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SB-609 Elections: local initiative and referendum measures.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
SB609:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 609


Introduced by Senator Vidak

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 9114, 9115, 9211, 9240, 9266, and 9308 of, and to repeal Section 9309 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 609, as introduced, Vidak. Elections: local initiative and referendum measures.
Existing law authorizes any person who meets specified requirements to circulate an initiative petition to be presented to the voters at a municipal, county, or special district election. Existing law requires the elections official to examine the petitions, and from the records of registration ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. If the petition is found sufficient, the elections official is required to certify the results of the examination to the appropriate legislative body.
This bill would additionally require the elections official to immediately place the initiative measure on the election ballot for which it qualifies if the official finds the petition to be sufficient. If more than one election date is legally available, the official would be required to place the measure on the ballot for the earliest legally possible date, except as specified.
The bill would also apply this procedure to municipal, county, and district initiative measures, including city and city and county charter proposals, and to municipal referendum measures. The bill would also make technical changes.
By imposing new requirements on local elections officials, the 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.

 Section 9114 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9114.
 (a) Except as provided in Section 9115, within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, the elections official shall examine the petition, and petition and, from the records of registration registration, ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. A certificate showing the results of this examination shall be attached to the petition.
(b) In determining the number of valid signatures, the elections official may use the duplicate file of affidavits maintained or may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters’ signatures signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with the law.
(c) The elections official shall notify the proponents of the petition as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.
(d) If the petition is found insufficient, no further action shall not be taken. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures, signatures shall not preclude the filing of a new petition on the same subject, subject at a later date.
(e) If the petition is found sufficient, the elections official shall immediately place the initiative measure that is the subject of the petition on the election ballot for which it qualifies pursuant to Section 1405 and certify the results of the examination to the board of supervisors at the next regular meeting of the board. If more than one election date is legally available, the elections official shall place the measure on the ballot for the earliest legally possible date unless the board of supervisors by resolution chooses a different legally possible date pursuant to Section 9116, 9118, 9214, 9215, 9310, or 9311. The measure shall not be removed from the ballot on which it has been placed pursuant to this subdivision unless the elections official is notified in writing that the board of supervisors has adopted the measure without alteration, or the elections official is ordered to remove the measure via writ of mandate or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9115 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9115.
 (a) Within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, if, from the examination of petitions pursuant to Section 9114 shows that more than 500 signatures have been signed on the petition, the elections official may use a random sampling technique for verification of signatures. The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn so that every signature filed with the elections official shall be given an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. The random sampling shall include an examination of at least 500, or 3 percent of the signatures, whichever is greater.
(b) If the statistical sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is within 95 to 110 percent of the number of signatures of qualified voters needed to declare the petition sufficient, the elections official shall, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, examine and verify the signatures filed. If the elections official determines, prior to completing the examination of each signature filed, that the petition is signed by the requisite number of qualified voters to declare the petition sufficient, the elections official may terminate the verification of the remaining unverified signatures.
(c) In determining from the records of registration, registration what number of valid signatures are signed on the petition, the elections official may use the duplicate file of affidavits maintained, or may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters’ signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law.
(d) The elections official shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the result of this examination and shall notify the proponents of either the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.
(e) If the petition is found insufficient, no further action shall not be taken on the petition. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures shall not preclude the filing later of an entirely new petition to the same effect.
(f) If the petition is found to be sufficient, the elections official shall immediately place the initiative measure that is the subject of the petition on the election ballot for which it qualifies pursuant to Section 1405, and certify the results of the examination to the board of supervisors at the next regular meeting of the board. If more than one election date is legally available, the elections official shall place the measure on the ballot for the earliest legally possible date unless the board of supervisors by resolution chooses a different legally possible date pursuant to Section 9116, 9118, 9214, 9215, 9310, or 9311. The measure shall not be removed from the ballot on which it has been placed pursuant to this subdivision unless the elections official is notified in writing that the board of supervisors has adopted the measure without alteration, or the elections official is ordered to remove the measure via writ of mandate or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

SEC. 3.

 Section 9211 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9211.
 After the petition has been filed, as herein provided, the elections official shall examine and act on the petition in the same manner as are county petitions in accordance with Sections 9114 and 9115, except that for the purposes of this section, references to the board of supervisors shall be treated as references to the legislative body of the city.

SEC. 4.

 Section 9240 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9240.
 After the petition has been filed as herein provided, the elections official shall examine and act on the petition and certify the results in the same manner as are county petitions in Sections 9114 and 9115 9115, except that, for the purposes of this section, references to the board of supervisors shall be treated as references to the legislative body of the city.

SEC. 5.

 Section 9266 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9266.
 After the petition has been filed, the elections official shall examine and act upon the petition in the same manner as are county petitions in accordance with Sections 9114 and 9115, except that, for the purposes of this section, references in those sections to the board of supervisors shall be treated as references to the legislative body of the city or city and county. The expenses of signature verification shall be provided by the governing body receiving the petition from the elections official.

SEC. 6.

 Section 9308 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9308.
 (a)Except as provided in Section 9309, within Within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Sundays and holidays, the district elections official shall examine the petition, and from the records of registration ascertain whether the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. A certificate showing the results of this examination shall be attached to the petition. and act on the petition in the same manner as are county petitions in accordance with Sections 9114 and 9115, except that for purposes of this section, references to the board of supervisors shall be treated as references to the legislative body of the district.

(b)In determining the number of valid signatures, the district elections official may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters’ signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law.

(c)The district elections official shall notify the proponents of the petition as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.

(d)If the petition is found insufficient, no further action shall be taken. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures, shall not preclude the filing of a new petition on the same subject, at a later date.

(e)If the petition is found sufficient, the district elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the governing board of the district at the next regular meeting of the board.

SEC. 7.

 Section 9309 of the Elections Code is repealed.
9309.

(a)Within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, if, from the examination of petitions pursuant to Section 9308, more than 500 signatures have been signed on the petition, the district elections official may use a random sampling technique for verification of signatures. The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn in such a manner that every signature filed with the elections official shall be given an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. A random sampling shall include an examination of at least 500 or 3 percent of the signatures, whichever is greater.

(b)If the statistical sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is within 95 to 110 percent of the number of signatures of qualified voters needed to declare the petition sufficient, the district elections official, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, shall examine and verify each signature filed.

(c)In determining from the records of registration, what number of valid signatures are signed on the petition, the district elections official may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters’ signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law.

(d)The district elections official shall attach to the petition, a certificate showing the result of this examination, and shall notify the proponents of either the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.

(e)If the petition is found insufficient, no action shall be taken on the petition. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures shall not preclude the filing later of an entirely new petition to the same effect.

(f)If the petition is found to be sufficient, the district elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the governing board of the district at the next regular meeting of the board.

SEC. 8.

 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.