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AB-681 Elections: voter registration: presidential primary elections.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/25/2019 09:00 PM
AB681:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 16, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 681


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez

February 15, 2019


An act to amend Section 2152 of, and to add Section Sections 2119.5 and 12100 to to, the Elections Code, relating to elections, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 681, as amended, Gonzalez. Presidential Elections: voter registration: presidential primary elections.
Existing law requires a voter to disclose a preference for a political party in order to participate in the political party’s primary election. However, existing law permits a voter who has declined to disclose a political party preference to request the ballot of a political party at a partisan primary election if the political party authorizes a voter who has declined to disclose a political party preference to vote the ballot of the political party at that partisan election. Existing law requires that information to be included in the voter registration card, the vote by mail ballot application, the state and county voter information guides, the internet websites of the Secretary of State and the county elections officials, and the nonpartisan vote by mail ballot that is sent to a voter who has declined to disclose a political party preference.
This bill would require a county elections official, between the 120th and 30th day before a presidential primary election, to send each registered voter in the county three separate notices containing specified information, including the voter’s current political party preference, the type of ballot the voter will be able to cast at the presidential primary election, and instructions on how the voter may change the voter’s political party preference. By imposing additional duties on county 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.

Existing law requires a county elections official to accept affidavits of registration received on or before the 15th day before an election and to accept as conditional voter registration affidavits received during the 14 days immediately preceding an election and on election day. Existing law establishes procedures for a voter to change the voter’s residence address by executing a new affidavit of registration or a notice or letter of the change of address, or for a voter to change the voter’s political party preference by executing a new affidavit of registration.
This bill would permit a voter, from the 14th day immediately preceding an election until the close of polls on election day, in lieu of executing a new affidavit of registration, to change the voter’s residence address or political party preference by submitting to the voter’s county elections official a written request containing the new residence address or political party preference and signed under penalty of perjury. The bill would require a ballot or provisional ballot to be provided to the voter, as specified, and would require the registration of the voter to be immediately updated.
By imposing additional duties on local elections officials and expanding the scope of the crime of perjury, 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 with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2119.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

2119.5.
 (a) From the 14th day immediately preceding an election until the close of polls on election day, in lieu of executing a new affidavit of registration for a change of address within the same county, the county elections official shall accept a written request by a voter that contains all of the following:
(1) The voter’s printed name.
(2) The voter’s former residence address.
(3) The voter’s new residence address.
(4) A certification by the voter of the content of the written request as to its truthfulness and correctness, under penalty of perjury.
(5) The voter’s signature and date of execution.
(b) The written request shall be delivered to the county elections official’s office or to any location that offers conditional voter registration and at which a ballot can be issued in accordance with the following:
(1) A nonprovisional ballot shall be issued to the voter if either of the following applies:
(A) The voter appears at the voter’s precinct, the voter’s name is found on the roster, and the voter either has not been issued a vote by mail ballot or the conditions set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 3015 are satisfied.
(B) The voter appears at a location that is equipped with an electronic poll book or other means to determine the voter’s precinct, the location can provide the voter with a ballot for the voter’s precinct, the entire county has established connectivity between locations, and the location at which the voter appears verifies that the voter has not cast a ballot at another location for the election and notes in the voter’s record that the voter cast a ballot.
(2) A provisional ballot shall be issued to the voter if either of the following applies:
(A) The voter appears at the voter’s precinct, the voter’s name is found on the roster, the voter has been issued a vote by mail ballot, and the conditions set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 3015 are not satisfied.
(B) The voter appears at a location, other than the voter’s precinct, that is equipped with an electronic poll book or other means to determine the voter’s precinct, but the entire county has not established connectivity between locations such that the location is unable to verify that the voter has not cast a ballot at another location for the election.
(c) Upon receipt of a properly executed written request described in subdivision (a), the registration of the voter shall be immediately updated and the written request shall be maintained with the voter’s record.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2152 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2152.
 (a) Whenever any a voter has declined to disclose or has changed his or her the voter’s political party preference prior to the close of registration for an election, he or she the voter may either so disclose or have a change recorded by executing a new affidavit of registration and completing the prior registration portion of the affidavit.
(b) From the 14th day immediately preceding an election until the close of polls on election day, in lieu of executing a new affidavit of registration to disclose or have a change recorded for a voter’s political party preference, the county elections official shall accept a written request by a voter that discloses or changes the voter’s political party preference and that contains all of the following:
(1) The voter’s printed name.
(2) The voter’s current residence address.
(3) The voter’s new political party preference.
(4) A certification by the voter of the content of the written request as to its truthfulness and correctness, under penalty of perjury.
(5) The voter’s signature and date of execution.
(c) The written request shall be delivered to the county elections official’s office or to any location that offers conditional voter registration and at which a ballot for the political party for which the voter disclosed a preference can be issued in accordance with the following:
(1) A nonprovisional ballot shall be issued to the voter if either of the following applies:
(A) The voter appears at the voter’s precinct, the voter’s name is found on the roster, and the voter either has not been issued a vote by mail ballot or the conditions set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 3015 are satisfied.
(B) The voter appears at a location that is equipped with an electronic poll book or other means to determine the voter’s precinct, the location can provide the voter with a ballot for the voter’s precinct, the entire county has established connectivity between locations, and the location at which the voter appears verifies that the voter has not cast a ballot at another location for the election and notes in the voter’s record that the voter cast a ballot.
(2) A provisional ballot shall be issued to the voter if either of the following applies:
(A) The voter appears at the voter’s precinct, the voter’s name is found on the roster, the voter has been issued a vote by mail ballot, and the conditions set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 3015 are not satisfied.
(B) The voter appears at a location, other than the voter’s precinct, that is equipped with an electronic poll book or other means to determine the voter’s precinct, but the entire county has not established connectivity between locations such that the location is unable to verify that the voter has not cast a ballot at another location for the election.
(d) Upon receipt of a properly executed written request described in subdivision (b), the registration of the voter shall be immediately updated and the written request shall be maintained with the voter’s record.

SECTION 1.SEC. 3.

 Section 12100 is added to the Elections Code, immediately preceding Section 12101, to read:

12100.
 (a) Between the 120th and 30th day before a presidential primary election, a county elections official shall send three separate notices to each registered voter within the county containing all of the following:
(1) The current political party preference of the voter.
(2) Information on the type of ballot the voter will be able to cast at the presidential primary election.
(3) A statement that a voter who has declined to disclose a political party preference may request the ballot of one of the political parties that authorizes a voter who has declined to disclose a political party preference to vote in a presidential primary election, and the name of each political party that authorizes a voter who has declined to disclose a political party preference to vote the party’s ballot at the upcoming presidential primary election.
(4) Instructions on how the voter can change the voter’s political party preference.
(b) The notices described in subdivision (a) may be sent by various methods, including by mail, by email, or, if the voter has provided written consent to receive text messages from the county elections official, by text message. An elections official shall send at least one of the three notices to a registered voter using a method different from that used to send the other notice or notices to the voter.

SEC. 2.

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. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other 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. 3.SEC. 5.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure that the procedures and protections afforded by this act will be implemented for the 2020 presidential primary election, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.