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SB-235 Elections: ballot designation requirements.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/16/2017 09:00 PM
SB235:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 16, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 28, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 235


Introduced by Senator Allen

February 06, 2017


An act to amend Section 13107 of the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 235, as amended, Allen. Elections: ballot designation requirements.
Existing law provides, with the exception of candidates for Justice of the State Supreme Court or court of appeal, that each candidate for elective city, county, district, state, or federal office may choose to have only one of specified designations, including his or her current principal professions, vocations, or occupations’ appear immediately under his or her name as a candidate on an election ballot.
This bill would impose additional requirements for a designation that may appear under the name of a candidate for judicial office. Justice of the State Supreme Court or court of appeal.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 13107 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13107.
 (a) With the exception of candidates for judicial office, 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 attorney employed by a city, county, district, state, or by the United States, the designation shall appear as words designating the actual job title, as defined by statute, charter, or other governing instrument.
(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 performs quasi-judicial functions for a governmental agency, the full name of the agency shall be included.

(D)If the candidate is employed for fewer than 30 hours per week as an official or employee of a city, county, district, state, or the United States, the phrase “Part-time” shall appear before the designation.

(c) For purposes of this section, a A candidate for superior court judge who is a an active member of the State Bar, whether on active or inactive status, shall not Bar and practices law as one of his or her principal professions may use the word “Attorney,” “Attorney at Law, “Lawyer,” or “Counselor at Law,” or any variation of those words, if, during the year preceding the filing of the nomination documents, the candidate did not derive at least half of his or her income from the practice of law or did not practice law during at least half of the time he or she spent working in the profession, vocation, or occupation. Law” as his or her ballot designation.
(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 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.
(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.