SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the Early Voting Act.

SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
This act amends the statutes governing voting to allow citizens in STATE to vote in the two weeks leading up to primary and general elections.

SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(a) If a request is made to vote early by a registered voter in person, the election authority shall issue a ballot for early voting to the voter. The ballot must be voted on the premises of the election authority, except as otherwise provided in this Article, and returned to the election authority.

(b) On the dates for early voting, each election authority shall provide suitable equipment for voting, on the premises of the election authority and any other early voting polling place for use by registered voters who are issued ballots for early voting in accordance with this act.

(c) The election authority must maintain a list for each election of the voters to whom it has issued early ballots. The list must be maintained for each precinct within the election authority's jurisdiction. Before the opening of the polls on election day, the election authority shall deliver to the judges of election in each precinct the list of registered voters who have voted by early ballot.

(d) An election authority shall establish permanent polling places for early voting at locations throughout its jurisdiction.


(e) The period for early voting by personal appearance begins the 40th day preceding a general primary, consolidated primary, consolidated, or general election and extends through the end of the day before election day.


(f) In addition to permanent polling places for early voting, the election authority may establish temporary branch polling places for early voting.


(g) Upon request by an election authority, a unit of local government shall make the unit's public buildings within the election authority's jurisdiction available as permanent or temporary early voting polling places without charge. Availability of a building shall include reasonably necessary time before and after the period early voting is conducted at that building. A unit of local government making its public building available as a permanent or temporary early voting polling place shall ensure that any portion of the building made available is accessible to voters with disabilities and elderly voters.

(h) The election authority shall inform eligible voters in its jurisdiction of the hours and locations for early voting beginning at least one week before the period for early voting begins.


(i) Early voting shall not differ substantially from voting on election day or by absentee ballot.