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AB-603 Voter registration: confidentiality.(2007-2008)

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AB603:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 603
CHAPTER 234

An act to amend Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code, relating to voter registration.

[ Approved by Governor  September 26, 2007. Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2007. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 603, Price. Voter registration: confidentiality.
(1) Existing law establishes programs until January 1, 2008, known as “Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking” and “Address Confidentiality for Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers, and Patients” that authorizes specified persons to complete an application containing specified information in person at a community-based victims’ assistance program to be approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of enabling state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing a program participant’s residence address contained in any public record, including the program participant’s voter registration. Existing law requires the Secretary of State to act as that person’s agent for service of process and to designate a substitute mailing address for program participants pursuant to specified procedures that state and local agencies are required to use at the request of a program participant.
Under existing law, any person who makes a false statement in an application is guilty of a misdemeanor, and any person who is granted confidentiality pursuant to these provisions may file a new affidavit of voter registration or reregistration and be considered an absent voter for subsequent elections until the county elections official is notified otherwise by the Secretary of State or the voter.
This bill would extend the application of these programs until January 1, 2013. By increasing the duties of local public officials and extending the operation of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) This bill would incorporate additional changes in Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code, proposed by AB 1243, to be operative only if AB 1243 and this bill are both chaptered and become effective on or before January 1, 2008, and this bill is chaptered last.
(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2166.5.
 (a) Any person filing with the county elections official a new affidavit of registration or reregistration may have the information relating to his or her residence address, telephone number, and e-mail address appearing on the affidavit, or any list or roster or index prepared therefrom, declared confidential upon presentation of certification that the person is a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking program pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code or a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers, and Patients program pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 6215) of that division.
(b) Any person granted confidentiality under subdivision (a) shall:
(1) Be considered an absent voter for all subsequent elections or until the county elections official is notified otherwise by the Secretary of State or in writing by the voter. A voter requesting termination of absent voter status thereby consents to placement of his or her residence address, telephone number, and e-mail address in the roster of voters.
(2) In addition to the required residence address, provide a valid mailing address to be used in place of the residence address for election, scholarly, or political research, and government purposes. The elections official, in producing any list, roster, or index may, at his or her choice, use the valid mailing address or the word “confidential” or some similar designation in place of the residence address.
(c) No action in negligence may be maintained against any government entity or officer or employee thereof as a result of disclosure of the information that is the subject of this section unless by a showing of gross negligence or willfulness.
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any person granted confidentiality upon receipt by the county elections official of a written notice by the address confidentiality program manager of the withdrawal, invalidation, expiration, or termination of the program participant’s certification.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 1.5.

 Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2166.5.
 (a) Any person filing with the county elections official a new affidavit of registration or reregistration may have the information relating to his or her residence address, telephone number, and e-mail address appearing on the affidavit, or any list or roster or index prepared therefrom, declared confidential upon presentation of certification that the person is a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking program pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code or a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers, and Patients program pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 6215) of that division.
(b) Any person granted confidentiality under subdivision (a) shall:
(1) Be considered a vote by mail voter for all subsequent elections or until the county elections official is notified otherwise by the Secretary of State or in writing by the voter. A voter requesting termination of vote by mail status thereby consents to placement of his or her residence address, telephone number, and e-mail address in the roster of voters.
(2) In addition to the required residence address, provide a valid mailing address to be used in place of the residence address for election, scholarly, or political research, and government purposes. The elections official, in producing any list, roster, or index may, at his or her choice, use the valid mailing address or the word “confidential” or some similar designation in place of the residence address.
(c) No action in negligence may be maintained against any government entity or officer or employee thereof as a result of the disclosure of the information that is the subject of this section unless by a showing of gross negligence or willfulness.
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any person granted confidentiality upon receipt by the county elections official of a written notice by the address confidentiality program manager of the withdrawal, invalidation, expiration, or termination of the program participant’s certification.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code proposed by both this bill and AB 1243. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2008, (2) each bill amends Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after AB 1243, in which case Section 1 of this bill shall not become operative.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.