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AB-2552 Elections: ballot contents.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/29/2018 09:00 PM
AB2552:v95#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  August 29, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  August 23, 2018
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 27, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 17, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  June 12, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2552


Introduced by Assembly Member Berman

February 15, 2018


An act to amend Section 13210 of, and to add Section 13218 to, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2552, Berman. Elections: ballot contents.
Existing law sets forth various ballot printing specifications, including a requirement that each group of candidates to be voted on be preceded on the ballot 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.
This bill would require that the number of candidates to be nominated or elected be printed in boldface type or in a contrasting color that is not black or gray.
By requiring local elections officials to revise the content of ballots, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
The bill would require the Secretary of State to establish a ballot design advisory committee to make recommendations for improving ballot design and the readability of ballot instructions. The bill would require the committee to make its recommendations by January 1, 2020.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 13210 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13210.
 (a) In the case of candidates for delegates to a 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 boldface 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, and the number of candidates to be nominated or elected shall be printed in boldface type or in a contrasting color that is not black or gray. 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. 2.

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

13218.
 (a) The Secretary of State shall establish a ballot design advisory committee to make recommendations for improving ballot design and the readability of ballot instructions.
(b) The ballot design advisory committee shall consist of the Secretary of State, or his or her designee, and additional members to be appointed by the Secretary of State. Each appointee shall have demonstrated experience with ballot design requirements, have knowledge of presenting election materials to voters using plain language methods or another method that is easy for voters to access and understand, or be a county elections official or his or her designee.
(c) The ballot design advisory committee shall submit its recommendations to the Secretary of State, and the Legislature pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code, by January 1, 2020. The Secretary of State shall consider the committee’s recommendations and may implement them if the recommendations are consistent with this code.

SEC. 3.

 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.