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AB-541 Presidential elections: none of the above voting option.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/13/2017 09:00 PM
AB541:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 541


Introduced by Assembly Member Holden

February 13, 2017


An act to amend Sections 13103, 13109, 13205, 13208, 13210, 13211, 14441, 14442, 15151, 15276, 15277, 15374, 15375, 15502, and 15505 of, and to add Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 400) to Division 0.5 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 541, as introduced, Holden. Presidential elections: none of the above voting option.
Existing law requires that at the general election in each leap year, or at any other time prescribed by the laws of the United States, the voters of the state choose as many electors of the President and Vice President of the United States as the state is then entitled to. Under existing law, the electors who receive the highest number of votes statewide are certified as the state’s presidential electors. Existing law does not require a voter to cast a vote for the presidential electors.
This bill would require the ballot for presidential electors to provide voters with the option of voting for “None of the Above.” The bill would prohibit counting any vote cast for “None of the Above” for purposes of determining which presidential electors received the highest number of votes, but would require that the total number of votes for “None of the Above” be listed in the statement of the vote and in other official listings of the election results. The bill would also make conforming changes.
By imposing new requirements on county elections officials, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
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.

 Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 400) is added to Division 0.5 of the Elections Code, to read:
CHAPTER  5. None of the Above Voting Option

400.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, in an election for electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, a voter shall be provided with the option of voting for none of the electors by marking “None of the Above” on the voter’s ballot.
(b) Any vote cast for “None of the Above” shall not be counted for purposes of determining which presidential electors received the highest number of votes. However, the total number of votes cast for “None of the Above” shall be listed in every tally sheet, snap tally form, semiofficial return, official return, state of the result, return, statement of the vote, supplement to the statement of the vote, or other official listing of election results.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13103 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13103.
 (a) Every ballot shall contain all of the following:

(a)

(1) The title of each office, arranged to conform as nearly as practicable to the plan set forth in this chapter.

(b)

(2) The names of all qualified candidates, except that:

(1)

(A) Instead of the names of candidates for delegate to the national conventions, there shall be printed the names of the presidential candidates to whom they are pledged or the names of candidates for chairmen of party national convention delegations.

(2)

(B) Instead of the names of candidates for presidential electors, there shall be printed in pairs the names of the candidates of the respective parties for President and Vice President of the United States. These names shall appear under the title “President and Vice President.”

(c)

(3) The titles and summaries of measures submitted to vote of the voters.
(b) In an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, every ballot shall contain the phrase “None of the Above” below the names of the candidates for President and Vice President of the United States.

SEC. 3.

 Section 13109 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13109.
 The order of precedence of offices on the ballot shall be as listed below for those offices and measures that apply to the election for which this ballot is provided. Beginning in the column to the left:
(a) Under the heading, PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT:
(1) Nominees of the qualified political parties and independent nominees for President and Vice President.
(2) The phrase “None of the Above.”
(b) Under the heading, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
(1) Names of the presidential candidates to whom the delegates are pledged.
(2) Names of the chairpersons of unpledged delegations.
(c) Under the heading, STATE:
(1) Governor.
(2) Lieutenant Governor.
(3) Secretary of State.
(4) Controller.
(5) Treasurer.
(6) Attorney General.
(7) Insurance Commissioner.
(8) Member, State Board of Equalization.
(d) Under the heading, UNITED STATES SENATOR:
Candidates or nominees to the United States Senate.
(e) Under the heading, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE:
Candidates or nominees to the House of Representatives of the United States.
(f) Under the heading, STATE SENATOR:
Candidates or nominees to the State Senate.
(g) Under the heading, MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY:
Candidates or nominees to the Assembly.
(h) Under the heading, COUNTY COMMITTEE:
Members of the County Central Committee.
(i) Under the heading, JUDICIAL:
(1) Chief Justice of California.
(2) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
(3) Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal.
(4) Associate Justice, Court of Appeal.
(5) Judge of the Superior Court.
(6) Marshal.
(j) Under the heading, SCHOOL:
(1) Superintendent of Public Instruction.
(2) County Superintendent of Schools.
(3) County Board of Education Members.
(4) College District Governing Board Members.
(5) Unified District Governing Board Members.
(6) High School District Governing Board Members.
(7) Elementary District Governing Board Members.
(k) Under the heading, COUNTY:
(1) County Supervisor.
(2) Other offices in alphabetical order by the title of the office.
(l) Under the heading, CITY:
(1) Mayor.
(2) Member, City Council.
(3) Other offices in alphabetical order by the title of the office.
(m) Under the heading, DISTRICT:
Directors or trustees for each district in alphabetical order according to the name of the district.
(n) Under the heading, MEASURES SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS and the appropriate heading from subdivisions (a) through (m), above, ballot measures in the order, state through district shown above, and within each jurisdiction, in the order prescribed by the official certifying them for the ballot.
(o) In order to allow for the most efficient use of space on the ballot in counties that use a voting system, as defined in Section 362, the county elections official may vary the order of subdivisions (j), (k), (l), (m), and (n) as well as the order of offices within these subdivisions. However, the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction shall always precede any school, county, or city office, and state measures shall always precede local measures.

SEC. 4.

 Section 13205 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13205.
 Additional instructions to voters shall appear on the ballot prior to before those provided for in Section 13204 under the following conditions:
(a) In a primary election at which candidates for delegate to national convention are to be voted upon, the instructions shall read:
“To vote for the group of candidates preferring a person whose name appears on the ballot, stamp a cross (+) in the square opposite the name of the person preferred. To vote for a group of candidates not expressing a preference for a particular candidate, stamp a cross (+) in the square opposite the name of the chairman of the group.”
(b) In elections when an election at which electors of the President and Vice President of the United States are to be chosen, there shall be placed upon the ballot, in addition to the instructions to voters as provided in this chapter, an instruction as follows:
“To vote for all of the electors of a party, stamp a cross (+) in the square opposite the names of the presidential and vice presidential candidates of that party. A cross (+) stamped in the square opposite the name of a party and its presidential and vice presidential candidate, is a vote for all of the electors of that party, but for no other candidates.”
“If you choose to vote for none of the electors for presidential and vice presidential candidates, you may stamp a cross (+) in the voting square to the right of the phrase “None of the Above.””
(c) If a group of candidates for electors has been nominated under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 8400) of Division 8, and has under Chapter 1 (commencing at Section 8300) of Division 8 designated the names of the candidates for President and Vice President of the United States for whom those candidates have pledged themselves to vote, the instructions to voters shall also contain the following:
“To vote for those electors who have pledged themselves to vote for a candidate for President and Vice President not supported by any particular party party, stamp a cross (+) in the square opposite the names of those presidential and vice presidential candidates.”
(d) If a group of candidates for electors has been nominated by a party not qualified to participate in the election, the instructions to voters shall also contain the following:
“To vote for those electors who have pledged themselves to vote for a candidate for President and for Vice President of any party not qualified to participate in the election election, write in the names and party of those presidential and vice presidential candidates in the blank space provided for that purpose.”

SEC. 5.

 Section 13208 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13208.
 (a) In the right-hand margin of each column light vertical lines shall be printed in such a way as to create a voting square after the name of each candidate for partisan office, voter-nominated office, nonpartisan office (except for Justice of the Supreme Court or justice of a court of appeal), or for chairperson of a group of candidates for delegate to a national convention who express no preference for a presidential candidate. In the case of an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, there shall also be a voting square after the phrase “None of the Above.” In the case of an election for Supreme Court or appellate justices and in the case of an election for measures submitted to the voters, the lines shall be printed so as to create voting squares to the right of the words “Yes” and “No.” The voting squares shall be used by the voters to express their choices as provided for in the instruction to voters.
(b) The standard voting square shall be at least three-eighths of an inch square but may be up to one-half inch square. Voting squares for measures may be as tall as is required by the space occupied by the title and summary.

SEC. 6.

 Section 13210 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13210.
 (a) In the case of candidates for delegate to national convention, there shall be printed in boldface gothic type, not smaller than 12-point, across the column above the names of the persons preferred by the groups of candidates for delegates, the words, “President of the United States.” The words “Vote for one group only” shall extend to the extreme right-hand margin of the column and over the voting square.
(b) In the case of candidates for President and Vice President, the words “Vote for One Party” Party or None of the Above shall appear just below the heading “President and Vice President” and shall be printed so as to appear above the voting squares for that office. The heading “President and Vice President” shall be printed in boldface 12-point gothic type, and shall be centered above the names of the candidates.
(c) In that section of the ballot designated for judicial offices, next to the heading “judicial” shall appear the instruction: “Vote yes or no for each office.”
(d) In the case of candidates for Justice of the Supreme Court and court of appeal, within the rectangle provided for each candidate, and immediately above each candidate’s name, there shall appear the following: “For (designation of judicial office). ” There shall be as many of these headings as there are candidates for these judicial offices. No heading shall apply to more than one judicial office. Underneath each heading shall appear the words “Shall (title and name of Justice) be elected to the office for the term provided by law ?”
(e) In the case of all other candidates, each group of candidates to be voted on shall be preceded by the designation of the office for which they are running, and the words “vote for one” or “vote for no more than two,” or more, according to the number to be nominated or elected. The designation of the office shall be printed flush with the left-hand margin in boldfaced gothic type not smaller than 8-point. The words, “vote for ____” shall extend to the extreme right-hand margin of the column and over the voting square. The designation of the office and the directions for voting shall be separated from the candidates by a light line. There shall be no line between the headings for federal or legislative offices and the designation of the office and the directions for voting.

SEC. 7.

 Section 13211 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13211.
 The (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the names of the candidates shall be printed on the ballot, without indentation, in roman capital, boldface type not smaller than eight-point, between light lines or rules at least three-eighths of an inch apart but no more than one-half inch apart. However, in
(b) In the case of candidates for an election for the electors of the President and Vice President, President of the United States, the lines or rules for the names of the candidates and the phrase “None of the Above may be as much as five-eighths of an inch apart.

SEC. 8.

 Section 14441 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

14441.
 (a) The elections official shall prepare and forward to each selected precinct forms containing a list of the offices and measures designated as being of more than ordinary interest, and stating the number of ballots to be counted for the snap tally. In each general election, the special form shall, for each office listed on it, include the names of all candidates for that office whose names appear on the ballot. ballot and, in an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, the phrase “None of the Above.”

The

(b) The inspector at each selected precinct shall note the results of the count and the total number of votes cast in the precinct on the snap tally forms as soon as the designated number of ballots has been tallied. The inspector shall then communicate the figures in the manner directed by the elections official. In each general election, the figures shall include the votes cast for every candidate whose name appears on the ballot for an office listed on the forms. forms and, for an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, the votes cast for “None of the Above.” The inspector shall continue, each time the designated number of ballots have been tallied, to note and report the results as directed.

SEC. 9.

 Section 14442 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

14442.
 Upon receipt from the precincts of the reports of votes cast on the specially designated offices and measures, the elections official shall tabulate the results and make the results available to the public. In each general election, all these reports of the election results shall include the votes cast for all candidates whose names appear on the ballot for each office for which returns are reported. reported and, in an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, the votes cast for “None of the Above.”

SEC. 10.

 Section 15151 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15151.
 (a) The elections official shall transmit the semifinal official results to the Secretary of State in the manner and according to the schedule prescribed by the Secretary of State prior to before each election, for the following:
(1) All candidates voted for statewide office.
(2) All candidates voted for the following offices:
(A) State Assembly.
(B) State Senate.
(C) Member of the United States House of Representatives.
(D) Member of the State Board of Equalization.
(E) Justice of the Court of Appeals.
(3) All persons voted for at the presidential primary or for election.
(4) All persons voted for electors of of, and all votes cast for “None of the Above” with regard to, the President and Vice President of the United States.

(4)

(5) Statewide ballot measures.
(b) The elections official shall transmit the results to the Secretary of State at intervals no greater than two hours, following commencement of the semifinal official canvass.

SEC. 11.

 Section 15276 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15276.
 (a) The precinct board members shall ascertain the number of votes cast for each person and for and against each measure in the following manner:
One precinct board member shall read from the ballots. As the ballots are read, at least one other precinct board member shall keep watch of each vote so as to check on any possible error or omission on the part of the officer reading or calling the ballot.
(b) In an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, the precinct board members shall also ascertain the number of votes cast for “None of the Above.”

SEC. 12.

 Section 15277 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15277.
 (a) Two of the precinct board members shall each keep a tally sheet in a form prescribed by the elections official. Each tally sheet shall contain all of the following:
(1) The name of each candidate being voted for and the specific office for which each candidate is being voted. The offices shall be in the same order as on the ballot.
(2) A list of each measure being voted upon.
(3) Sufficient space to permit the tallying of the full vote cast for each candidate and for and against each measure.
(b) The precinct board members keeping the tally sheets shall record opposite each name or measure, with pen or indelible pencil, the number of votes by tallies as the name of each candidate or measure voted upon is read aloud from the respective ballot.
(c) Immediately upon the completion of the tallies, the precinct board members keeping the tally shall draw two heavy lines in ink or indelible pencil from the last tally mark to the end of the line in which the tallies terminate and initial that line. The total number of votes counted for each candidate and for and against each measure shall be recorded on the tally sheets in words and figures.
(d) In an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, the tally sheet shall also contain the phrase “None of the Above” and sufficient space to permit the tallying of the full vote cast for “None of the Above.” The precinct board members shall record the number of votes for “None of the Above” in the same manner specified in subdivisions (b) and (c).

SEC. 13.

 Section 15374 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15374.
 (a) The statement of the result shall show all of the following:
(1) The total number of ballots cast.
(2) The number of votes cast at each precinct for each candidate and for and against each measure.
(3) The total number of votes cast for each candidate and for and against each measure.
(b) The statement of the result shall also show the number of votes cast in each city, Assembly district, congressional district, senatorial district, State Board of Equalization district, and supervisorial district located in whole or in part in the county, for each candidate for the offices of presidential elector and all statewide offices, depending on the offices to be filled, and on each statewide ballot proposition.
(c) In an election for the electors of the President and Vice President of the United States, the statement of the result shall also contain the total number of votes cast for “None of the Above” and the number of those votes cast at each precinct and county.

SEC. 14.

 Section 15375 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15375.
 The elections official shall send to the Secretary of State State, within 31 days of the election in an electronic format in the manner requested requested, one complete copy of all results as to all of the following:
(a) All candidates voted for statewide office.
(b) All candidates voted for the following offices:
(1) Member of the Assembly.
(2) Member of the Senate.
(3) Member of the United States House of Representatives.
(4) Member of the State Board of Equalization.
(5) Justice of the Court of Appeal.
(6) Judge of the superior court.
(c) All persons voted for at the presidential primary. primary election. The results for all persons voted for at the presidential primary election for delegates to national conventions shall be canvassed and shall be sent within 28 days after the election.
(d) The vote given for persons for electors of of, and for “None of the Above” with regard to, the President and Vice President of the United States. The results for presidential electors shall be endorsed “Presidential Election Returns” and shall be canvassed and sent within 28 days after the election.
(e) All statewide measures.
(f) The total number of ballots cast.

SEC. 15.

 Section 15502 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15502.
 (a) Within 120 days of the filing of the statement of the vote, the Secretary of State, upon the basis of the information provided, shall compile a supplement to the statement of the vote, showing the number of votes cast in each county, city, Assembly district, senatorial district, congressional district and supervisorial district district, depending on the offices to be filled, for each candidate for the offices of presidential elector, Governor, all of the following:
(1) The electors of, and “None of the Above” with regard to, the President and Vice President of the United States.
(2) Each candidate for the offices of Governor and United States Senator, depending on the offices to be filled, and on each Senator.
(3) Each statewide ballot proposition. A
(b) A copy of this supplement shall be made available, upon request, to any elector of this state.

SEC. 16.

 Section 15505 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15505.
 (a) No later than the 32nd day following the election, the Secretary of State shall analyze the votes given for presidential electors, and certify to the Governor the names of the proper number of persons having the highest number of votes. The Pursuant to Section 400, any vote cast for “None of the Above” shall not be counted for purposes of determining which presidential electors received the highest number of votes.
(b) The Secretary of State shall thereupon issue and transmit to each presidential elector a certificate of election. The certificate shall be accompanied by a notice of the time and place of the meeting of the presidential electors and a statement that each presidential elector will be entitled to a per diem allowance and mileage in the amounts specified.

SEC. 17.

 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.