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AB-2177 Early voting.(2013-2014)

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AB2177:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 01, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 23, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2177


Introduced by Assembly Member Brown
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Levine, Nazarian, Pan, and Williams)
(Coauthors: Senators Padilla and Yee)

February 20, 2014


An act to add Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3300) to Division 3 of the Elections Code, relating to voting.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2177, as amended, Brown. Early voting.
Existing law establishes procedures for voters to apply for a vote by mail ballot and use the ballot to vote in an election. Existing law allows a jurisdiction in which vote by mail ballots are cast to begin processing vote by mail ballots 29 days before the election.
This bill would require the Secretary of State to provide guidance to local elections officials in performing specified tasks for the purpose of promoting and expanding the practice of early voting, as defined, consistent with specified statutory authority. The bill would define “early voting” to mean voting a vote by mail ballot in person at the office of the elections official or another location designated by the elections official either before or on the day of the election.
The bill would allow county elections officials to apply for funding to provide early voting. If a county obtains funding sufficient to satisfy all associated costs, the bill would require an elections official, on at least one Saturday and Sunday on or after the date the elections official first delivers ballots to vote by mail voters for a statewide election, or for any other election as determined by the elections official based on voter demand, to allow voters to vote in the election by means of early voting at the early voting location designated for this purpose, provided that the location is accessible and complies with disability access requirements under federal and state law. The bill would permit the elections official to determine the hours of operation for the designated early voting location or locations for each Saturday and Sunday on which early voting is offered, provided that each location shall be open to voters for a minimum of 6 hours on each designated Saturday and Sunday. These provisions regarding Saturday and Sunday voting would not apply to elections conducted wholly by mail or to precincts in which each voter is furnished with a vote by mail ballot, as specified.
This bill would become operative on January 1, 2016.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to make voting more convenient and accessible in order to increase voter turnout at elections.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3300) is added to Division 3 of the Elections Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4. Early Voting

3300.
 For purposes of this chapter, “early voting” means voting a vote by mail ballot in person at the office of the elections official or another location designated by the elections official either before or on the day of the election.

3301.
 For purposes of promoting and expanding the practice of early voting consistent with the authority granted by this division, the Secretary of State shall provide guidance to local elections officials in accomplishing all of the following:
(a) Establishing one or more locations for early voting, which may include the office of the local elections official.
(b) Notifying voters of the early voting location or locations.
(c) Ensuring that the early voting location or locations and the procedures used therein comply with disability access requirements under federal and state law.

3302.
 (a) Each county elections official may apply to for funding from any private or public source, including, but not limited to, the Secretary of State for funding from the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 15301 et seq.), to provide early voting pursuant to this chapter. If a county obtains funding sufficient to satisfy all associated costs, the elections official shall provide early voting pursuant to subdivision (b). If a county does not obtain funding sufficient to satisfy all associated costs, the elections official may, but is not required to, provide early voting pursuant to subdivision (b).
(b) If early voting is provided pursuant to subdivision (a), on at least one Saturday and Sunday on or after the date an elections official first delivers ballots to vote by mail voters for a statewide election, or for any other election as determined by the elections official based on voter demand, the elections official shall allow voters to vote in the election by means of early voting at an early voting location designated for this purpose, provided that the location is accessible and complies with disability access requirements under federal and state law. The elections official may determine the hours of operation for the designated early voting location or locations for each Saturday and Sunday on which early voting is offered pursuant to this section, provided that each location shall be open to voters for a minimum of six hours on each designated Saturday and Sunday.
(c) Subdivision (b) does not apply to elections conducted wholly by mail or to a precinct in which each voter is furnished a vote by mail ballot pursuant to Section 3005.

SEC. 3.

 This act shall become operative on January 1, 2016.