Bill Text

Bill Information

Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-216 Voters: residency confirmation.(2011-2012)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB216:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 216
CHAPTER 495

An act to amend Sections 2223, 2224, 2225, and 2226 of, and to add Section 2227 to, the Elections Code, relating to elections.

[ Approved by Governor  September 24, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  September 24, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 216, Swanson. Voters: residency confirmation.
Existing law requires the county elections official to conduct a preelection residence confirmation procedure by mailing a specified nonforwardable postcard to each registered voter of the county by the 90th day immediately prior to the direct primary election. In lieu of mailing a residency confirmation postcard, existing law permits the county elections official to conduct the residency confirmation procedure by alternative methods, including by contracting with the United States Postal Service or its licensees to obtain use of postal service change-of-address data. Existing law requires the county elections official, based on the change-of-address information received in conducting the residency confirmation, or the change-of-address information provided directly by the voter, to correct or cancel, among other things, the voter’s registration.
This bill would permit a county elections official, in lieu of mailing a residency confirmation postcard, to contract with a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees to obtain change-of-address data. If the county elections official contracts with a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees, this bill would require the county elections official, based on the change-of-address information received, to send a specified forwardable notice to the registered voter to enable the voter to verify or correct the address information. If the voter responds to the forwardable notice, or otherwise verifies in writing his or her new residence address, this bill would require the county elections official, as appropriate, to correct or cancel the voter’s registration.
Existing law authorizes a county elections official, if a voter has not voted in any election within the preceding 4 years, and the residence, address, name, or party affiliation of the voter has not been updated during that time, to send an alternate residency confirmation postcard that describes the alternate residency procedure. If a county uses the alternate residency confirmation procedure, the county is required to notify all voters of the procedure in the sample ballot pamphlet or in a separate mailing. A voter in that county is also given the opportunity to vote at a statewide primary or general election between the date of the notice and the beginning of the alternate residency procedure. Existing law further authorizes a county elections official to cancel the voter registration of a voter who does not offer to vote or vote at any election between the date of the confirmation mailing and 2 federal general elections after the date of that mailing.
This bill would delete the provision that authorizes a county elections official to cancel the voter registration of a voter who does not offer to vote or vote within a specified time period, and would delete the requirement that a voter be given an opportunity to vote at a statewide primary or general election between the date of notice and the beginning of the alternate residency procedure.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2223 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2223.
 (a) In lieu of mailing a residency confirmation postcard to each registered voter in the county, the county elections official may include the return address of the county elections official’s office on the outside portion of the sample ballot or sample ballot envelope mailed to the voter for an election conducted within the last six months preceding the start of the confirmation process, along with the statements “Address Correction Requested” and “Notice: If the person named on the sample ballot is not at the address, please help keep the voter rolls current and save taxpayer dollars by returning this sample ballot to your mail carrier.”
(b) A voter not eligible for an election during the last six months preceding the start of the confirmation process, or a voter not mailed a sample ballot with an address correction requested, shall have his or her address confirmed by either a residency confirmation postcard or an address verification mailing conducted pursuant to this article using NCOA/Operation Mail data pursuant to Section 2222 or consumer credit reporting agency data pursuant to Section 2227.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2224 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2224.
 (a) If a voter has not voted in an election within the preceding four years, and his or her residence address, name, or party affiliation has not been updated during that time, the county elections official may send an alternate residency confirmation postcard. The use of this postcard may be sent subsequent to NCOA or sample ballot returns, but shall not be used in the residency confirmation process conducted under Section 2220. The postcard shall be forwardable, including a postage-paid and preaddressed return form to enable the voter to verify or correct the address information, and shall be in substantially the following form:
“If the person named on the postcard is not at this address, PLEASE help keep the voter rolls current and save taxpayer dollars by returning this postcard to your mail carrier.”
“IMPORTANT NOTICE”
“According to our records you have not voted in any election during the past four years, which may indicate that you no longer reside in ____ County. If you continue to reside in this county you must confirm your residency address in order to remain on the active voter list and receive election materials in the mail.”
“If confirmation has not been received within 15 days, you may be required to provide proof of your residence address in order to vote at future elections. If you no longer live in ____ County, you must reregister at your new residence address in order to vote in the next election. California residents may obtain a mail registration form by calling the county elections office of the Secretary of State’s Office.”
(b) The use of a toll-free number to confirm the old residence address is optional. Any change to a voter’s address shall be received in writing.
(c) A county using the alternate residency confirmation procedure shall notify all voters of the procedure in the sample ballot pamphlet or in a separate mailing.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2225 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2225.
 (a) Based on change-of-address data received from the United States Postal Service or its licensees, the county elections official shall send a forwardable notice, including a postage-paid and preaddressed return form, to enable the voter to verify or correct address information.
Notification received through NCOA or Operation Mail that a voter has moved and has given no forwarding address shall not require the mailing of a forwardable notice to that voter.
(b) If postal service change-of-address data indicates that the voter has moved to a new residence address in the same county, the forwardable notice shall be in substantially the following form:

“We have received notification that the voter has moved to a new residence address in ____ County. You will be registered to vote at your new address unless you notify our office within 15 days that the address to which this card was mailed is not a change of your permanent residence. You must notify our office by either returning the attached postage-paid postcard, or by calling toll free. If this is not a permanent residence, and if you do not notify us within 15 days, you may be required to provide proof of your residence address in order to vote at future elections.”

(c) If postal service change-of-address data indicates that the voter has moved to a new address in another county, the forwardable notice shall be in substantially the following form:

“We have received notification that you have moved to a new address not in ____ County. Please use the attached postage-paid postcard to: (1) advise us if this is or is not a permanent change of residence address, or (2) to advise us if our information is incorrect. If you do not return this card within 15 days and continue to reside in ____ County, you may be required to provide proof of your residence address in order to vote at future elections and, if you do not offer to vote at any election in the period between the date of this notice and the second federal general election following this notice, your voter registration will be cancelled and you will have to reregister in order to vote. If you no longer live in ____ County, you must reregister at your new residence address in order to vote in the next election. California residents may obtain a mail registration form by calling the county elections officer or 1-800-345-VOTE.”

(d) If postal service change-of-address data received from a nonforwardable mailing indicates that a voter has moved and left no forwarding address, a forwardable notice shall be sent in substantially the following form:

“We are attempting to verify postal notification that the voter to whom this card is addressed has moved and left no forwarding address. If the person receiving this card is the addressed voter, please confirm your continued residence or provide current residence information on the attached postage-paid postcard within 15 days. If you do not return this card and continue to reside in ____ County, you may be required to provide proof of your residence address in order to vote at future elections and, if you do not offer to vote at any election in the period between the date of this notice and the second federal general election following this notice, your voter registration will be cancelled and you will have to reregister in order to vote. If you no longer live in ____ County, you must reregister at your new residence address in order to vote in the next election. California residents may obtain a mail registration form by calling the county elections office or the Secretary of State’s Office.”

(e) The use of a toll-free number to confirm the old residence address is optional. Any change to the voter address must be received in writing.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2226 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2226.
 (a) Based on change-of-address information received pursuant to Sections 2220 to 2225, inclusive, or change-of-address information provided directly by the voter, the county elections official shall take the following actions as appropriate:
(1) If the information indicates the voter has moved to a new address within the same county, the county elections official shall update and correct the voter’s registration.
(2) If the information indicates the voter has moved to a new address in another county, if the mailings have been returned as undeliverable, or if the voter fails to confirm his or her address as required by Section 2224, the county elections official may place the voter’s name on the inactive file of registered voters who do not receive election materials and are not included in calculations to determine the number of signatures required for qualification of candidates and measures, precinct size, or other election administration-related processes.
(3) If the voter verifies in writing that he or she has moved to a residence address in another county, the county elections official shall cancel the voter registration in the county from which the voter has moved.
(b) The voter registration of any voter whose name has been placed on the inactive file of registered voters for failure to respond to an address verification mailing required by Section 2225, and who does not offer to vote or vote at any election between the date of the mailing and two federal general elections after the date of that mailing, may be canceled.
(c) Any voter whose name has been placed on the inactive file of registered voters and offers to vote at any election between the date of the verification notice, and two federal general elections after the date of notice, or who notifies the elections official of a continued residency, shall be removed from the inactive file and placed on the active voter file.
(d) All address corrections, cancellations, and inactive transactions made to the voter registration file pursuant to this section shall be reflected on the voter index as required by Section 2191.

SEC. 5.

 Section 2227 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

2227.
 (a) In lieu of mailing a residency confirmation postcard, as prescribed in subdivision (a) of Section 2220, the county elections official may contract with a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees to obtain use of change-of-address data in accordance with this section.
(b) If the county elections official contracts with a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees pursuant to subdivision (a), all of the following shall occur:
(1) For each registered voter in the county, the county elections official shall initiate a search for change-of-address data with the consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees by providing the name and residence address of each registered voter in the county to the consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees.
(2) The consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees shall search their databases for each name and address provided by the county elections official and shall report to the county elections official any information indicating that the registered voter changed his or her residence address.
(c) (1) Notwithstanding Section 2194 of this code or Section 6254.4 of the Government Code, and except as provided in paragraph (2), a county elections official may disclose a registered voter’s name and residence address to a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees pursuant to, and in accordance with, this section.
(2) A county elections official shall not disclose to a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees the name and residence address of a registered voter if that information is deemed confidential pursuant to Section 2166, 2166.5, or 2166.7 of this code, or Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
(d) A consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees shall use the information provided by a county elections official only pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), and shall not retain any information received from the county elections official pursuant to this section.
(e) Based on change-of-address data received from a consumer credit reporting agency or its licensees, the county elections official shall send a forwardable notice, including a postage-paid and preaddressed return form, which may be in the form of a postcard, to the registered voter to enable the voter to verify or correct address information. The forwardable notice shall be in substantially the following form:

“We have received notification that you have moved to a new residence address in ____ County. You will remain registered to vote at your old address unless you notify our office that the address to which this card was mailed is a change of your permanent residence. Please notify our office in writing by returning the attached postage-paid postcard. If this is not a permanent residence, and you do not wish to change your address for voting purposes, please disregard this notice.”

(f) The county elections official shall take all of the following actions as appropriate:
(1) If a voter responds to the forwardable notice sent pursuant to subdivision (e) or otherwise verifies in a signed writing that he or she has moved to a new residence address within the same county, the county elections official shall verify the signature on the response by comparing it to the signature on file for the voter and, if appropriate, correct the voter’s registration with the new residence address.
(2) If a voter responds to the forwardable notice sent pursuant to subdivision (e) or otherwise verifies in a signed writing that he or she has moved to a new residence address in another county, the county elections official shall verify the signature on the response by comparing it to the signature on file for the voter and, if appropriate, cancel the voter’s registration in the county from which the voter has moved.
(3) If a voter does not respond to the forwardable notice sent pursuant to subdivision (e) and does not otherwise verify in a signed writing that he or she has moved to a new residence address, the elections official shall not place the voter’s name on the inactive file of registered voters or cancel the voter registration.
(g) For purposes of this section, “consumer credit reporting agency” has the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (d) of Section 1785.3 of the Civil Code.