HCS HB 1480, 2016 (Amended Section - as Truly Agreed)
115.291. 1. Upon receiving an absentee ballot [in
person or] by mail, the voter shall mark the ballot
in secret, place the ballot in the ballot envelope, seal the
envelope and fill out the statement on the ballot envelope.
The affidavit of each person voting an absentee ballot shall
be subscribed and sworn to before the election official receiving
the ballot, a notary public or other officer authorized by
law to administer oaths, unless the voter is voting absentee
due to incapacity or confinement due to the provisions of section
115.284, illness or physical disability, or the voter is a
covered voter as defined in section 115.902. If the voter is
blind, unable to read or write the English language, or physically
incapable of voting the ballot, the voter may be assisted by
a person of the voter's own choosing. Any person assisting a
voter who is not entitled to such assistance, and any person
who assists a voter and in any manner coerces or initiates
a request or a suggestion that the voter vote for or against
or refrain from voting on any question, ticket or candidate,
shall be guilty of a class one election offense. If, upon
counting, challenge or election contest, it is ascertained that
any absentee ballot was voted with unlawful assistance, the
ballot shall be rejected.
2. Except as provided in subsection 4 of this section, each absentee ballot that is not cast by the voter in person in the office of the election authority shall be returned to the election authority in the ballot envelope and shall only be returned by the voter in person, or in person by a relative of the voter who is within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, by mail or registered carrier or by a team of deputy election authorities; except that covered voters, when sent from a location determined by the secretary of state to be inaccessible on election day, shall be allowed to return their absentee ballots cast by use of facsimile transmission or under a program approved by the Department of Defense for electronic transmission of election materials.
3. In cases of an emergency declared by the President of the United States or the governor of this state where the conduct of an election may be affected, the secretary of state may provide for the delivery and return of absentee ballots by use of a facsimile transmission device or system. Any rule promulgated pursuant to this subsection shall apply to a class or classes of voters as provided for by the secretary of state.
4. No election authority shall refuse to accept and process any otherwise valid marked absentee ballot submitted in any manner by a covered voter solely on the basis of restrictions on envelope type.