42 U.S. Code § 1973aa–1 - Residence requirements for voting

(a) Congressional findings
The Congress hereby finds that the imposition and application of the durational residency requirement as a precondition to voting for the offices of President and Vice President, and the lack of sufficient opportunities for absentee registration and absentee balloting in presidential elections—
(1) denies or abridges the inherent constitutional right of citizens to vote for their President and Vice President;
(2) denies or abridges the inherent constitutional right of citizens to enjoy their free movement across State lines;
(3) denies or abridges the privileges and immunities guaranteed to the citizens of each State under article IV, section 2, clause 1, of the Constitution;
(4) in some instances has the impermissible purpose or effect of denying citizens the right to vote for such officers because of the way they may vote;
(5) has the effect of denying to citizens the equality of civil rights, and due process and equal protection of the laws that are guaranteed to them under the fourteenth amendment; and
(6) does not bear a reasonable relationship to any compelling State interest in the conduct of presidential elections.
(b) Congressional declaration: durational residency requirement, abolishment; absentee registration and balloting standards, establishment
Upon the basis of these findings, Congress declares that in order to secure and protect the above-stated rights of citizens under the Constitution, to enable citizens to better obtain the enjoyment of such rights, and to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth amendment, it is necessary
(1) to completely abolish the durational residency requirement as a precondition to voting for President and Vice President, and
(2) to establish nationwide, uniform standards relative to absentee registration and absentee balloting in presidential elections.
(c) Prohibition of denial of right to vote because of durational residency requirement or absentee balloting
No citizen of the United States who is otherwise qualified to vote in any election for President and Vice President shall be denied the right to vote for electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election because of the failure of such citizen to comply with any durational residency requirement of such State or political subdivision; nor shall any citizen of the United States be denied the right to vote for electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election because of the failure of such citizen to be physically present in such State or political subdivision at the time of such election, if such citizen shall have complied with the requirements prescribed by the law of such State or political subdivision providing for the casting of absentee ballots in such election.
(d) Registration: time for application; absentee balloting: time of application and return of ballots
For the purposes of this section, each State shall provide by law for the registration or other means of qualification of all duly qualified residents of such State who apply, not later than thirty days immediately prior to any presidential election, for registration or qualification to vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President or for President and Vice President in such election; and each State shall provide by law for the casting of absentee ballots for the choice of electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, by all duly qualified residents of such State who may be absent from their election district or unit in such State on the day such election is held and who have applied therefor not later than seven days immediately prior to such election and have returned such ballots to the appropriate election official of such State not later than the time of closing of the polls in such State on the day of such election.
(e) Change of residence; voting in person or by absentee ballot in State of prior residence
If any citizen of the United States who is otherwise qualified to vote in any State or political subdivision in any election for President and Vice President has begun residence in such State or political subdivision after the thirtieth day next preceding such election and, for that reason, does not satisfy the registration requirements of such State or political subdivision he shall be allowed to vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election,
(1) in person in the State or political subdivision in which he resided immediately prior to his removal if he had satisfied, as of the date of his change of residence, the requirements to vote in that State or political subdivision, or
(2) by absentee ballot in the State or political subdivision in which he resided immediately prior to his removal if he satisfies, but for his nonresident status and the reason for his absence, the requirements for absentee voting in that State or political subdivision.
(f) Absentee registration requirement
No citizen of the United States who is otherwise qualified to vote by absentee ballot in any State or political subdivision in any election for President and Vice President shall be denied the right to vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election because of any requirement of registration that does not include a provision for absentee registration.
(g) State or local adoption of less restrictive voting practices
Nothing in this section shall prevent any State or political subdivision from adopting less restrictive voting practices than those that are prescribed herein.
(h) “State” defined
The term “State” as used in this section includes each of the several States and the District of Columbia.
(i) False registration, and other fraudulent acts and conspiracies: application of penalty for false information in registering or voting
The provisions of section 1973i (c) of this title shall apply to false registration, and other fraudulent acts and conspiracies, committed under this section.

Source

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, § 202, as added Pub. L. 91–285, § 6,June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 316.)

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42 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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