Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1784 Elections: open-source paper ballot voting systems.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 19500) is added to Division 19 of the Elections Code, to read:

CHAPTER  6. Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting System Program
19500.
 This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Secure the VOTE Act.
19501.
 The Secure the VOTE Act establishes a partnership between the state and counties, with the goal of developing and certifying publicly owned, open-source paper ballot voting systems. The purposes of the program are reducing costs associated with the replacement and maintenance of current paper ballot voting systems and providing counties with a more transparent, secure, and fair election process.
19502.
 An amount not to exceed sixteen million dollars ($16,000,000) shall be made available to the Secretary of State, upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute, for the program established pursuant to this chapter. The Secretary of State shall establish an application process and develop procedures for the distribution of funds awarded pursuant to this chapter.
19503.
 (a) A county shall comply with all of the following to be eligible for an award of funds:
(1) All of the system’s software components developed at least in part using state or county funds must be licensed under an open-source license approved by the Open Source Initiative and all other counties must be able to access and modify the software for free.
(2) All votes cast using the system must be recorded and tabulated using voter-verified permanent paper ballots.
(b) A county shall not be awarded more than eight million dollars ($8,000,000) pursuant to the program established by this chapter.
(c) A county that receives an award of funds to develop an open-source paper ballot voting system pursuant to this chapter may, in addition, use those funds to establish procedures for the sharing or distribution of the system and to assist other counties in using components of the system that have been certified by the Secretary of State.
19504.
 A maximum of eight million dollars ($8,000,000) shall be awarded as follows:
(a) Funds shall be awarded at a ratio of two dollars ($2) of fund money for every one dollar ($1) of county money from any source, including state funds, if a county meets all of the following requirements:
(1) All of the system’s software developed at least in part using state or county funds pursuant to this section must be licensed exclusively under the GNU Affero General Public License 3.0 or a later version.
(2) All of the system’s software components must be open source during development, using a process that is open to public feedback. Development must be carried out in public repositories by January 1, 2021.
(3) All of the system’s software components eligible for an award of matching funds pursuant to this subdivision must be certified or conditionally approved by the Secretary of State, or approved by the Secretary of State as part of a pilot program pursuant to Section 19209, for use during the November 5, 2024, general election.
19505.
 Notwithstanding Section 19504, all other funds shall be awarded at a ratio of one dollar ($1) of fund money for every one dollar ($1) of county money from any source, including state funds, up to a maximum of eight million dollars ($8,000,000).
19506.
 (a) A county shall refund to the Secretary of State all funds awarded pursuant to this chapter if the Secretary of State fails to certify voting system components of the county that, collectively, have the ability to tabulate ballots centrally, including vote by mail ballots, and that meet the requirements of Section 19503 by December 31, 2026.
(b) A county shall refund to the Secretary of State all funds awarded pursuant to this chapter that have not been encumbered by December 31, 2026.