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AB-57 Elections: names of candidates.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 12/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB57:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 57


Introduced by Assembly Member Low

December 03, 2018


An act to add Section 13211.7 to the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 57, as introduced, Low. Elections: names of candidates.
Existing law requires the translation of ballots and ballot materials into languages other than English when specified circumstances exist.
This bill would require that, if a jurisdiction provides a translation of the candidates’ alphabet-based names into a character-based language, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, phonetic transliterations of the alphabet-based names of candidates be provided. The bill would also require that if a candidate’s name is to appear on the ballot in more than one jurisdiction in an election then all of those jurisdictions must use the same phonetic transliteration or character-based translation of the name.
This bill would provide an exception for a candidate who has a character-based name by birth or has verifiably been known by a character-based name for at least 2 years to permit the candidate to use that name on the ballot instead of a phonetic transliteration.
This bill would require that, if a jurisdiction provides separate ballots containing translations of the candidates’ names in different languages, both the alphabet-based names and the translations of the candidates’ names appear on the translated ballot.
This bill would also require a county to purchase voting equipment that permits compliance with this section as a part of any new purchase of voting equipment.
Because the bill would impose additional duties on local elections officials, it 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.

 Section 13211.7 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

13211.7.
 (a) (1) In jurisdictions required to provide translated ballot materials pursuant to Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10503), as that section may be amended from time to time, any ballot that provides a translation of a candidate’s name shall contain a phonetic transliteration of the candidate’s name, except as provided in subdivision (b).
(2) This section applies only to character-based languages, including, but not limited to, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean.
(3) If a candidate’s name is to appear on the ballot in more than one jurisdiction in an election, then all of those jurisdictions must use the same phonetic transliteration or character-based translation of the name.
(4) (A) In a jurisdiction in which separate ballots containing translations of the candidates’ names are printed in different languages, both the alphabet-based names and the translations of the candidates’ names, for candidates that have translated names, shall appear on the translated ballot.
(B) If a jurisdiction is unable to comply with subparagraph (A) due to limitations of its existing voting system, any new voting system purchased by the jurisdiction after June 1, 2019, shall be able to accommodate the requirements of subparagraph (A).
(b) If a candidate has a character-based name by birth, that can be verified by birth certificate or other valid identification, the candidate may use that name on the ballot instead of a phonetic transliteration. A candidate who does not have a character-based name by birth, but who identifies by a particular character-based name and can demonstrate to the local elections official that the candidate has been known and identified within the public sphere by that name over the past two years, may use that name instead of a phonetic transliteration.

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.