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SB-691 Local agency elections: party preference.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
SB691:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 691


Introduced by Senator Lara

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 13105 and 13307 of, to add Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10050) to Part 1 of Division 10 of, and to repeal Section 10226 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 691, as introduced, Lara. Local agency elections: party preference.
(1) Existing law permits the voters of a city to nominate a candidate for an elective office of the city by the signing and filing of nomination papers, as specified. Existing law requires a candidate for an elective office in a local agency to include an affidavit with his or her nomination papers, indicating the candidate’s name, designation, and residence address, as specified.
This bill would additionally require that the candidate disclose his or her party preference, or indicate that he or she declines to disclose a party preference, on the affidavit of the nominee. The bill also would make conforming changes.
(2) Existing law authorizes each candidate for nonpartisan elective office in any local agency, including any city, county, city and county, or district, to prepare a candidate’s statement on an appropriate form provided by the elections official. Existing law prohibits the statement from including the candidate’s party affiliation or membership or activity in partisan political organizations.
This bill would instead authorize a candidate to include his or her party preference or membership or activity in partisan political organizations in his or her candidate’s statement.
(3) Existing law prohibits a ballot for an elective office in any local agency election from including a candidate’s party preference.
This bill would require a ballot for an elective office in a local agency, including any city, county, city and county, or district, to include a candidate’s party preference, as specified. Because this bill would impose additional duties on local elections officials, it would impose 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.
This bill would provide that it would become operative only if SCA ____ is approved by the voters.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10050) is added to Part 1 of Division 10 of the Elections Code, to read:
CHAPTER  3. Nomination of Local Candidates

10050.
 (a) A candidate for an elective office in any local agency, including any city, county, city and county, or district, shall indicate one of the following upon his or her nomination papers, which shall be consistent with what appears on the candidate’s most recent affidavit of registration:
(1) “Party Preference: ______ (insert the name of the qualified political party as disclosed upon your affidavit of registration).”
(2) “Party Preference: None (if you have declined to disclose a preference for a qualified political party upon your affidavit of registration).”
(b) The selection made by the candidate pursuant to subdivision (a) shall appear on the election ballot in conjunction with his or her name.
(c) A candidate designating a party preference pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be deemed to be the official nominee of the party designated as preferred by the candidate. A candidate’s designation of party preference shall not be construed as an endorsement of that candidate by the party designated. The party preference designated by the candidate is shown for the information of the voters only and shall not limit the options available to voters.
(d) All references to party preference or affiliation shall be omitted from all forms required to be filed by a candidate for elective office pursuant to this division, except that the affidavit of the nominee required by Section 10051 shall include space for the candidate to list the party preference disclosed upon the candidate’s most recent affidavit of registration, in accordance with subdivision (a).

10051.
 The nomination papers and affidavits shall be substantially in the following form:
“NOMINATION PAPER
We, the undersigned voters of the ____ of ____ here­by nominate ____ for the office of ____ of the city, county, city and county, or district:
Name
 
Residence
 
AFFIDAVIT OF THE CIRCULATOR
State of California
County of

ss.
I, ______, solemnly swear (or affirm) all of the following:
1.That I am 18 years of age or older.
2.That my residence address, including street and number, is
.
  [If no street or number exists, a designation of my residence adequate to readily ascertain its location is
.]
3.That the signatures on this nomination paper were obtained between _____, 2__, and _____, 2__; that I circulated this petition and I saw the signatures on this section of the nomination papers being written; and that, to the best of my information and belief, each signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
 
 
(Signature)
 
 
I certify (or declare) under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the
State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed by me at ____, on ____, 2__.
AFFIDAVIT OF THE NOMINEE
State of California
County of

ss.
______ being duly sworn, says that he or she is the above-named nominee
for the office of ____, that he or she will accept the office in the event of his
or her election, that he or she desires his or her name to appear on the ballot
as follows:
 
 
(Print name above),
and that he or she desires the following designation to appear on the ballot
under his or her name:
 
 
(Print desired designation above),
and that his or her residence address is .
 
(Print residence address as provided by affiant)
Pursuant to Section 10050 of the Elections Code, select one of the following:
______ Party Preference: _____________________ (insert the name of the qualified political party as disclosed upon your affidavit of registration).
______ Party Preference: None (if you have declined to disclose a preference for a qualified political party upon your affidavit of registration).
I certify (or declare) under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed by me at ____, on ____, 2___.”

SEC. 2.

 Section 10226 of the Elections Code is repealed.
10226.

The nomination papers and affidavits shall be substantially in the following form:

“NOMINATION PAPER

We, the undersigned voters of the ____ of ____ here­by nominate ____ for the office of ____ of the city:

Name

Residence

AFFIDAVITOFTHECIRCULATOR

State of California

County of


ss.

I, ______, solemnly swear (or affirm) all of the following:

1.That I am 18 years of age or older.

2.That my residence address, including street and number, is
.
[If no street or number exists, a designation of my residence adequate to readily ascertain its location is
.]

3.That the signatures on this nomination paper were obtained between _____, 2__, and _____, 2__; that I circulated this petition and I saw the signatures on this section of the nomination papers being written; and that, to the best of my information and belief, each signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.

(Signature)

I certify (or declare) under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the
State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed by me at ____, on ____, 2__.

AFFIDAVITOFTHENOMINEE

State of California

County of


ss.

______ being duly sworn, says that he or she is the above-named nominee
for the office of ____, that he or she will accept the office in the event of his
or her election, that he or she desires his or her name to appear on the ballot
as follows:

(Print name above),

and that he or she desires the following designation to appear on the ballot
under his or her name:

(Print desired designation above),

and that his or her residence address is .

(Print residence address as provided by affiant)

I certify (or declare) under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed by me at ____, on ____, 2___.”

SEC. 3.

 Section 13105 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13105.
 (a) In the case of a candidate for a voter-nominated office in a primary election, a general election, or a special election to fill a vacancy in the office of United States Senator, Member of the United States House of Representatives, State Senator, or Member of the Assembly, immediately to the right of and on the same line as the name of the candidate, or immediately below the name if there is not sufficient space to the right of the name, there shall be identified, as specified by the Secretary of State, the designation made by the candidate pursuant to Section 8002.5. The identification shall be in substantially the following form:
(1) In the case of a candidate who designated a political party preference pursuant to Section 8002.5, “Party Preference: ______.”
(2) In the case of a candidate who did not state a preference for a political party pursuant to Section 8002.5, “Party Preference: None.”
(b) In the case of candidates for President and Vice President, the name of the party shall appear to the right of and equidistant from the pair of names of these candidates and on the same line as the name of the candidate for President, or immediately below the name of the vice presidential candidate if there is not sufficient space to the right of the name.
(c) If for a general election any candidate for President of the United States or Vice President of the United States has received the nomination of any additional party or parties, the name(s) shall be printed to the right of the name of the candidate’s own party. Party names of a candidate shall be separated by commas. If a candidate has qualified for the ballot by virtue of an independent nomination, the word “Independent” shall be printed instead of the name of a political party in accordance with the above rules.
(d) In the case of a candidate for elective office in any local agency, including any city, county, city and county, or district, immediately to the right of and on the same line as the name of the candidate, or immediately below the name if there is not sufficient space to the right of the name, there shall be identified, as specified by the Secretary of State, the designation made by the candidate pursuant to Section 10050. The identification shall be in substantially the following form:
(1) In the case of a candidate who designated a political party preference pursuant to Section 10050, “Party Preference: ______.”
(2) In the case of a candidate who did not state a preference for a political party pursuant to Section 10050, “Party Preference: None.”

SEC. 4.

 Section 13307 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13307.
 (a) (1) Each candidate for nonpartisan elective office in any local agency, including any city, county, city and county, or district, may prepare a candidate’s statement on an appropriate form provided by the elections official. The statement may include the name, age, and occupation of the candidate and a brief description, of no more than 200 words, of the candidate’s education and qualifications expressed by the candidate himself or herself. However, the governing body of the local agency may authorize an increase in the limitations on words for the statement from 200 to 400 words. The statement shall not may include the party affiliation preference of the candidate, nor or membership or activity in partisan political organizations.
(2) The statement authorized by this subdivision shall be filed in the office of the elections official when the candidate’s nomination papers are returned for filing, if it is for a primary election, or for an election for offices for which there is no primary. The statement shall be filed in the office of the elections official no later than the 88th day before the election, if it is for an election for which nomination papers are not required to be filed. If a runoff election or general election occurs within 88 days of the primary or first election, the statement shall be filed with the elections official by the third day following the governing body’s declaration of the results from the primary or first election.
(3) Except as provided in Section 13309, the statement may be withdrawn, but not changed, during the period for filing nomination papers and until 5 p.m. of the next working day after the close of the nomination period.
(b) (1) The elections official shall send to each voter a county voter information guide that contains the written statements of each candidate that is prepared pursuant to subdivision (a). The statement of each candidate shall be printed in type of uniform size and darkness, and with uniform spacing.
(2) The elections official shall provide a Spanish translation to those candidates who wish to have one, and shall select a person to provide that translation who is one of the following:
(A) A certified and registered interpreter on the Judicial Council Master List.
(B) An interpreter categorized as “certified” or “professionally qualified” by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
(C) From an institution accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education.
(D) A current voting member in good standing of the American Translators Association.
(E) A current member in good standing of the American Association of Language Specialists.
(c) (1) In addition to the statement prepared pursuant to subdivision (a), if the elections official who is conducting the election permits electronic distribution of a candidate’s statement, the governing body of a local agency may permit each candidate for nonpartisan elective office in the local agency to prepare a candidate's statement for the purpose of electronic distribution pursuant to this subdivision.
(2) A statement prepared pursuant to this subdivision shall be posted on the Internet Web site of the elections official, and may be included in a voter's pamphlet that is electronically distributed by the elections official pursuant to Section 13300.7, but shall not be included in a voter's pamphlet that is printed and mailed to voters pursuant to subdivision (b).
(3) A statement that is printed in the voter's pamphlet and mailed to voters pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be included with the statement that is prepared and electronically distributed pursuant to this subdivision.
(4) A statement that is prepared and electronically distributed pursuant to this subdivision shall be displayed in type of uniform size and darkness, and with uniform spacing.
(5) The elections official shall provide a Spanish translation to those candidates who wish to have one, and shall select a person to provide that translation who is one of the persons listed in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b).
(d) The local agency may estimate the total cost of printing, handling, translating, mailing, and electronically distributing candidate’s statements filed pursuant to this section, including costs incurred as a result of complying with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. The local agency may require each candidate filing a statement to pay in advance to the local agency his or her estimated pro rata share as a condition of having his or her statement included in the county voter information guide or electronically distributed. In the event the estimated payment is required, the receipt for the payment shall include a written notice that the estimate is just an approximation of the actual cost that varies from one election to another election and may be significantly more or less than the estimate, depending on the actual number of candidates filing statements. Accordingly, the local agency is not bound by the estimate and may, on a pro rata basis, bill the candidate for additional actual expense or refund any excess paid depending on the final actual cost. In the event of underpayment, the local agency may require the candidate to pay the balance of the cost incurred. In the event of overpayment, the local agency that, or the elections official who, collected the estimated cost shall prorate the excess amount among the candidates and refund the excess amount paid within 30 days of the election.
(e) This section shall not be deemed to make any statement, or the authors of any statement, free or exempt from any civil or criminal action or penalty because of any false, slanderous, or libelous statements offered for printing electronic distribution pursuant to this section or contained in the county voter information guide.
(f) Before the nominating period opens, the local agency for that election shall determine whether a charge shall be levied against that candidate for the candidate’s statement sent to each voter and, if authorized pursuant to subdivision (c), for the electronically distributed candidate’s statement. This decision shall not be revoked or modified after the seventh day before the opening of the nominating period. A written statement of the regulations with respect to charges for handling, packaging, mailing, and electronic distribution shall be provided to each candidate or his or her representative, at the time he or she picks up the nomination papers.
(g) For purposes of this section and Section 13310, the board of supervisors is the governing body of judicial elections.

SEC. 5.

 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.

SEC. 6.

 This measure shall become operative only if SCA ____ is approved by the voters.