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AB-1403 Military and overseas voters: return of ballot by electronic means.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/21/2017 09:00 PM
AB1403:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 21, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 27, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1403


Introduced by Assembly Member Obernolte

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 3106 of the Elections Code, relating to military and overseas voters.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1403, as amended, Obernolte. Military and overseas voters: return of ballot by electronic means.
Existing law sets forth the procedures for military or overseas voters, as defined, to register to vote, to apply for voting ballots, and to vote. Existing law requires unvoted voting materials to be electronically transmitted to a military or overseas voter and authorizes a voter to return his or her vote by mail ballot by facsimile transmission. To be counted, existing law requires that a ballot returned by facsimile transmission be received by the voter’s election official no later than the closing of the polls on election day, as specified.
This bill would instead require that a ballot returned by facsimile transmission be received by the voter’s elections official no later than the close of business on the third day after an election. By imposing additional duties on local elections officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the Secretary of State to submit, by January 1, 2019, a report to specified legislative committees describing the feasibility of allowing military and overseas voters to return their ballots by electronic means.
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 the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3106 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

3106.
 (a) A military or overseas voter who is living outside of the territorial limits of the United States or the District of Columbia, or is called for military service within the United States on or after the final date to make application for a vote by mail ballot, may return his or her ballot by facsimile transmission. To be counted, the ballot returned by facsimile transmission shall be received by the voter’s elections official no later than the closing of the polls on election day close of business on the third day after an election, and shall be accompanied by an identification envelope containing all of the information required by Section 3011 and an oath of voter declaration in substantially the following form:
“OATH OF VOTER
I,, acknowledge that by returning my voted
ballot by facsimile transmission I have waived my right to have my ballot
kept secret. Nevertheless, I understand that, as with any vote by mail
voter, my signature, whether on this oath of voter form or my identification
envelope, will be permanently separated from my voted ballot to maintain
its secrecy at the outset of the tabulation process and thereafter.

My residence address (last U.S. residence for voter qualification purposes) is(Street Address) _____ _____ (City) _____ _____ (ZIP Code).

My current mailing address is(Street Address) _____ (City) _____ _____ (ZIP Code).

My email address is _________________. My facsimile transmission
number is _________________.

I am a resident of __________ County, State of California, or am qualified
as an elector pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 321 of
the Elections Code and I have not applied, nor intend to apply, for a vote by
mail ballot from any other jurisdiction for the same election.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Dated this __________ day of ______, 20_____.

(Signature)
  (voter)(power of attorney cannot be accepted)

YOUR BALLOT CANNOT BE COUNTED UNLESS YOU SIGN THE
ABOVE OATH AND INCLUDE IT WITH YOUR BALLOT AND
IDENTIFICATION ENVELOPE, ALL OF WHICH ARE RETURNED
BY FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION.”
(b) Notwithstanding the voter’s waiver of the right to a secret ballot, each elections official shall adopt appropriate procedures to protect the secrecy of ballots returned by facsimile transmission.
(c) Upon receipt of a ballot returned by facsimile transmission, the elections official shall determine the voter’s eligibility to vote by comparing the signature on the return information with the signature on the voter’s affidavit of registration or any signature permitted for comparison under Section 3019. The ballot shall be duplicated and all materials preserved according to procedures set forth in this code.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a military or overseas voter who is permitted to return his or her ballot by facsimile transmission is, nonetheless, encouraged to return his or her ballot by mail or in person if possible. A military or overseas voter should return a ballot by facsimile transmission only if doing so is necessary for the ballot to be received before the close of polls on election day.
(e) (1) By January 1, 2019, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the relevant fiscal and policy committees of the Senate and the Assembly describing the feasibility of allowing military and overseas voters to return their ballots by electronic means. The report shall include all of the following:
(A) A summary of reports and analyses regarding electronic submission of ballots conducted at the federal level.
(B) A summary of the methods of ballot submission used by other states for military and overseas voters.
(C) The resources, technologies, or other factors that must be available in order to ensure the secure transmission of electronically submitted ballots.
(D) A timeline for when the secure transmission of electronically submitted ballots could be achieved.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2022.

SEC. 2.

 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.