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AB-623 Elections: printing requirements.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/15/2019 09:00 PM
AB623:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 623


Introduced by Assembly Member Berman

February 15, 2019


An act to amend Sections 13203, 13204, 13210, 13211, 13212, 13213, 13214, 13216, and 13315 of the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 623, as introduced, Berman. Elections: printing requirements.
Existing law imposes ballot layout specifications, including specific requirements relating to the size and font of text.
The bill would delete various provisions requiring certain text be printed in a particular size or font and make other ballot layout changes allowing more flexibility in ballot layout.
Existing law also prescribes the format that must be used for county voter information guides. Existing law specifically requires that a notice regarding vote by mail applications be made in heavy-faced gothic type, not smaller than 12-point.
The bill would delete the requirement that the notice be in gothic type, not smaller than 12-point.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 13203 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13203.
 Across the top of the ballot shall be printed in heavy-faced gothic capital type not smaller than 30-point, the words “OFFICIAL BALLOT.” However, if the ballot is no wider than a single column, the words “OFFICIAL BALLOT” may be as small as 24-point. Beneath this heading, in the case of a partisan primary election, shall be printed in 18-point boldface gothic capital type the official party designation or the words “NONPARTISAN BALLOT” as applicable. Beneath the heading line or lines, there shall be printed, in boldface type as large as the width of the ballot makes possible, the number of the congressional, Senate, and Assembly district, the name of the county in which the ballot is to be voted, and the date of the election.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13204 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13204.
 (a) The instructions to voters shall be printed at least three-eighths of an inch below the district designation. The instructions shall begin with the words “INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:” in no smaller than 16-point gothic condensed capital type. Thereafter, there shall be printed in 10-point gothic condensed capital type all of the following directions that are applicable to the ballot:
“To vote for a candidate for Chief Justice of California; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal; or Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, stamp a cross (+) in the voting square after the word “Yes,” to the right of the name of the candidate. To vote against that candidate, stamp a cross (+) in the voting square after the word “No,” to the right of the name of that candidate.”
“To vote for any other candidate of your selection, stamp a cross (+) in the voting square to the right of the candidate’s name. [When justices of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal do not appear on the ballot, the instructions referring to voting after the word “Yes” or the word “No” will be deleted and the above sentence shall read: “To vote for a candidate whose name appears on the ballot, stamp a cross (+) in the voting square to the right of the candidate’s name.”] Where two or more candidates for the same office are to be elected, stamp a cross (+) after the names of all candidates for the office for whom you desire to vote, not to exceed, however, the number of candidates to be elected.”
“To vote for a qualified write-in candidate, write the person’s name in the blank space provided for that purpose after the names of the other candidates for the same office.”
“To vote on any measure, stamp a cross (+) in the voting square after the word “Yes” or after the word “No.”
“Marking the ballot outside of the designated space to vote for a candidate or measure may compromise the secrecy of the ballot.”
“If you wrongly stamp, tear, or deface this ballot, return it to the precinct board member and obtain another.”
“On vote by mail ballots mark a cross (+) with pen or pencil.”
(b) The instructions to voters shall be separated by no smaller than a 2-point rule from the portion of the ballot which contains the various offices and measures to be voted on.

SEC. 3.

 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” 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. 4.

 Section 13211 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13211.
 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 the case of candidates for President and Vice President, the lines or rules may be as much as five-eighths of an inch apart.

SEC. 5.

 Section 13212 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13212.
 Except for a voter-nominated office at a general election, under the designation of each office shall be printed as many blank spaces, defined by light lines or rules at least three-eighths of an inch apart but no more than one-half inch apart, as there are candidates to be nominated or elected to the office.

SEC. 6.

 Section 13213 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13213.
 Each group of names of candidates for a particular office shall be separated from the succeeding group by a three-point rule. Each series of groups shall be headed by the caption “President of the United States,” “President and Vice President,” “State,” “United States Senator,” “United States Representative,” “State Senator,” “Member of the State Assembly,” “County,” or “City” or other proper general classification, as the case may be, printed in boldfaced gothic capital type. Each caption shall be separated from the names of the candidates beneath by a two-point line.

SEC. 7.

 Section 13214 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13214.
 The left-hand side of the first column of names on the ballot and the right-hand side of the last column of voting squares on the ballot shall be bordered by a six-point rule. The side edges of the ballot shall be one-half inch outside of the six-point down rule. The binding or stitching of each package of ballots shall be along the top or head of the ballot.

SEC. 8.

 Section 13216 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13216.
 (a) On each ballot a horizontal non-solid-ruled line shall extend across the top of the ballot one inch below the horizontal perforated line. The same number appearing on the stub shall be printed above the horizontal, non-solid-ruled line within two inches of the left side of the ballot. Above this number shall be printed in parentheses in small type as follows: “(This number shall be torn off by a precinct board member and handed to the voter.)”. The words “I HAVE VOTED—HAVE YOU?” may also be printed immediately above or below the number.
(b) (1) One-half inch to the right of the ballot number there shall be a short vertical perforated rule or line extending upward from the horizontal non-solid-ruled line to the horizontal perforated line. Immediately above this horizontal non-solid-ruled line shall be printed in boldface lowercase type, at least 12-point in size, and enclosed in parentheses, the following: “Fold ballot to this line leaving top margin exposed.”
(2) Above this printed direction and midway between it and the top edge of the ballot shall be printed in boldface uppercase type, at least 12-point in size, with the four middle words underlined or otherwise made prominent, the following: “Mark crosses (+) on ballot ONLY WITH RUBBER STAMP; never with pen or pencil.”
(3) Below this direction and midway between it and the next line shall be printed in boldface uppercase type, at least 12-point in size, enclosed in parentheses and with the first four and last five words underlined or otherwise made prominent, the following: “(VOTE BY MAIL BALLOTS MAY BE MARKED WITH PEN AND INK OR PENCIL.)”

SEC. 9.

 Section 13315 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13315.
 (a) The officer charged with the duty of providing county voter information guides for an election at which vote by mail voter ballots may be cast shall cause to be printed on the envelope containing the county voter information guide in heavy-faced gothic type, not smaller than 12-point, the following:
Notice: Vote By Mail Ballot Application Enclosed.
(b) This section does not apply to the envelopes mailed to vote by mail voters.