Chapter 12 - Election Offenses

Chapter 12 - Election Offenses

6.1201 Classes of offenses.

Except as otherwise provided, offenses against the election laws contained in this title are divided into two classes: “election frauds” and “misdemeanors”.

6.1202 Perjury.

Any person who, knowing that he is not entitled to register or to vote, registers or votes is guilty of perjury; and any person taking any oath in chapters 01 through 12 of this title prescribed or authorized to be administered and willfully making oath to any false statement of fact, or willfully making a false answer to any question put to him thereunder, is guilty of perjury.

6.1203 Election frauds.

The following persons are considered guilty of an election fraud:

(1) every person who, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, gives, procures, or lends, or agrees or offers to give, procure, or lend, or who endeavors to procure, any money or office or place of employment or valuable consideration to or for any qualified elector, or to or for any person for a qualified elector, or to or for any person in order to induce any qualified elector to vote or refrain from voting, or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or issue, or who does any such act on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person at any election;

(2) every person who advances or pays, or causes to be paid, any money to, or to the use of, any other person, with the intent that the money, or any part thereof, shall be expended in bribery at any election, or for any purpose connected with or incidental to any election;

(3) every qualified elector who, before, during, or after any election, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, receives, agrees, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place, or employment for himself or any other person for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining to vote or agreeing to refrain from voting, or for voting or refraining to vote for any particular person or issue;

(4) every person who, directly or indirectly, personally or through another, makes use of, or threatens to make use of, any force, violence, or restraint; or inflicts or threatens to inflict any injury, damage, or loss in, any manner, or in any way practices intimidation upon or against any person in order to induce or compel the person to vote or refrain from voting, or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or party; or who by abduction, distress, or any device or contrivance impedes, prevents, or otherwise interferes with the free exercise of the elective franchise;

(5) every person who, at any election, votes or attempts to vote in the name of any other person, living or dead, or in some fictitious name, or who, having once voted, votes or attempts to vote again, or knowingly gives or attempts to give more than one ballot for the same office at one time of voting;

(6) every person who, before or during an election, knowingly publishes a false statement of the withdrawal of any candidate at the election;

(7) every person who induces or procures any person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election in consideration of any payment or gift or valuable consideration; or of any threat; and every candidate who withdraws from being a candidate in pursuance of such inducement of procurement;

(8) every public officer by law required to do or perform any act or thing with reference to any of the provisions in any law concerning elections contained who willfully fails, neglects, or refuses to do or perform the same, or who willfully performs it in such a way as to hinder the objects thereof, or who is guilty of any willful violation of any of the provisions thereof;

(9) any person willfully tampering or attempting to tamper with, disarrange, deface, or impair in any manner whatsoever, or destroy any voting equipment while the same is in use at any election, or who, after the equipment is locked in order to preserve the registration or record of any election made by the same, tampers or attempts to tamper with any voting equipment.

6.1204 Penalties-Disqualification or removal from office-Notice of conviction.

A person found guilty of an election fraud shall be sentenced upon conviction as for a class A misdemeanor. In addition to the punishment, the person shall be disqualified from voting and from being elected to, holding or occupying any office, elective or appointive. If the person convicted holds any office, either elective or appointive, at the time of the conviction, the office shall at once and without mention in the sentence or other proceeding be vacated by the conviction. The judge before whom the conviction is had shall immediately transmit to the Chief Election Officer the name of the person, the offense of which he has been convicted and the sentence of the court.

6.1205 Misdemeanors.

The following persons are guilty of a class B misdemeanor, and upon conviction, sentenced accordingly:

(1) any person who offers any bribe or makes any promise of gain, or with knowledge of the same permits any person to offer any bribe or make any promise of gain for his benefit, to any qualified elector to induce him to sign a nomination paper, and any person who accepts any bribe or promise of gain of any kind as consideration for signing it, whether the bribe or promise of gain is offered or accepted before or after the signing;

(2) any person who willfully tears down or destroys or defaces any election proclamation or any poster or notice or list of qualified electors or card of instructions or specimen ballot, issued or posted by authority of law;

(3) any person printing or duplicating or causing to be printed or duplicated any ballot, conforming as to the size, weight, shape, thickness, or color, to the official ballot so that it could be cast or counted as an official ballot in an election;

(4) every person who is disorderly or creates a disturbance whereby any meeting of the district officials or the Board of Registration of qualified electors during an election is disturbed or interfered with; or whereby any person who intends to be lawfully present at any meeting or election is prevented from attending; or who causes any disturbance at any election; and every person assisting or aiding or abetting any disturbance;

(5) every person who, either in person or through another, in any manner breaks up or prevents, or endeavors to break up or prevent, the holding of any meeting of the board of registration of qualified electors, or in any manner breaks up or prevents, or endeavors to break up or prevent, the holding of any election;

(6) any person, other than those designated by 6.0702, who remains or loiters within the area specified for voting as set forth in 6.0702 during the time appointed for voting;

(7) any person, including candidates carrying on any campaign activities within the area described in 6.0702 on the day on which an election is being held for the purpose of influencing votes; campaign activities include but are not limited to:

(A) the distribution, circulation, posting, or stacking of campaign cards, pamphlets, and other literature;

(B) the use of public address systems and other public communication media;

(C) the use of motor caravans or parades; and

(D) the use of entertainment troupes or the free distribution of goods and services; the “day of election” as used in this paragraph shall commence at midnight on the day the polls are opened and end with the closing of the polls;

(8) any person who opens a reply envelope containing an absentee ballot voted under 6.1101 et seq. other than those authorized to do so;

(9) any qualified elector who makes any false statement in any affidavit required for absentee voting under 6.1101 et seq.;

(10) every person who willfully violates or fails to obey any of the provisions of law, punishment for which is not otherwise specially provided for in chapters 01 through 12 of this title.

6.1206 Violation-Penalty.

Any person convicted of a misdemeanor under chapters 01 through 12 of this title shall be fined not more than $500, or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.

6.1207 Penalty for other offenses.

A violation of this section is an infraction:

(1) any person, business, or corporation who publishes, shows, broadcasts, or circulates political advertisements or literature without stating the name and address of the person or committee that paid for the advertisement or literature;

(2) any person, business, or corporation who refuses an employee the privileges conferred by 6.0504, or subjects an employee to a penalty or deduction of wages because of the exercise of the privileges, or who directly or indirectly violates 6.0504.