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AB-973 Remote accessible vote by mail system.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/19/2017 09:00 PM
AB973:v96#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 19, 2017
Passed  IN  Senate  September 14, 2017
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 15, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  July 19, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 30, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 973


Introduced by Assembly Member Low

February 16, 2017


An act to add Sections 3016.5 and 3116.5 to the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 973, Low. Remote accessible vote by mail system.
Existing law permits a person, corporation, or public agency to apply to the Secretary of State for certification or conditional approval of a remote accessible vote by mail system. Existing law requires the Secretary of State to examine and certify remote accessible vote by mail systems, as specified.
Existing law permits a voter, including a voter with a disability or a military or overseas voter, to apply for and receive a vote by mail ballot from his or her county elections official. Existing law also authorizes specified counties to conduct an election as an all-mailed ballot election if specified requirements are satisfied, including requirements relating to accessibility by voters with disabilities.
This bill, beginning January 1, 2020, would require a county elections official to permit a voter with a disability, or a military or overseas voter, to cast his or her ballot using a certified remote accessible vote by mail system. This requirement would not apply to a county when conducting an all-mailed ballot election, as specified.
By imposing additional duties on local elections officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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.

 The Legislature recognizes that some individuals with disabilities are not able to vote privately and independently using vote by mail ballots. In order to ensure that more individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to vote by mail privately and independently, it is the intent of the Legislature that certified remote accessible vote by mail systems be available for use by individuals with disabilities in all counties that are not conducting an election pursuant to Section 4005 of the Elections Code. An election held pursuant to Section 4005 of the Elections Code is currently required to have an accessible vote by mail system that is available for use by individuals with disabilities. Ensuring access to voting for all citizens is a priority for the Legislature.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3016.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

3016.5.
 (a) A county elections official shall permit a voter with a disability to cast his or her ballot using a certified remote accessible vote by mail system.
(b) This section does not apply to a county when conducting an all-mailed ballot election pursuant to Section 4005.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3116.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

3116.5.
 (a) A county elections official shall permit a military or overseas voter to cast his or her ballot using a certified remote accessible vote by mail system.
(b) This section does not apply to a county when conducting an all-mailed ballot election pursuant to Section 4005.

SEC. 4.

 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.

SEC. 5.

 This act shall become operative on January 1, 2020.