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SB-199 Elections: vote by mail ballots.(2011-2012)

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SB199:v97#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 01, 2011
Passed  IN  Senate  August 30, 2011
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 29, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 24, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 199


Introduced  by  Senator Correa

February 08, 2011


An act to amend Sections 3017 and 15320 of the Elections Code, relating to vote by mail ballots.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 199, Correa. Elections: vote by mail ballots.
(1) Existing law permits any voter to apply for permanent vote by mail voter status if the voter completes an application containing the required information in accordance with specified statutory provisions and requires a voter to return a vote by mail ballot by mail or in person to the elections official from whom it came, or in person to any member of a precinct board at any polling place within the jurisdiction, before the close of the polls on election day.
This bill would permit a voter to return a vote by mail ballot to any polling place in the state, and in the case of a vote by mail ballot returned to a precinct located in a county other than the county of the elections official who issued the ballot, would require the elections official of the precinct at which the ballot is returned to forward the ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot. By imposing additional duties on local elections officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The bill would also make a conforming change to a related provision.
(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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3017 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

3017.
 (a) All vote by mail ballots cast under this division shall be voted on or before the day of the election. After marking the ballot, the vote by mail voter shall do either of the following: (1) return the ballot by mail or in person to the elections official from whom it came or (2) return the ballot in person to any member of a precinct board at any polling place within the state. However, a vote by mail voter who, because of illness or other physical disability, is unable to return the ballot, may designate his or her spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, or a person residing in the same household as the vote by mail voter to return the ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot or to the precinct board at any polling place within the state. The ballot must, however, be received by either the elections official or a precinct board before the close of the polls on election day. In the case of a vote by mail ballot returned to a precinct board of a polling place located in a county other than the county of the elections official who issued the ballot, the elections official responsible for the polling place at which the ballot is returned shall forward the ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot.
(b) The elections official shall establish procedures to ensure the secrecy of any ballot returned to a precinct polling place and the security, confidentiality, and integrity of any personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used pursuant to this section.
(c) On or before March 1, 2008, the elections official shall establish procedures to track and confirm the receipt of voted vote by mail ballots and to make this information available by means of online access using the county’s elections division Internet Web site. If the county does not have an elections division Internet Web site, the elections official shall establish a toll-free telephone number that may be used to confirm the date a voted vote by mail ballot was received.
(d) The provisions of this section are mandatory, not directory, and no ballot shall be counted if it is not delivered in compliance with this section.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), no vote by mail voter’s ballot shall be returned by any paid or volunteer worker of any general purpose committee, controlled committee, independent expenditure committee, political party, candidate’s campaign committee, or any other group or organization at whose behest the individual designated to return the ballot is performing a service. However, this subdivision shall not apply to a candidate or a candidate’s spouse.

SEC. 2.

 Section 15320 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15320.
 Vote by mail ballots and mail ballot precinct ballots returned to the elections office and to the polls on election day, including those returned to another jurisdiction in the state and forwarded to the jurisdiction of issuance, that are not included in the semifinal official canvass phase of the election shall be processed and counted during the official canvass in the manner prescribed by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 15100).

SEC. 3.

  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains 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.