirm all of the following under penalty of perjury:

(1) I am the person whose name and identifying information is provided on this form, and I desire to register to vote or update my voter registration information in the state of Rhode Island.

(2) All of the information I have provided on this form is true and correct as of the date I am submitting this form.

(3) I authorize a Rhode Island state agency, quasi-public agency, or municipality to transmit, for voter registration purposes, to the secretary of state and my city's/town's board of canvassers my signature that is on file with such state agency, quasi-public agency, or municipality. I understand that the secretary of state and my city's/town's board of canvassers will use such signature on this electronic voter registration application as if I had signed this form personally."

(e) Upon approval of such application, the boards of canvassers shall send a confirmation notice to the applicant.

(f) The secretary of state may enter into an agreement and exchange information or data with any other state exclusively for the purposes of updating the statewide central voter register and registering voters, provided such activities are performed under the supervision of the secretary of state and the secretary of state enters into an agreement to protect the confidentiality of such information or data. A Rhode Island state agency shall provide the secretary of state with information or data to be used exclusively for voter registration purposes and shall advise the secretary of state if such information or data is held confidential. The secretary of state shall not use or transmit the information or data for any purpose except for voter registration purposes or pursuant to a court order.

(g) To ensure full, equal, and independent access to all voters with disabilities, any internet site and voter registration form created to register voters electronically or allow voters to update their voter registration shall comply with all requirements under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12165, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 compliance level AA. Experts concerning disability and usability access to websites shall be included in the development of any voter registration website and voter registration form, and shall verify accessibility and usability before the website, or an updated version of the website, is made available to the general public.

(h) The website and form shall be available in any language required by federal or state voting rights laws.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2016, ch. 7, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 8, § 2.)