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

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Date Published: 10/14/2019 09:00 PM
AB623:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 623
CHAPTER 863

An act to amend Sections 13105, 13118, 13119, 13120, 13202, 13203, 13204, 13205, 13206, 13206.5, 13208, 13209, 13210, 13211, 13212, 13213, 13214, 13215, 13216, 13216.5, 13217, 13219, 13231, and 13315 of, and to add Section 13218 to, the Elections Code, relating to elections.

[ Approved by Governor  October 13, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  October 13, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 623, Berman. Elections: printing requirements and ballot design.
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 font and make other ballot-related changes allowing more flexibility.
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.
The bill would require the Secretary of State to establish a ballot design advisory committee to assist the Secretary of State in promulgating regulations that prescribe ballot design and format.
This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 13119 of the Elections Code proposed by SB 268 to be operative only if this bill and SB 268 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 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, or immediately below the name if there is not sufficient space to the right of the name. 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.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13118 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13118.
 The following rules apply when a person who is a candidate for an office believes that another person with a name that is so similar that it may be confused with the candidate’s name has filed or will file a nomination paper for the same office:
(a) The candidate may, at the time of filing the candidate’s nomination paper, or within five days after the time for filing nomination papers has expired, file with the elections official a statement that shall be in substance as follows:
“I ____, believe that another person, whose name is so similar to mine that it may be confused with mine, has filed or will file a nomination paper for the same office for which I have filed a nomination paper, and I therefore request and direct that the elections official assign a number to each candidate with a similar name to be printed on the ballot as a distinguishing mark.
_____
_____ Name
Candidate for the office
of  ”
(b) The distinguishing mark shall be a number, commencing with the number “1” and continuing in numerical sequence until each candidate with a similar name has been assigned a distinguishing number, and shall be printed at the right of the name on the ballot.
(c) The first candidate who filed the candidate’s nomination papers shall have the number “1” and each subsequent candidate, based on the time of filing the candidate’s nomination papers, shall be assigned the next number in numerical sequence.
(d) In addition to the designated numbers that the elections official shall place on the ballot when the above conditions are met, the elections official shall place on the ballot, immediately preceding the names of the candidates to be voted upon, or on the contest header if there is not sufficient space immediately preceding the name, the following warning:

“Warning!   There are two (or applicable number) candidates for this office with identical names.”

This warning shall also be included, in a prominent manner, on any state voter information guide, county voter information guide, or other mailing sent by the elections official, before the election, to persons eligible to vote for this office.
(e) To determine the order on the ballot for the candidates with similar names, the elections official shall conduct a drawing of the numbers assigned to the candidates in a similar manner as provided for in Section 13112.

SEC. 3.

 Section 13119 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13119.
 (a) The ballots used when voting upon a measure proposed by a local governing body or submitted to the voters as an initiative or referendum measure pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000), including a measure authorizing the issuance of bonds or the incurrence of debt, shall have printed on them the words “Shall the measure (stating the nature thereof) be adopted?” To the right or below the statement of the measure to be voted on, the words “Yes” and “No” shall be printed on separate lines, with voting targets. If a voter marks the voting target next to the printed word “Yes,” the voter’s vote shall be counted in favor of the adoption of the measure. If the voter marks the voting target next to the printed word “No,” the voter’s vote shall be counted against its adoption.
(b) If the proposed measure imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax, the ballot shall include in the statement of the measure to be voted on the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.
(c) The statement of the measure shall be a true and impartial synopsis of the purpose of the proposed measure, and shall be in language that is neither argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.
(d) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Local governing body” means the governing body of a city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county, or district, including a school district.
(2) “Target” means an object designated as the aim for a voter to make a vote selection.

SEC. 3.5.

 Section 13119 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13119.
 (a) The ballots used when voting upon a measure proposed by a local governing body or submitted to the voters as an initiative or referendum measure pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000), including a measure authorizing the issuance of bonds or the incurrence of debt, shall have printed on them the words “Shall the measure (stating the nature thereof) be adopted?” To the right or below the statement of the measure to be voted on, the words “Yes” and “No” shall be printed on separate lines, with voting targets. If a voter marks the voting target next to the printed word “Yes,” the voter’s vote shall be counted in favor of the adoption of the measure. If the voter marks the voting target next to the printed word “No,” the voter’s vote shall be counted against its adoption.
(b) (1) Except for a measure described in paragraph (2), if the proposed measure imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax, the ballot shall include in the statement of the measure to be voted on an estimate of the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.
(2) If the proposed measure imposes or increases a tax with more than one rate, or authorizes the issuance of bonds, the jurisdiction submitting the measure to the voters, or, in the case of an initiative measure, the proponents, shall, not later than 88 days before the election, inform the elections official conducting the election which of the following shall be included in the statement of the measure:
(A) The estimate, rate, and duration information described in paragraph (1).
(B) The phrase “See voter guide for tax rate information.”
(3) If the elections official is informed that the statement of the measure shall include the phrase contained in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2), the requirements of Section 9400 shall apply to the measure, and the seven words of the phrase shall count toward any word limit that applies to the statement of the measure.
(c) The statement of the measure shall be a true and impartial synopsis of the purpose of the proposed measure, and shall be in language that is neither argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.
(d) Any estimate or projection included in the statement of the measure pursuant to this section, or included in the statements required pursuant to Section 9400 or 9401, shall not restrict the tax imposed in accordance with the measure.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Local governing body” means the governing body of a city, county, city and county, including a charter city or charter county, or district, including a school district.
(2) “Target” means an object designated as the aim for a voter to make a vote selection.

SEC. 4.

 Section 13120 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13120.
 The ballots used when voting upon a state, county, city, or district statute or ordinance referred to the voters of the respective jurisdiction as a referendum measure pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000) shall have printed on them the words “Shall the statute (or ordinance) (stating the nature thereof, including any identifying number or title) be adopted?” Opposite the statement of the statute or ordinance to be voted on and to its right, or immediately below if there is not sufficient space opposite the statement or ordinance and to its right, the words “Yes” and “No” shall be printed on separate lines, with voting targets. If a voter marks the voting target next to the printed word “Yes,” the voter’s vote shall be counted in favor of the adoption of the ordinance or statute. If the voter marks the voting target next to the printed word “No,” the voter’s vote shall be counted against its adoption.

SEC. 5.

 Section 13202 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13202.
 All ballots of the same sort prepared by any county elections official, clerk or secretary of a legislative body, or other person having charge of preparing ballots for the same polling place, shall be precisely the same size, arrangement, quality and tint of paper, and kind of type, and shall be printed with ink of the same tint, so that without the numbers on the stubs it is impossible to distinguish any one of the ballots from the other ballots of the same sort. The names of all candidates printed upon the ballot shall be in type of the same size and character. If there is not sufficient space for a candidate name, the size may be adjusted as close as possible to the size and character of all the other candidate names printed upon the ballot.

SEC. 6.

 Section 13203 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13203.
 Across the top of the ballot shall be printed in boldface capital type not smaller than 30-point, the words “OFFICIAL BALLOT.” Beneath this heading, in the case of a partisan primary election, shall be printed in 18-point boldface 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. 7.

 Section 13204 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13204.
 (a) The instructions to voters shall be printed below the district designation. The instructions shall begin with the words “INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:” in no smaller than 16-point capital type. Thereafter, there shall be printed in 10-point 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, mark the voting target next to the word “Yes,” to the right of the name of the candidate. To vote against that candidate, mark the voting target next to the word “No,” to the right of the name of that candidate.”
“To vote for any other candidate of your selection, mark the voting target next to 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, mark the voting target next to the candidate’s name.”] Where two or more candidates for the same office are to be elected, place a mark next to 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, mark the voting target next to 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 mark, tear, or deface this ballot, return it to the precinct board member and obtain another.”
“On vote by mail ballots mark with pen or pencil.”
(b) The instructions to voters shall be separated from the portion of the ballot that contains the various offices and measures to be voted on.

SEC. 8.

 Section 13205 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13205.
 Additional instructions to voters shall appear on the ballot prior to 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, mark the voting target next to the name of the person preferred. To vote for a group of candidates not expressing a preference for a particular candidate, mark the voting target next to the name of the chairman of the group.”
(b) In elections when electors of 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, mark the voting target next to the names of the presidential and vice presidential candidates of that party. A mark of the voting target next to 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.”
(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 mark the voting target next to 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 write in the names and party of those presidential and vice presidential candidates in the blank space provided for that purpose.”

SEC. 9.

 Section 13206 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13206.
 (a) On the partisan ballot used in a direct primary election, immediately below the instructions to voters, there shall be a box. Within the box shall be printed the words “Party-Nominated Offices.” Immediately below that phrase within the same box shall be printed the following: “Only voters who disclosed a preference upon registering to vote for the same party as the candidate seeking the nomination of any party for the Presidency or election to a party committee may vote for that candidate at the primary election, unless the party has adopted a rule to permit non-party voters to vote in its primary elections.”
(b) The same style of box described in subdivision (a) shall also appear over the columns of the nonpartisan part of the ballot and within the box in the same style and point size of type shall be printed “Voter-Nominated and Nonpartisan Offices.” Immediately below that phrase within the same box shall be printed the following:
“All voters, regardless of the party preference they disclosed upon registration, or refusal to disclose a party preference, may vote for any candidate for a voter-nominated or nonpartisan office. The party preference, if any, designated by a candidate for a voter-nominated office is selected by the candidate and is shown for the information of the voters only. It does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party or that the party approves of the candidate. The party preference, if any, of a candidate for a nonpartisan office does not appear on the ballot.”

SEC. 10.

 Section 13206.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13206.5.
 (a) (1) On the ballot used in a statewide general election in each year evenly divisible by the number four, immediately below the instructions to voters, there shall be a box. Within the box shall be printed the words “Party-Nominated Offices.” Immediately below that phrase within the same box shall be printed the following: “The party label accompanying the name of a candidate for party-nominated office on the general election ballot means that the candidate is the official nominee of the party shown.”
(2) On the ballot used in a statewide general election in each year evenly divisible by the number four, following the portion of the ballot for party-nominated offices, the same style of box described in paragraph (1) shall appear and within the box in the same style and point size of type shall be printed “Voter-Nominated and Nonpartisan Offices.” Immediately below that phrase within the same box shall be printed the following: “All voters, regardless of the party preference they disclosed upon registration, or refusal to disclose a party preference, may vote for any candidate for a voter-nominated or nonpartisan office. The party preference, if any, designated by a candidate for a voter-nominated office is selected by the candidate and is shown for the information of the voters only. It does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party or that the party approves of the candidate. The party preference, if any, of a candidate for a nonpartisan office does not appear on the ballot.”
(b) On the ballot used in a statewide general election in each even-numbered year that is not evenly divisible by the number four, immediately below the instructions to voters, there shall be a box. Within the box shall be printed the words “Voter-Nominated and Nonpartisan Offices.” Immediately below that phrase within the same box shall be printed the following: “All voters, regardless of the party preference they disclosed upon registration, or refusal to disclose a party preference, may vote for any candidate for a voter-nominated or nonpartisan office. The party preference, if any, designated by a candidate for a voter-nominated office is selected by the candidate and is shown for the information of the voters only. It does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party or that the party approves of the candidate. The party preference, if any, of a candidate for a nonpartisan office does not appear on the ballot.”

SEC. 11.

 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 target next to 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 Supreme Court or appellate justices and in the case of measures submitted to the voters, the lines shall be printed so as to create voting targets to the right of the words “Yes” and “No.” The voting targets shall be used by the voters to express their choices as provided for in the instruction to voters.
(b) The standard voting target may be up to one-half inch wide. Voting targets for measures may be as tall as is required by the space occupied by the title and summary.
(c) As used in this section, “target” means an object designated as the aim for a voter to make a vote selection.

SEC. 12.

 Section 13209 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13209.
 Whenever a foreign translation of the ballot is required by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended by Public Law 94-73, to appear on the ballot as well as the English language version, the ballot, including a ballot reference page or pages as specified in Section 301, may be so designed as to place the foreign translation next to the voting target.

SEC. 13.

 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 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.
(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 targets for that office. The heading “President and Vice President” shall be printed in boldface 12-point type.
(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 boldface type not smaller than 8-point. The words, “vote for ____” shall extend to the extreme right-hand margin of the column. The number of candidates to be nominated or elected shall be printed in boldface type. 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. 14.

 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 capital, boldface type not smaller than 8-point.

SEC. 15.

 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.

SEC. 16.

 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. 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 boldface capital type. Each caption shall be separated from the names of the candidates beneath.

SEC. 17.

 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 targets on the ballot shall be bordered. The binding or stitching of each package of ballots shall be along the top or head of the ballot. If ballots are to be used on a ballot on demand system or another system that prints content onto ballots, ballots are not required to be bound or stitched.

SEC. 18.

 Section 13215 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13215.
 (a) The ballots may be printed on the same leaf with a stub not over one inch in depth. The stub may be separated from the ballot by a horizontal perforated line or rule from side to side. Upon this stub shall be printed only the number of the ballot.
(b) Stubs are not required on ballots to be used on a ballot on demand system or another system that prints content onto the ballot.

SEC. 19.

 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 below the horizontal perforated line. The same number appearing on the stub shall be printed above the horizontal, non-solid-ruled line on 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) Next to 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, 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, the following: “Mark the ballot 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.)”
(c) A ballot stub is not required if the information listed in subdivisions (a) and (b) is presented to the voter on a separate form accompanying the ballot.

SEC. 20.

 Section 13216.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13216.5.
 A ballot stub may be used, but is not required, for a ballot produced on demand if the quantity of ballots produced for the election can be reconciled by the ballot processing method used by the system generating the ballot for use. The ballots may contain printed and distinguishing marks if secrecy in voting is protected.

SEC. 21.

 Section 13217 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13217.
 (a) The number on each ballot shall be the same as that on the corresponding stub, and the ballots and stubs shall be numbered consecutively in each county, or the ballots and stubs may be numbered consecutively within each combination of congressional, senatorial, and Assembly districts in each county. In a partisan primary election, the sequence of numbers on the official ballots and stubs for each party within each county, or within each political subdivision in each county, shall begin with the number 1.
(b) In counties using vote centers, ballots may be serialized in the way that best promotes ballot accounting and with the greatest economic efficiency for the county.

SEC. 22.

 Section 13218 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

13218.
 (a) The Secretary of State shall establish a ballot design advisory committee to assist the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations that prescribe ballot design and format.
(b) The ballot design advisory committee shall consist of the Secretary of State, or the secretary’s designee, and members to be appointed by the Secretary of State who are recognized ballot design experts and county elections officials or a designee of a county elections official. Each recognized ballot design expert shall have demonstrated experience with ballot design requirements and knowledge of presenting election materials to voters using plain language methods or another method that is easy for voters to access and understand.

SEC. 23.

 Section 13219 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13219.
 When printed, all ballots shall be bound in stub books, of such size as the clerk may determine. A record of the number of ballots printed shall be kept by the officer authorizing the printing. If stubs are not used pursuant to Section 13216, ballots may be bound by another method determined by the county elections official.

SEC. 24.

 Section 13231 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13231.
 If the elections official of any county finds it necessary in connection with the use of any approved method of vote counting, the elections official may provide for any of the following changes in the format of ballots in one or more precincts at any election:
(a) Ballots may be bound and padded at the side.
(b) The left and right edge of ballots may be trimmed to the edge of printed material.
(c) A series of punched holes may be provided in the upper right-hand portion of each ballot.
(d) The ballot number may be placed at any place along the top left-hand corner of the ballot.
(e) A cutout section, not to exceed two inches in depth, commencing at the left-hand edge of the far right column of the ballot, may be provided along the top edge of the ballot.
(f) Press perforations may be placed between columns of the ballot, from top to bottom, to permit the folding of the ballot at each perforation.
(g) “Yes” and “No” columns where necessary, may be as narrow as one-quarter inch wide.
(h) The instructions to voters may be placed at the bottom of the ballot instead of at the top of the ballot, and an appropriate reference to the location of the instructions may be printed in the upper right portion of the ballot.
(i) The ballot serial number may be placed on any position of the ballot that does not impact other required text or voting targets on the ballot card.

SEC. 25.

 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 boldface 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.

SEC. 26.

 Section 3.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 13119 of the Elections Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 268. That section shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2020, (2) each bill amends Section 13119 of the Elections Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 268, in which case Section 3 of this bill shall not become operative.