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

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Date Published: 04/27/2017 09:00 PM
AB1403:v96#DOCUMENT

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 email. 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.
In addition to facsimile transmission, this bill would authorize a military or overseas voter to return his or her vote by mail ballot by email if the voter also sends other electronic means including, but not limited to, email. The bill would require a voter who submits his or her ballot by electronic means, other than by facsimile transmission, to send the hard copy of his or her voted ballot by postal mail to the elections official. By imposing additional duties on elections officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would also require the Secretary of State to adopt and publish regulations that would regulations, as specified, governing the submission of ballots by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, which preserve the integrity of the voting and elections processes, and would require that those regulations protect against the unauthorized interception of ballot information, information by including requirements that ensure the ability of elections officials to secure, use, audit, and verify ballots sent by email. sent 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: YES  

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 email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission. For a ballot returned pursuant to this subdivision to be counted, the voter shall comply with all of the following: In addition to regulations adopted by the Secretary of State governing submission of ballots by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, ballots returned pursuant to this section are subject to the following requirements:
(1) If a military or overseas voter submits a copy of his or her ballot by email, electronic means other than facsimile transmission, the voter shall also send the hard copy of his or her voted ballot by postal mail to the voter’s elections official.
(2) A To be counted, a ballot returned by email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission transmission, shall be received by the voter’s elections official no later than the closing of the polls on election day 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 email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission 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 UNLESS: (1) YOU SIGN THE
ABOVE OATH AND INCLUDE IT WITH YOUR BALLOT (2) YOU SEND THE SIGNED OATH, YOUR VOTED BALLOT, AND
IDENTIFICATION ENVELOPE, ALL OF WHICH ARE RETURNED ENVELOPE
BY EMAIL OR FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION. A BALLOT RETURNED BY EMAIL CANNOT BE COUNTED UNLESS YOU SEND THE HARD COPY OF THE VOTED BALLOT TO YOUR ELECTIONS OFFICIAL BY POSTAL MAIL.” ELECTRONIC MEANS, INCLUDING FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION, TO YOUR ELECTIONS OFFICIAL BY THE DEADLINE FOR VOTING BY NON-ELECTRONIC MEANS OR BY FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION. IF YOU SUBMIT YOUR BALLOT BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OTHER THAN FACSIMILE, YOU MUST ALSO SEND THE PHYSICAL COPY OF YOUR VOTED BALLOT BY POSTAL MAIL TO YOUR ELECTIONS OFFICIAL. THE PHYSICAL COPY NEED NOT BE RECEIVED BY THE ELECTIONS OFFICIAL BY THE VOTING DEADLINE; HOWEVER, YOUR BALLOT MAY BE INVALIDATED IF THE ELECTIONS OFFICIAL DOES NOT RECEIVE THE PHYSICAL COPY OF YOUR VOTED BALLOT WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE ELECTION.”
(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 email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission.
(c) Upon receipt of a ballot returned by email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission, the elections official shall determine the voter’s eligibility to vote by comparing the signature on the return information of the ballot returned by email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission 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.
(e) A military or overseas voter should return a ballot by email or electronic means, including facsimile transmission transmission, only if doing so is necessary for the ballot to be received before the close of polls on election day.
(f) The Secretary of State shall adopt and publish regulations that governing the submission of ballots by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, to preserve the integrity of the voting and elections processes. The regulations shall protect against the unauthorized interception of ballot information sent by email pursuant to subdivision (a), including requirements that ensure information, including the ability of elections officials to secure, use, audit, and verify ballots sent by email. pursuant to subdivision (a).
(1) By November 1, 2018, the Secretary of State shall publish regulations governing the submission of ballots by facsimile transmission.
(2) The Secretary of State shall publish regulations governing the submission of ballots by electronic means other than facsimile transmission, including, but not limited to, transmission by email.
(g) Elections officials shall not implement the submission of ballots by electronic means other than by facsimile transmission until the Secretary of State publishes the regulations required under paragraph (2) of subdivision (f).

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.