HBA-BSM, NRS H.B. 59 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 59 By: Puente Judicial Affairs 3/21/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, some voters may experience difficulty finding thorough non-partisan information on candidates running for judicial offices. House Bill 59 authorizes the Secretary of State to implement a voter information service program to compile information on candidates in judicial elections in the form of a voter information guide and to make the guide available on the internet. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 59 amends the Election Code to authorize the secretary of state (secretary) to implement a voter information service program to compile information on judicial election candidates in a voter information guide and make the guide available to the public on the Internet. If the secretary implements a voter information service program, the bill authorizes a candidate to file an informational statement with the secretary to be included in the voter information guide for that election, not later than the 70th day before the judicial election. The bill provides that a candidate's statement must include a summary of personal and biographical information. The bill authorizes the secretary to prescribe the format and length of the candidate's statement and to review the statement to determine whether it complies with applicable requirements not later than the fifth day after the date the candidate's statement is received. The bill authorizes the secretary to reject the statement and deliver written notice of the reason for the rejection to the candidate not later than the second day after the date of rejection if the secretary determines that the statement does not comply with applicable requirements. The bill authorizes a candidate whose statement is rejected to resubmit the statement subject to the prescribed deadline for informational statements. The bill authorizes the secretary to contract for the preparation of the voter information guide after soliciting bids, and to prepare the guide if the secretary determines that the costs of that preparation are less than or equal to the most reasonable bid submitted. The bill provides that a voter information guide must include the candidates' statements, with candidates for election and write-in candidates for election as separate groups. The bill provides that the order of the candidates' names within the groups is determined by a drawing conducted by the secretary and authorizes the secretary to prescribe explanatory material to be included in the guide to assist voters, including a statement that the guide may be used at the polls to assist voters in marking their ballots. The bill also authorizes the secretary to make the voter information guide available to the public on the Internet not later than the 45th day before the date of each judicial election and to prescribe any additional procedures necessary to implement a voter information service program. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.