Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-2835 Elections: ballots.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 02/16/2018 09:00 PM
AB2835:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2835


Introduced by Assembly Member Calderon

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Sections 301, 305.5, 13107, 13119, 13207, 13208, 13213, and 13241 of the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2835, as introduced, Calderon. Elections: ballots.
(1) Existing law defines a “ballot” for election law purposes to include an electronic touchscreen upon which appears the names of candidates and ballot titles of measures to be voted on by touching the designated area of the screen for systems that do not contain a paper ballot.
This bill would expand the electronic touchscreen systems that qualify as ballots by eliminating the requirement that the systems not contain paper ballots if the votes are tabulated manually or by optical scanning equipment.
(2) Existing law prohibits a paper cast vote record, as defined, from being considered a ballot.
This bill would allow a paper cast vote record to be considered a ballot, but only if the paper cast vote record is generated on a voting device or machine that complies with ballot layout requirements and is tabulated by a separate device from the device that created the paper cast vote record.
(3) Existing law imposes ballot layout specifications, including specific requirements relating to the size and spacing of text.
This bill would make various changes to these specifications, which would allow more flexibility in ballot layout. The changes would include allowing the use of objects other than squares for voters to make selections.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 301 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

301.
 A “ballot” means any of the following:
(a) The combination of a card with number positions that is marked by the voter and the accompanying reference page or pages containing the names of candidates and the ballot titles of measures to be voted on with numbered positions corresponding to the numbers on the card.
(b) One or more cards upon which are printed the names of the candidates and the ballot titles of measures to be voted on by punching or marking in the designated area.
(c) One or more sheets of paper upon which are printed the names of candidates and the ballot titles of measures to be voted on by marking the designated area and that are tabulated manually or by optical scanning equipment.
(d) (1) An electronic touchscreen upon which appears the names of candidates and ballot titles of measures to be voted on by touching the designated area on the screen for systems that do not contain a paper ballot.
(2) An electronic touchscreen may qualify as a ballot even for systems that contain paper ballots if the votes are tabulated manually or by optical scanning equipment.

SEC. 2.

 Section 305.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

305.5.
 (a) “Paper cast vote record” means an auditable document that corresponds to the selection made on the voter’s ballot and lists the contests on the ballot and the voter’s selections for those contests. A paper cast vote record is not a ballot.
(b) A paper cast vote record is a ballot only if the paper cast vote record is generated on a voting device or machine that complies with ballot layout requirements and is tabulated by a separate device from the device that created the paper cast vote record.

SEC. 3.

 Section 13107 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13107.
 (a) With the exception of candidates for Justice of the State Supreme Court or court of appeal, immediately under the name of each candidate, and not separated from the name by any line, unless the designation made by the candidate pursuant to Section 8002.5 must be listed immediately below the name of the candidate pursuant to Section 13105, and in that case immediately under the designation, may appear at the option of the candidate only one of the following designations:
(1) Words designating the elective city, county, district, state, or federal office which the candidate holds at the time of filing the nomination documents to which he or she was elected by vote of the people.
(2) The word “incumbent” if the candidate is a candidate for the same office which he or she holds at the time of filing the nomination papers, and was elected to that office by a vote of the people.
(3) No more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.
(4) The phrase “appointed incumbent” if the candidate holds an office by virtue of appointment, and the candidate is a candidate for election to the same office, or, if the candidate is a candidate for election to the same office or to some other office, the word “appointed” and the title of the office. In either instance, the candidate may not use the unmodified word “incumbent” or any words designating the office unmodified by the word “appointed.” However, the phrase “appointed incumbent” shall not be required of a candidate who seeks reelection to an office which he or she holds and to which he or she was appointed, as a nominated candidate, in lieu of an election, pursuant to Sections 5326 and 5328 of the Education Code or Section 7228, 7423, 7673, 10229, or 10515 of this code.
(b) (1) Except as specified in paragraph (2), for candidates for judicial office, immediately under the name of each candidate, and not separated from the name by any line, only one of the following designations may appear at the option of the candidate:
(A) Words designating the city, county, district, state, or federal office held by the candidate at the time of filing the nomination documents.
(B) The word “incumbent” if the candidate is a candidate for the same office that he or she holds at the time of filing the nomination papers.
(C) No more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.
(2) For a candidate for judicial office who is an active member of the State Bar employed by a city, county, district, state, or by the United States, the designation shall appear as one of the following:
(A) Words designating the actual job title, as defined by statute, charter, or other governing instrument.
(B) One of the following ballot designations: “Attorney,” “Attorney at Law,” “Lawyer,” or “Counselor at Law.” The designations “Attorney” and “Lawyer” may be used in combination with one other current principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate, or the principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.
(3) A designation made pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) shall also contain relevant qualifiers, as follows:
(A) If the candidate is an official or employee of a city, the name of the city shall appear preceded by the words “City of.”
(B) If the candidate is an official or employee of a county, the name of the county shall appear preceded by the words “County of.”
(C) If the candidate is an official or employee of a city and county, the name of the city and county shall appear preceded by the words “City and County.”
(D) If the candidate performs quasi-judicial functions for a governmental agency, the full name of the agency shall be included.
(c) A candidate for superior court judge who is an active member of the State Bar and practices law as one of his or her principal professions shall use one of the following ballot designations as his or her ballot designation: “Attorney,” “Attorney at Law,” “Lawyer,” or “Counselor at Law.” The designations “Attorney” and “Lawyer” may be used in combination with one other current principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate, or the principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.
(d) For purposes of this section, all California geographical names shall be considered to be one word. Hyphenated words that appear in any generally available standard reference dictionary, published in the United States at any time within the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the election for which the words are counted, shall be considered as one word. Each part of all other hyphenated words shall be counted as a separate word.
(e) The Secretary of State and any other elections official shall not accept a designation of which any of the following would be true:
(1) It would mislead the voter.
(2) It would suggest an evaluation of a candidate, such as outstanding, leading, expert, virtuous, or eminent.
(3) It abbreviates the word “retired” or places it following any word or words which it modifies.
(4) It uses a word or prefix, such as “former” or “ex-,” which means a prior status. The only exception is the use of the word “retired.”
(5) It uses the name of any political party, whether or not it has qualified for the ballot.
(6) It uses a word or words referring to a racial, religious, or ethnic group.
(7) It refers to any activity prohibited by law.
(f) If, upon checking the nomination documents and the ballot designation worksheet described in Section 13107.3, the elections official finds the designation to be in violation of any of the restrictions set forth in this section, the elections official shall notify the candidate by registered or certified mail return receipt requested, addressed to the mailing address provided on the candidate’s ballot designation worksheet.
(1) The candidate shall, within three days, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and state holidays, from the date he or she receives notice by registered or certified mail, or from the date the candidate receives actual notice of the violation, whichever occurs first, appear before the elections official or, in the case of the Secretary of State, notify the Secretary of State by telephone, and provide a designation that complies with subdivision (a) or (b).
(2) If a candidate fails to provide a designation that complies with subdivision (a) or (b) within the three-day period specified in paragraph (1), a designation shall not appear after the candidate’s name.
(g) A designation given by a candidate shall not be changed by the candidate after the final date for filing nomination documents, except as specifically requested by the elections official as specified in subdivision (f) or as provided in subdivision (h). The elections official shall maintain a copy of the ballot designation worksheet for each candidate that appears on the ballot in the county for the same period of time as applied to nomination documents pursuant to Section 17100.
(h) The designation shall remain the same for all purposes of both primary and general elections, unless the candidate, at least 98 days before the general election, requests in writing a different designation which the candidate is entitled to use at the time of the request.
(i) In all cases, the words so used shall be printed in 8-point roman uppercase and lowercase type except that, if the designation selected is so long that it would conflict a manner consistent with the space requirements of Sections 13207 and 13211, the elections official shall use a type size for the designation for each candidate for that office sufficiently smaller to meet these requirements. 13211.
(j) If a foreign language translation of a candidate’s designation is required under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.), as amended, to appear on the ballot in addition to the English language version, it shall be as short as possible, as consistent as is practicable with this section, and shall employ abbreviations and initials wherever possible in order to avoid undue length.

SEC. 4.

 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?” Opposite To the right or below the statement of the measure to be voted on, and to its right, on, the words “Yes” and “No” shall be printed on separate lines, with voting squares. targets. If a voter stamps a cross (+) in the voting square target after the printed word “Yes,” his or her vote shall be counted in favor of the adoption of the measure. If he or she stamps a cross (+) in the voting square target after the printed word “No,” his or her 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, “local 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. 5.

 Section 13207 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13207.
 (a) There shall be printed on the ballot in parallel columns all of the following:
(1) The respective offices.
(2) The names of candidates with sufficient blank spaces to allow the voters to write in names not printed on the ballot, except that no spaces shall be printed for voter-nominated offices at a general election.
(3) Whatever measures have been submitted to the voters.
(b) In the case of a ballot which is intended for use in a party primary and which carries partisan offices, voter-nominated offices, and nonpartisan offices, a vertical solid black line shall divide the columns containing partisan offices, on the left, from the columns containing nonpartisan offices and voter-nominated offices, on the right.
(c) The standard width of columns containing partisan offices, nonpartisan offices, and voter-nominated offices, shall be three inches except that an elections official may vary the width of these columns by up to three-tenths of an one inch. The column containing presidential and vice presidential candidates may be as wide as four inches.
(d) A measure that is to be submitted to the voters shall be printed in one or more parallel columns to the right of the columns containing the names of candidates and shall be of sufficient width to contain the title and summary of the measure. To the right of or below the title and summary shall be printed, on separate lines, the words “Yes” and “No.”

SEC. 6.

 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 square target after 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 squares targets to the right of the words “Yes” and “No.” The voting squares targets shall be used by the voters to express their choices as provided for in the instruction to voters.
(b) The standard voting square target shall be at least three-eighths of an inch square wide but may be up to one-half inch square. wide. Voting squares 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. 7.

 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, not smaller than 12-point. type. Each caption shall be separated from the names of the candidates beneath by a two-point line.

SEC. 8.

 Section 13241 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13241.
 The names of the candidates and the respective offices shall be printed on the ballot in parallel columns at least 212 2 inches wide.