Home Virginia Politics Innovative Voter Suppression: 3PVRO

Innovative Voter Suppression: 3PVRO

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In Florida, you must register to register persons to vote unless they are immediate family or you work for the state. It is more difficult to register voters there than it is to get a concealed carry permit in Virginia. McDonnell is missing the boat on the voter ID veto.

As indicated last week, the voter ID bill that the Governor seems intent to allow to go into law without his signature is unimaginative child’s play on the part of Virginia Republicans. In Florida, other than the two exceptions, anyone who solicits or collects any voter registration application is or is an agent of a Third-Party Voter Registration Organization (3PVRO). Some specific responsibilities of 3PVROs:

  • Timely submit all voter registration applications collected, including incomplete applications
  • Serve as a fiduciary for the applicants from which it collects voter registration applications
  • Ensure its assigned ID # is on any voter registration application
  • Keep its registration and registration agents’ information updated within 10 days of any change
  • File monthly reports on Form DS-DE 123 no later than the 10th of each month reflecting an accounting of all registration forms it provided to and received from its registration agents during the preceding month

So why, in a year that he could be on the Republican national ticket, McDonnell even hesitates is the bigger question. And the biggest question of all is why, if he is the leader of the state party, he cannot manage to influence his own party members in the legislature to let go of this voter ID nonsense. Next year, he and his could ramp up suppression so much more effectively following Florida’s (and ALEC’s?) lead.  

The fellows who claim to detest regulation would probably defend these onerous requirements by claiming that a vote is so very important.  So much more important than the integrity of the banks and markets, protecting the environment, educational opportunity, or fairness in the workplace.

Before engaging in any voter registration activities, a 3PVRO must register by submitting

Form DS-DE 119
. Registration must be approved and the 3PVRO assigned an ID # before the 3PVRO is considered registered to conduct voter registration activities. Also, before any of its registration agents engages in voter registration activities, the registration agent must complete Form DS-DE 120. The 3PVRO must ensure that Form DS-DE 120 is submitted within 10 days of the registration agent signing the form. Getting the picture?

There is a little good news, you do not have to be registered to hand out voter registration applications. Just don’t ask anyone to return voter registration applications or collect voter registration applications.

Candidates, political committees, and political parties who/that solicit for collection or collect voter registration applications from voter registration applicants must register as a 3PVRO. Each subsidiary or affiliate of a registered 3PVRO that also solicits for collection or collects voter registration applications must also register as a 3PVRO. What that appears to mean is that if the state party is registered, the district, city, and/or county committee must also register separately.  

I understand the penalties for false registration may include a term of imprisonment up to 5 years and a fine up to $5,000, pursuant to sections 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084, Florida Statutes.

Here is a fun assignment. 3PVROs must designate an agent that the organization authorizes as its agent to accept service of legal process on its behalf. The registered agent must formally accept the appointment; forms without the designated registered agent’s signature will be considered incomplete.

The Division interprets “registered agent” of a 3PVRO to mean an individual resident in the state or a domestic or foreign corporation or a not-for-profit corporation authorized to transact business in the state with such person or corporation being authorized to accept legal service of process for the 3PVRO.

If a 3PVRO’s registration agent terminates his or her employment or volunteer service, the 3PVRO must file an amended Form DS-DE119 reflecting the termination.

A 3PVRO which collects voter registration applications serves as a fiduciary to the applicant, ensuring that any application entrusted shall be promptly delivered. If a voter registration application collected by any 3PVRO is not promptly delivered, only the 3PVRO itself is liable for the following fines:

  • $50 for each voter registration application received … more than 48 hours after the applicant delivered the completed application to the 3PVRO. The fine is $250 per application if the act was willful.
  • $100 for each voter registration application collected by a 3PVRO or any person, entity, or agent acting on its behalf, before book closing for any given election for federal or state office and received after the book closing deadline. The fine is $500 per application if the act was willful.
  • $500 for each voter registration application collected by a 3PVRO or any person, entity, or agent acting on its behalf, which is not submitted …. The fine is $1000 per application if the act was willful.
  • The aggregate fine which may be assessed against a 3PVRO, including affiliate organizations, for violations committed in a calendar year is $1,000.

The date the applicant signed the voter registration application is presumed to be the date the 3PVRO received or collected the application. The 3PVRO is responsible for printing the date and time the applicant completed the application in a conspicuous space on the bottom portion of the reverse side of any voter registration application in a manner that does not obscure any other entry.

A most interesting aspect in this whole process is what isn’t a part of it. There is no requirement for a person registering to vote to show identification. When an applicant does not have a Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card number, the last four digits of their Social Security Number suffices. No SSN? No problem, check the box for “None.” If ID is not important during registration, how does is become elevated at the polls themselves? It doesn’t. It gets elevated in the Virginia legislature because it is perceived as a flashpoint with the electorate. Yet McDonnell wrings his hands over a bill he already indicated was flawed. He is not the leader of the Virginia Republicans; he is their supplicant.

However, if Bob wants to invent some jobs, imagine how many will be created just regulating voter registration. In Florida, the list of 3PVROs grows by the minute. If you want to ask the Governor about voter ID, he will appear tomorrow morning at 9AM on WNIS, Norfolk, Virginia.