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AB-2639 Vote by mail ballots.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2020 02:00 PM
AB2639:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2639


Introduced by Assembly Member Melendez

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 3017 of, and to add Section 3017.5 to, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2639, as introduced, Melendez. Vote by mail ballots.
Existing law authorizes a vote by mail voter who is unable to return a vote by mail ballot to designate another person to return the ballot. Existing law prohibits a person designated to return a vote by mail ballot from receiving any form of compensation based on the number of ballots that the person returns.
This bill would expand that prohibition to include any form of compensation related to the return of the ballot, including compensation based on the number of ballots the designated person collects and returns or compensation based on the time spent in the course of employment collecting and returning ballots. The bill would require a person designated to return a vote by mail ballot for a person other than the designated person’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a person residing in the same household as the designated person to offer a receipt containing specified identifying information to the person for whom the ballot is being returned.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3017 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

3017.
 (a) (1) All vote by mail ballots cast under this division shall be voted on or before the day of the election. After marking the ballot, the vote by mail voter shall do any of the following:
(A) Return the ballot by mail or in person to the elections official who issued the ballot.
(B) Return the ballot in person to a member of a precinct board at a polling place or vote center within the state.
(C) Return the ballot to a vote by mail ballot dropoff location within the state that is provided pursuant to Section 3025 or 4005.
(2) A vote by mail voter who is unable to return the ballot may designate another person to return the ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot, to the precinct board at a polling place or vote center within the state, or to a vote by mail ballot dropoff location within the state that is provided pursuant to Section 3025 or 4005. The person designated shall return the ballot in person, or put the ballot in the mail, no later than three days after receiving it from the voter or before the close of the polls on election day, whichever time period is shorter. Notwithstanding subdivision (d), a ballot shall not be disqualified from being counted solely because it was returned or mailed more than three days after the designated person received it from the voter, provided that the ballot is returned by the designated person before the close of polls on election day.
(3) The ballot must be received by the elections official who issued the ballot, the precinct board, or the vote by mail ballot dropoff location before the close of the polls on election day. If a vote by mail ballot is returned to a precinct board at a polling place or vote center, or to a vote by mail ballot dropoff location, that is located in a county that is not the county of the elections official who issued the ballot, the elections official for the county in which the vote by mail ballot is returned shall forward the ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot no later than eight days after receipt.
(b) The elections official shall establish procedures to ensure the secrecy of a ballot returned to a polling place and the security, confidentiality, and integrity of any personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used pursuant to this section.
(c) On or before March 1, 2008, the elections official shall establish procedures to track and confirm the receipt of voted vote by mail ballots and to make this information available by means of online access using the county’s elections division Internet Web site. internet website. If the county does not have an elections division Internet Web site, internet website, the elections official shall establish a toll-free telephone number that may be used to confirm the date a voted vote by mail ballot was received.
(d) The provisions of this section are mandatory, not directory, and a ballot shall not be counted if it is not delivered in compliance with this section.
(e) (1) A person designated to return a vote by mail ballot shall not receive any form of compensation based on the number of ballots that the person returns related to the collection and return of the ballot, including compensation based on the number of ballots that the person collects and returns and compensation based on the time spent in the course of employment collecting and returning ballots, and an individual, group, or organization shall not provide compensation on this basis.
(2) For purposes of this paragraph, “compensation” means any form of monetary payment, goods, services, benefits, promises or offers of employment, or any other form of consideration offered to another person in exchange for returning another voter’s vote by mail ballot.
(3) A person in charge of a vote by mail ballot and who knowingly and willingly engages in criminal acts related to that ballot as described in Division 18 (commencing with Section 18000), including, but not limited to, fraud, bribery, intimidation, and tampering with or failing to deliver the ballot in a timely fashion, is subject to the appropriate punishment specified in that division.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3017.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

3017.5.
 A person designated to return a vote by mail ballot for a person other than the designated person’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a person residing in the same household as the designated person shall offer a receipt to each voter who designates the designated person to return the voter’s ballot pursuant to Section 3017. The receipt shall include the following information relating to the designated person:
(a) Full name.
(b) Address.
(c) Telephone number.
(d) The name of the committee, group, or organization at whose behest the designated person is collecting and returning the ballot.