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SB-636 Elections: ballot label.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/17/2019 12:40 PM
SB636:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  April 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 636


Introduced by Senator Stern

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 303, 9050, 9051, 9053, and 13282 of the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 636, as amended, Stern. Elections: ballot label.
Existing law defines the ballot label as the portion of the ballot containing the names of the candidates or a statement of a measure. For statewide measures, existing law requires the Attorney General to prepare a condensed version of the ballot title and summary, including the fiscal impact summary prepared by the Legislative Analyst that is printed in the state voter information guide.
This bill would also additionally require the ballot label for statewide measures to include a listing of the signers of ballot arguments printed in the state voter information guide that support and oppose the measure, measure or the signers of the rebuttal arguments to the arguments that support and oppose the measure, as specified. The bill would require the signers of the ballot arguments to submit the lists of supporters and opponents to the Secretary of State and would require the Secretary of State to provide those lists to county elections officials as part of the ballot label. The bill would make conforming changes and related findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited as, the Ballot DISCLOSE Act.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In addition to a ballot measure’s title, summary, and fiscal analysis, the identity of those who support and oppose a ballot measure provides voters with extremely important information that helps voters better evaluate and understand the value of the measure and to make more informed decisions on how to vote.
(b) Including the names of the signers of arguments for and against a measure on the measure’s ballot label serves as a useful condensed summary of those arguments in the state voter information guide in the same way that including the condensed title, summary, and fiscal analysis of the ballot measure serves as a useful condensed summary of the Legislative Analyst’s full analysis in the state voter information guide.

SEC. 3.

 Section 303 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

303.
 “Ballot label” means that portion of the ballot containing the names of the candidates or a statement of a measure. For statewide measures, the ballot label shall contain a condensed version of the ballot title and summary, including the fiscal impact summary prepared pursuant to Section 9087 of this code and Section 88003 of the Government Code, that is no more than 75 words, followed by a listing of the names of the signers of the ballot arguments printed in the state voter information guide in support of and opposed to the measure.

SEC. 4.

 Section 9050 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9050.
 (a) After the Secretary of State determines that a measure will appear on the ballot at the next statewide election, the Secretary of State shall promptly transmit a copy of the measure to the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall provide and return to the Secretary of State a ballot title and summary and a condensed ballot title and summary for each measure submitted to the voters of the whole state by a date sufficient to meet the state voter information guide public display deadlines.
(b) Within one week after receiving the lists of supporters and opponents of a measure, the Secretary of State shall provide to county elections officials the ballot label, consisting of the condensed ballot title and summary followed by the list of supporters and opponents for each state ballot measure as described in Section 9051.

SEC. 5.

 Section 9051 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9051.
 (a) (1) The ballot title and summary may differ from the legislative, circulating, or other title and summary of the measure and shall not exceed 100 words, not including the fiscal impact statement.
(2) The ballot title and summary shall include a summary of the Legislative Analyst’s estimate of the net state and local government fiscal impact prepared pursuant to Section 9087 of this code and Section 88003 of the Government Code.
(b) The condensed ballot title and summary shall not contain more than 75 words and shall be a condensed version of the ballot title and summary including the financial impact summary prepared pursuant to Section 9087 of this code and Section 88003 of the Government Code.
(c) (1) The ballot label shall include the condensed ballot title and summary described in subdivision (b), followed by the following:
(A) Under the heading “Supporters:”, a listing of the names of the signers of the ballot argument printed in the state voter information guide supporting the measure. The list of supporters shall be only the names, titles, or the organizations of the signers of the ballot argument supporting the measure or the rebuttal arguments to the argument opposing the measure and shall not exceed 15 words.
(B) Under the heading “Opponents:”, a listing of the names of the signers of the ballot argument printed in the state voter information guide opposing the measure. The list of opponents shall be only the names, titles, or the organizations of the signers of the ballot argument opposing the measure or the rebuttal arguments to the argument supporting the measure and shall not exceed 15 words.

(2)If a signer described in paragraph (1) is an elected official, the name of the signer shall be listed with the signer’s full title (e.g., “U.S. Senator Mary Smith,” “State Senator Jose Garcia,” “Assembly Member John Jones,” or “Los Angeles City Council Member Amy Lee”).

(3)If a signer described in paragraph (1) has signed the ballot argument on behalf an organization, the name of the signer of the ballot argument for the purposes of paragraph (1) shall be the name of the organization. If the organization’s name includes “California,” the abbreviation “CA” shall be used (e.g., “CA Common Cause”).

(4)If a signer described in paragraph (1) is not an elected official described in paragraph (2) or an organization described in paragraph (3), the name of the signer of the ballot argument for the purposes of paragraph (1) shall be the first and last name of the signer, with no other title or designation.

(2) The supporters of the measure shall provide the list of supporters described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) to the Secretary of State when submitting the rebuttal arguments to the argument opposing the measure. The opponents of the measure shall provide the list of opponents described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) to the Secretary of State when submitting the rebuttal arguments to the argument supporting the measure.
(d) In providing the ballot title and summary, the Attorney General shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure in such language that the ballot title and summary shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.
(e) The Attorney General shall invite and consider public comment in preparing each ballot title and summary.

SEC. 6.

 Section 9053 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

9053.
 Each measure shall be designated on the ballot by the ballot label certified by the Secretary of State.

SEC. 7.

 Section 13282 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13282.
 Whenever the Attorney General prepares a condensed ballot title and summary, the Attorney General shall file a copy of the condensed ballot title and summary with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall make a copy of the ballot label that includes the condensed ballot title and summary available for public examination prior to the printing of the ballot label on any ballot. The public shall be permitted to examine the ballot label for at least 20 days, and the Secretary of State may consolidate the examination requirement under this section with the public examination requirements set forth in Section 9092. A voter may seek a writ of mandate requiring a ballot label, or portion thereof, to be amended or deleted. The provisions set forth in Section 9092 concerning the issuance of the writ and the nature of the proceedings shall be applicable to this section.