Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

SB-450 Elections: vote by mail voting and mail ballot elections.(2015-2016)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
SB450:v92#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 450
CHAPTER 832

An act to amend Sections 3017 and 15320 of, to add Sections 4005, 4006, and 4007 to, and to add and repeal Section 4008 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections.

[ Approved by Governor  September 29, 2016. Filed with Secretary of State  September 29, 2016. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 450, Allen. Elections: vote by mail voting and mail ballot elections.
Existing law requires all vote by mail ballots to be voted on or before the day of the election and requires the vote by mail voter to return the ballot by mail or in person, as specified, to the elections official who issued the ballot.
This bill would require an elections official who receives a vote by mail ballot that he or she did not issue to forward that ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot no later than 8 days after receipt. By requiring an elections official to forward a ballot to the elections official who issued the ballot, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law authorizes cities with a population of fewer than 100,000 persons, school districts, and special districts to conduct an all-mailed ballot special election to fill a vacancy on the legislative or governing body of those entities under specified conditions.
This bill, the California Voter’s Choice Act, would, on or after January 1, 2018, authorize specified counties, and on or after January 1, 2020, authorize any county except the County of Los Angeles, to conduct any election as an all-mailed ballot election if certain conditions are satisfied, including conditions related to ballot dropoff locations, vote centers, and plans for the administration of all-mailed ballot elections. The bill would require the Secretary of State, within 6 months of each all-mailed ballot election conducted by a county pursuant to these provisions, to report certain information to the Legislature regarding that election. The bill would require the county that conducted the all-mailed ballot election to submit to the Secretary of State the information needed for the Secretary of State to prepare the report.
This bill would, on or after January 1, 2020, authorize the County of Los Angeles to conduct any election as a vote center election if certain conditions are satisfied, including conditions related to ballot dropoff locations and vote centers. The bill would, on or after January 1, 2020, authorize the County of Los Angeles to conduct a special election as an all-mailed ballot election pursuant to specified provisions that apply to every county that chooses to conduct a special election as an all-mailed ballot election.
This bill would also require the Secretary of State to establish a taskforce that includes certain individuals to review all-mailed ballot elections conducted pursuant to these provisions and to provide comments and recommendations to the Legislature within 6 months of each all-mailed ballot election or vote center election.
This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 3017 of the Elections Code proposed by AB 1921 that would become operative only if AB 1921 and this bill are both chaptered and this bill is chaptered last.
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 these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Voter’s Choice Act.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3017 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

3017.
 (a) 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: (1) return the ballot by mail or in person to the elections official who issued the ballot, (2) return the ballot in person to a member of a precinct board at a polling place or vote center within the state, or (3) return the ballot to a vote by mail ballot dropoff location within the state that is provided pursuant to Section 3025 or 4005. However, a vote by mail voter who is unable to return the ballot may designate his or her spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, or a person residing in the same household as the vote by mail voter 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 ballot must, however, 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 precinct 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. If the county does not have an elections division Internet Web site, 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) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a vote by mail voter’s ballot shall not be returned by a paid or volunteer worker of a general purpose committee, controlled committee, independent expenditure committee, political party, candidate’s campaign committee, or any other group or organization at whose behest the individual designated to return the ballot is performing a service. However, this subdivision does not apply to a candidate or a candidate’s spouse.

SEC. 2.5.

 Section 3017 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

3017.
 (a) 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: (1) return the ballot by mail or in person to the elections official who issued the ballot, (2) return the ballot in person to a member of a precinct board at a polling place or vote center within the state, or (3) return the ballot to a vote by mail ballot dropoff location within the state that is provided pursuant to Section 3025 or 4005. However, a vote by mail voter who is unable to return the ballot may designate any 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 ballot must, however, 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 precinct 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. If the county does not have an elections division Internet Web site, 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 has returned and no individual, group, or organization shall 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) Any 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. 3.

 Section 4005 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

4005.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 4000 or any other law, on or after January 1, 2018, the Counties of Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, and Tuolumne, and, except as provided in Section 4007, on or after January 1, 2020, any county may conduct any election as an all-mailed ballot election if all of the following apply:
(1) (A) At least two ballot dropoff locations are provided within the jurisdiction where the election is held or the number of ballot dropoff locations are fixed in a manner so that there is at least one ballot dropoff location provided for every 15,000 registered voters within the jurisdiction where the election is held, as determined on the 88th day before the day of the election, whichever results in more ballot dropoff locations. For purposes of this subparagraph, a vote center that includes an exterior ballot drop box counts only as a single ballot dropoff location. Ballot dropoff locations shall comply with the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 3025.
(B) A ballot dropoff location provided for under this section consists of a secure, accessible, and locked ballot box located as near as possible to established public transportation routes and that is able to receive voted ballots. All ballot dropoff locations shall be open at least during regular business hours beginning not less than 28 days before the day of the election, and on the day of the election. At least one ballot dropoff location shall be an accessible, secured, exterior drop box that is available for a minimum of 12 hours per day including regular business hours.
(2) (A) The county elections official permits a voter residing in the county to do any of the following at a vote center:
(i) Return, or vote and return, his or her vote by mail ballot.
(ii) Register to vote, update his or her voter registration, and vote pursuant to Section 2170.
(iii) Receive and vote a provisional ballot pursuant to Section 3016 or Article 5 (commencing with Section 14310) of Chapter 3 of Division 14.
(iv) Receive a replacement ballot upon verification that a ballot for the same election has not been received from the voter by the county elections official. If the county elections official is unable to determine if a ballot for the same election has been received from the voter, the county elections official may issue a provisional ballot.
(v) Vote a regular, provisional, or replacement ballot using accessible voting equipment that provides for a private and independent voting experience.
(B) Each vote center shall have at least three voting machines that are accessible to voters with disabilities.
(3) (A) On the day of the election, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., inclusive, and on each of the three days before the election, for a minimum of eight hours per day, at least one vote center is provided for every 10,000 registered voters within the jurisdiction where the election is held, as determined on the 88th day before the day of the election. At least 90 percent of the number of vote centers required by this subparagraph shall be open for all four days during the required times. Up to 10 percent of the number of vote centers required by this subparagraph may be open for less than four days if at least one vote center is provided for every 10,000 registered voters on each day.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for a jurisdiction with fewer than 20,000 registered voters, a minimum of two voter centers are provided on the day of the election and on each of the three days before the election within the jurisdiction where the election is held.
(4) (A) Beginning 10 days before the day of the election and continuing daily up to and including the fourth day before the election, for a minimum of eight hours per day, at least one vote center is provided for every 50,000 registered voters within the jurisdiction where the election is held, as determined on the 88th day before the day of the election.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for a jurisdiction with fewer than 50,000 registered voters, a minimum of two vote centers are provided within the jurisdiction where the election is held.
(C) The vote centers provided under this section are established in accordance with the accessibility requirements described in Article 5 (commencing with Section 12280) of Chapter 3 of Division 12, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.), and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(D) The vote centers provided under this section are equitably distributed across the county so as to afford maximally convenient options for voters and are established at accessible locations as near as possible to established public transportation routes. The vote centers shall be equipped with voting units or systems that are accessible to individuals with disabilities and that provide the same opportunity for access and participation as is provided to voters who are not disabled, including the ability to vote privately and independently in accordance with Sections 12280 and 19240.
(E) (i) The vote centers provided under this section have an electronic mechanism for the county elections official to immediately access, at a minimum, all of the following voter registration data:
(I) Name.
(II) Address.
(III) Date of birth.
(IV) Language preference.
(V) Party preference.
(VI) Precinct.
(VII) Whether or not the voter has been issued a vote by mail ballot and whether or not a ballot has been received by the county elections official.
(ii) The electronic mechanism used to access voter registration data shall not be connected in any way to a voting system.
(5) A method is available for voters with disabilities to request and receive a blank vote by mail ballot and, if a replacement ballot is necessary, a blank replacement ballot that voters with disabilities can read and mark privately and independently pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.).
(6)  (A)  Except as otherwise provided for in this section, election boards for the vote centers established under this section meet the requirements for eligibility and composition pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 12300) of Chapter 4 of Division 12.
(B) Each vote center provides language assistance in all languages required in the jurisdiction under subdivision (c) of Section 12303 or Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.) in a manner that enables voters of the applicable language minority groups to participate effectively in the electoral process. Each vote center shall post information regarding the availability of language assistance in English and all other languages for which language assistance is required to be provided in the jurisdiction under subdivision (c) of Section 12303 or Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(i) If a vote center is located in, or adjacent to, a precinct, census tract, or other defined geographical subsection required to establish language requirements under subdivision (c) of Section 12303 or Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.), or if it is identified as needing language assistance through the public input process described in clause (ii), the county elections official shall ensure that the vote center is staffed by election board members who speak the required language. If the county elections official is unable to recruit election board members who speak the required language, alternative methods of effective language assistance shall be provided by the county elections official.
(ii) The county elections official shall solicit public input regarding which vote centers should be staffed by election board members who are fluent in a language in addition to English pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 12303 and Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(iii) The county elections official shall provide notice in the sample ballot, in vote by mail materials, and on his or her Internet Web site of the specific language services available at each vote center.
(C) Each vote center provides election materials translated in all languages required in the jurisdiction under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(D) Each vote center provides reasonable modifications and auxiliary aids and services as required by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.) and the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 701 et seq.).
(7) (A) Beginning 10 days before the election, the county elections official maintains, in an electronic format, an index of voters who have done any of the following at one of the voter centers established pursuant to this section:
(i) Registered to vote or updated his or her voter registration.
(ii) Received and voted a provisional ballot or replacement ballot.
(iii) Voted a ballot using equipment at the vote center.
(B) The index required by subparagraph (A) includes the same information for each voter as is required to be included on copies of the index of affidavits of voter registration that are posted pursuant to Section 14294. The index required by subparagraph (A) shall be updated continuously during any time that a vote center is open in the jurisdiction.
(8) (A) Beginning 29 days before the day of the election, the county elections official mails to each registered voter a vote by mail ballot packet that includes a return envelope with instructions for the use and return of the vote by mail ballot.
(B) The county elections official delivers to each voter, with either the sample ballot sent pursuant to Section 13303 or with the vote by mail ballot packet, all of the following:
(i) A notice, translated in all languages required under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.), that informs voters of all of the following:
(I) An all-mailed ballot election is being conducted and each eligible voter will be issued a vote by mail ballot by mail.
(II) The voter may cast a vote by mail ballot in person at a vote center during the times and days specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) or on election day.
(III) No later than seven days before the day of the election, the voter may request the county elections official to send a vote by mail ballot in a language other than English pursuant to Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.) or a facsimile copy of the ballot printed in a language other than English pursuant to Section 14201.
(IV) No later than seven days before the day of the election, the voter may request the county elections official to send or deliver a ballot that voters with disabilities can read and mark privately and independently pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.).
(ii) A list of the ballot dropoff locations and vote centers established pursuant to this section, including the dates and hours they are open. The list shall also be posted on the Internet Web site of the county elections official in a format that is accessible for people with disabilities pursuant to Section 11135 of the Government Code.
(iii) A postage-paid postcard that the voter may return to the county elections official for the purpose of requesting a vote by mail ballot in a language other than English or for the purpose of requesting a vote by mail ballot in an accessible format.
(C) Upon request, the county elections official provides written voting materials to voters with disabilities in an accessible format, as required by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.) and the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 701 et seq.).
(9) (A) The county elections official establishes a language accessibility advisory committee that is comprised of representatives of language minority communities. The committee shall be established no later than October 1 of the year before the first election conducted pursuant to this section. The committee shall hold its first meeting no later than April 1 of the year in which the first election is conducted pursuant to this section.
(B) The county elections official establishes a voting accessibility advisory committee that is comprised of voters with disabilities. The committee shall be established no later than October 1 of the year before the first election conducted pursuant to this section. The committee shall hold its first meeting no later than April 1 of the year in which the first election is conducted pursuant to this section.
(C) A county with fewer than 50,000 registered voters may establish a joint advisory committee for language minority communities and voters with disabilities.
(10) (A) The county elections official develops a draft plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section in consultation with the public, including both of the following:
(i) One meeting, publicly noticed at least 10 days in advance of the meeting, that includes representatives, advocates, and other stakeholders representing each community for which the county is required to provide voting materials and assistance in a language other than English under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(ii) One meeting, publicly noticed at least 10 days in advance of the meeting, that includes representatives from the disability community and community organizations and individuals that advocate on behalf of, or provide services to, individuals with disabilities.
(B) The county elections official, when developing the draft plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section, considers, at a minimum, all of the following:
(i) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to public transportation.
(ii) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to communities with historically low vote by mail usage.
(iii) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to population centers.
(iv) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to language minority communities.
(v) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to voters with disabilities.
(vi) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to communities with low rates of household vehicle ownership.
(vii) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to low-income communities.
(viii) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to communities of eligible voters who are not registered to vote and may need access to same day voter registration.
(ix) Vote center and ballot dropoff location proximity to geographically isolated populations, including Native American reservations.
(x) Access to accessible and free parking at vote centers and ballot dropoff locations.
(xi) The distance and time a voter must travel by car or public transportation to a vote center and ballot dropoff location.
(xii) The need for alternate methods for voters with disabilities for whom vote by mail ballots are not accessible to cast a ballot.
(xiii) Traffic patterns near vote centers and ballot dropoff locations.
(xiv) The need for mobile vote centers in addition to the number of vote centers established pursuant to this section.
(C) The county elections official publicly notices the draft plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section and accepts public comments on the draft plan for at least 14 days before the hearing held pursuant to subparagraph (D).
(D) (i) Following the 14-day review period required by subparagraph (C), the county elections official holds a public meeting to consider the draft plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section and to accept public comments. The meeting shall be publicly noticed at least 10 days in advance of the meeting on the Internet Web sites of the clerk of the county board of supervisors and the county elections official, or, if neither the clerk of the county board of supervisors nor the county elections official maintain an Internet Web site, in the office of the county elections official.
(ii) After the public hearing to consider the draft plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section and to accept public comments, the county elections official shall consider any public comments he or she receives from the public and shall amend the draft plan in response to the public comments to the extent he or she deems appropriate. The county elections official shall publicly notice the amended draft plan and shall accept public comments on the amended draft plan for at least 14 days before the county elections official may adopt the amended draft plan pursuant to subparagraph (E).
(E) (i) Following the 14-day review and comment period required by clause (ii) of subparagraph (D), the county elections official may adopt a final plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section, and shall submit the voter education and outreach plan that is required by clause (i) of subparagraph (I) to the Secretary of State for approval.
(ii) The Secretary of State shall approve, approve with modifications, or reject a voter education and outreach plan submitted pursuant to clause (i) of subparagraph (I) within 14 days after the plan is submitted by the county elections official.
(iii) The draft plan, the amended draft plan, and the adopted final plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section shall be posted on the Internet Web site of the county elections official in each language in which the county is required to provide voting materials and assistance under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.), and the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site in a format that is accessible for people with disabilities pursuant to Section 11135 of the Government Code.
(F) Public meetings held pursuant to this paragraph shall, upon request, provide auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication with people with disabilities.
(G) Within two years of the adoption of the first plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section, the county elections official shall hold public meetings in accordance with the procedures described in subparagraphs (C) to (F), inclusive, to consider revising the first plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section. Every four years thereafter, the county elections official shall hold public meetings in accordance with the procedures described in subparagraphs (C) to (F), inclusive, to consider revising the plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section.
(H) (i) With reasonable public notification, a county elections official may amend a plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section no more than 120 days before the date of an election held pursuant to this section.
(ii) With reasonable public notification, a county elections official may amend a plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section more than 120 days before the date of an election held pursuant to this section if he or she provides at least 30 days to accept public comments on the amended plan.
(I) The plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section, includes all of the following:
(i) A voter education and outreach plan that is approved by the Secretary of State and that includes all of the following:
(I) A description of how the county elections official will use the media, including social media, newspapers, radio, and television that serve language minority communities for purposes of informing voters of the upcoming election and promoting the toll-free voter assistance hotline.
(II) A description of how the county elections official will use the media, including social media, newspapers, radio, and television for purposes of informing voters of the availability of a vote by mail ballot in an accessible format and the process for requesting such a ballot.
(III) A description of how the county elections official will have a community presence to educate voters regarding the provisions of this section.
(IV) A description of the accessible information that will be publicly available on the accessible Internet Web site of the county elections official.
(V) A description of the method used by the county elections official to identify language minority voters.
(VI) A description of how the county elections official will educate and communicate the provisions of this section to the public, including:
(ia) Communities for which the county is required to provide voting materials and assistance in a language other than English under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.). The county elections official shall hold at least one bilingual voter education workshop for each language in which the county is required to provide voting materials and assistance in a language other than English under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(ib) The disability community, including organizations and individuals that advocate on behalf of, or provide services to, individuals with disabilities. The county elections official shall hold at least one voter education workshop to increase accessibility and participation of eligible voters with disabilities.
(VII) A description of how the county will spend the necessary resources on voter education and outreach to ensure that voters are fully informed about the election. This description shall include information about the amount of money the county plans to spend on voter education and outreach activities under the plan, and how that compares to the amount of money spent on voter education and outreach in recent similar elections in the same jurisdiction that were not conducted pursuant to this section.
(VIII) At least one public service announcement in the media, including newspapers, radio, and television, that serve English-speaking citizens for purposes of informing voters of the upcoming election and promoting the toll-free voter assistance hotline. Outreach made under this subclause shall include access for voters who are deaf or hard of hearing and voters who are blind or visually impaired.
(IX) At least one public service announcement in the media, including newspapers, radio, and television, that serve non-English-speaking citizens for each language in which the county is required to provide voting materials and assistance under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.) for purposes of informing voters of the upcoming election and promoting the toll-free voter assistance hotline.
(X) At least two direct contacts with voters for purposes of informing voters of the upcoming election and promoting the toll-free voter assistance hotline. The two direct contacts are in addition to any other required contacts including, but not limited to, sample ballots and the delivery of vote by mail ballots.
(ii) A description of how a voter with disabilities may request and receive a blank vote by mail ballot and, if a replacement ballot is necessary, a blank replacement ballot that a voter with disabilities can mark privately and independently.
(iii) A description of how the county elections official will address significant disparities in voter accessibility and participation identified in the report required by subdivision (g).
(iv) A description of the methods and standards that the county elections official will use to ensure the security of voting conducted at vote centers.
(v) Information about estimated short-term and long-term costs and savings from conducting elections pursuant to this section as compared to recent similar elections in the same jurisdiction that were not conducted pursuant to this section.
(vi) To the extent available at the time of publication, information on all of the following:
(I) The total number of vote centers to be established.
(II) The total number of ballot dropoff locations to be established.
(III) The location of each vote center.
(IV) The location of each ballot dropoff location and whether it is inside or outside.
(V) A map of the locations of each vote center and ballot dropoff location.
(VI) The hours of operation for each vote center.
(VII) The hours of operation for each ballot dropoff location.
(VIII) The security and contingency plans that would be implemented by the county elections official to do both of the following:
(ia) Prevent a disruption of the vote center process.
(ib) Ensure that the election is properly conducted if a disruption occurs.
(IX) The number of election board members and the number of bilingual election board members and the languages spoken.
(X) The services provided to voters with disabilities, including, but not limited to, the type and number of accessible voting machines and reasonable modifications at each vote center.
(XI) The design, layout, and placement of equipment inside each voter center that protects each voter’s right to cast a private and independent ballot.
(vii) A toll-free voter assistance hotline that is accessible to voters who are deaf or hard of hearing, and that is maintained by the county elections official that is operational no later than 29 days before the day of the election until 5 p.m. on the day after the election. The toll-free voter assistance hotline shall provide assistance to voters in all languages in which the county is required to provide voting materials and assistance under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(J) The plan for the administration of elections conducted pursuant to this section is posted in a format that is accessible to persons with disabilities on the Internet Web site of the Secretary of State and on the Internet Web site of the county elections official.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 4000 or any other law, on or after January 1, 2018, the Counties of Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, and Tuolumne, and on or after January 1, 2020, any county may conduct a special election as an all-mailed ballot election under this section if all of the following apply:
(1) The county elections official has done either of the following:
(A) Previously conducted an election as an all-mailed ballot election in accordance with subdivision (a).
(B) Adopted a final plan for the administration of elections pursuant to clause (i) of subparagraph (E) of paragraph (9) of subdivision (a), in which case the county elections official shall complete all activities provided for in the voter education and outreach plan that is required by clause (i) of subparagraph (I) of paragraph (9) of subdivision (a) before the day of the special election.
(2) (A) On the day of election, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., inclusive, at least one vote center is provided for every 30,000 registered voters. If the jurisdiction is not wholly contained within the county, the county elections official shall make a reasonable effort to establish a vote center within the jurisdiction where the special election is held.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for a jurisdiction with fewer than 30,000 registered voters, the county elections official makes a reasonable effort to establish a vote center.
(3) (A) Not less than 10 days before the day of the election, for a minimum of eight hours per day, at least one vote center is provided for every 60,000 registered voters. If the jurisdiction is not wholly contained within the county, the county elections official shall make a reasonable effort to establish a vote center within the jurisdiction where the special election is held.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for a jurisdiction with fewer than 30,000 registered voters, the county elections official makes a reasonable effort to establish a vote center.
(4) (A) At least one ballot dropoff location is provided for every 15,000 registered voters. At least one ballot dropoff location shall be located within the jurisdiction where the special election is held. All ballot dropoff locations shall be open at least during regular business hours beginning not less than 28 days before the day of the election, and on the day of the election.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for a jurisdiction with fewer than 15,000 registered voters, at least one ballot dropoff location shall be provided.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the election day procedures shall be conducted in accordance with Division 14 (commencing with Section 14000).
(d) The county elections official may provide, at his or her discretion, additional ballot dropoff locations and vote centers for purposes of this section.
(e) The return of voted vote by mail ballots is subject to Sections 3017 and 3020.
(f) For the sole purpose of reporting the results of an election conducted pursuant to this section, upon completion of the ballot count, the county elections official shall divide the jurisdiction into precincts pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 12220) of Chapter 3 of Division 12 and shall prepare a statement of the results of the election in accordance with Sections 15373 and 15374.
(g) (1) (A) Within six months of each election conducted pursuant to this section or Section 4007, the Secretary of State shall report to the Legislature, to the extent possible, all of the following information by categories of race, ethnicity, language preference, age, gender, disability, permanent vote by mail status, historical polling place voters, political party affiliation, and language minorities as it relates to the languages required under subdivision (c) of Section 14201 and Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.):
(i) Voter turnout.
(ii) Voter registration.
(iii) Ballot rejection rates.
(iv) Reasons for ballot rejection.
(v) Provisional ballot use.
(vi) Accessible vote by mail ballot use.
(vii) The number of votes cast at each vote center.
(viii) The number of ballots returned at ballot dropoff locations.
(ix) The number of ballots returned by mail.
(x) The number of persons who registered to vote at a vote center.
(xi) Instances of voter fraud.
(xii) Any other problems that became known to the county elections official or the Secretary of State during the election or canvass.
(B) The report required by subparagraph (A) shall be posted on the Internet Web site of the Secretary of State in a format that is accessible for people with disabilities pursuant to Section 11135 of the Government Code.
(C) The report required by subparagraph (A) shall be submitted to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(D) If an election is conducted pursuant to this section, the county shall submit, to the extent possible, to the Secretary of State the information needed for the Secretary of State to prepare the report required by subparagraph (A).
(2) The county elections official shall post on his or her Internet Web site a report that compares the cost of elections conducted pursuant to this section to the costs of previous elections. The report shall be posted in a format that is accessible for people with disabilities pursuant to Section 11135 of the Government Code.
(h) The Secretary of State shall enforce the provisions of this section pursuant to Section 12172.5 of the Government Code.
(i) For purposes of this section, “disability” has the same meaning as defined in subdivisions (j), (m), and (n) of Section 12926 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 4006 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

4006.
 For any election conducted pursuant to Section 4005, the county elections official shall make a reasonable effort to inform a voter of either of the following:
(a) If the voter’s vote by mail ballot envelope is missing a signature.
(b) How the voter can correct the missing signature.

SEC. 5.

 Section 4007 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

4007.
 (a) On or after January 1, 2020, the County of Los Angeles may conduct any election as a vote center election if all of the following apply:
(1) The county elections official complies with all the provisions of subdivision (a) of Section 4005 that are not inconsistent with this section.
(2) Every permanent vote by mail voter receives a ballot.
(3) At least two ballot dropoff locations are provided within the jurisdiction where the election is held or the number of ballot dropoff locations are fixed in a manner so that there is at least one ballot dropoff location provided for every 15,000 permanent vote by mail registered voters within the jurisdiction where the election is held, as determined on the 88th day before the day of the election, whichever results in more ballot dropoff locations.
(4) Within the jurisdiction where the election is held, at least one vote center is provided for each city that has at least 1,000 registered voters according to the official report of registration submitted by the county elections official to the Secretary of State before the last general election.
(5) On the day of the election, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., inclusive, and on each of the three days before the election, for a minimum of eight hours per day, at least one vote center is provided for every 7,500 registered voters within the jurisdiction where the election is held, as determined on the 88th day before the day of the election. At least 90 percent of the number of vote centers required by this subparagraph shall be open for all four days during the required times. Up to 10 percent of the number of vote centers required by this subparagraph may be open for less than four days if at least one vote center is provided for every 7,500 registered voters on each day.
(6) Beginning 10 days before the day of the election and continuing up to and including the fourth day before the day of the election, for a minimum of eight hours per day, at least one vote center is provided for every 30,000 registered voters within the jurisdiction where the election is held, as determined on the 88th day before the election.
(7) Precincts with fewer than 500 registered voters are designated as all vote-by-mail ballot precincts.
(8) Voters residing in a legislative or congressional district that lies partially within the County of Los Angeles and that also lies within another county that is conducting an election pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4005 receive a vote by mail ballot if they are eligible to vote in that election.
(9) Voters in a precinct that is either more than a 30 minute travel time from a vote center or in which the polling place in the most recent statewide general election is more than 15 miles from the nearest vote center are mailed a vote by mail ballot.
(10) The vote centers are located within a reasonable travel time of registered voters.
(11) The county elections official conducts a service area analysis of the vote center plans, identifies services gaps, and publicly reports those findings.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 4000 or any other law, on or after January 1, 2020, the County of Los Angeles may conduct a special election as an all-mailed ballot election pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4005.
(c) No later than four years after conducting the first vote center election pursuant to this section, the County of Los Angeles may conduct all-mailed ballot elections pursuant to Section 4005 and shall not conduct vote center elections pursuant to this section.

SEC. 6.

 Section 4008 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

4008.
 (a) The Secretary of State shall establish a taskforce that includes representatives of all of the following:
(1) County elections officials.
(2) Individuals with demonstrated language accessibility experience for languages covered under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
(3) The disability community and community organizations and individuals that advocate on behalf of, or provide services to, individuals with disabilities.
(4) Experts with demonstrated experience in the field of elections.
(b) The taskforce shall review elections conducted pursuant to Section 4005 or 4007 and provide comments and recommendations to the Legislature within six months of each election conducted pursuant to Section 4005 or 4007.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 7.

 Section 15320 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

15320.
 Vote by mail ballots and mail ballot precinct ballots returned to the elections office and to the polls on election day that are not included in the semifinal official canvass phase of the election, including any ballots returned to another jurisdiction in the state and forwarded to the elections official who issued the ballot pursuant to Section 3017, shall be processed and counted during the official canvass in the manner prescribed by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15100) and pursuant to the requirements of Section 3019.

SEC. 8.

 Section 2.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 3017 of the Elections Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 1921. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2017, (2) each bill amends Section 3017 of the Elections Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1921, in which case Section 2 of this bill shall not become operative.

SEC. 9.

 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.