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SB-35 Elections: prohibited activities.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 07/15/2021 09:00 PM
SB35:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  July 15, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 17, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 18, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 09, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  February 24, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 35


Introduced by Senator Umberg

December 07, 2020


An act to amend Sections 319.5, 18370, 18541, and 18568 of, and to add Sections 18372 and 18504 to, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 35, as amended, Umberg. Elections: prohibited activities.
Existing law makes it a crime to conduct certain political activities, including electioneering, within 100 feet of a polling place, an election official’s office, or a satellite voting location, as defined. Existing law defines electioneering as displaying visible or disseminating audible information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot in specified locations. Existing law makes it a crime to conduct certain activities that constitute corruption of the voting process, including certain activities within 100 feet of a polling place with the intent of dissuading another person from voting.
This bill would extend the distance within which such expand the prohibited activities to include obstructing ingress, egress, and parking, and specify that such activities are prohibited to 200 within 100 feet of the following: (1) the entrance to a building that contains a polling place, an elections official’s office, or satellite voting location, as defined; defined, and (2) an outdoor site at which a voter may cast or drop off a ballot; or (3) a vote by mail ballot drop box for the collection of ballots. ballot. The bill would also prohibit a person from soliciting a vote, speaking to a voter about marking the voter’s ballot, or disseminating visible or audible electioneering information in the immediate vicinity of a voter in line to cast a ballot or drop off a ballot, as further specified. The bill would require notice regarding prohibitions on electioneering and activity related to corruption of the voting process to be provided to the public. The bill would require the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations specifying the manner in which such notice would be given.
Existing law imposes, for specified acts of interference with the placement, collection, or counting of ballots, a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment for 16 months or 2 or 3 years, or both.
This bill would also impose this penalty on: (1) a person who provides, or aids or abets in the provision of, an unofficial vote by mail ballot drop box for the collection of ballots and marks, places, or uses the word “official” on the vote by mail ballot drop box, or otherwise provides, or aids or abets in the provision of, an unofficial vote by mail ballot drop box that is likely to deceive a voter into believing the voter is placing a ballot into a secure collection box that has been approved by an elections official; displays a container for the purpose of collecting ballots, with the intent to deceive a voter into casting a ballot in an unofficial ballot box, and (2) a person who encourages directs or solicits a voter to place a ballot in an unofficial vote by mail ballot drop box, as specified. such a container.
Because this bill would change or expand the definition of certain crimes related to elections, 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 319.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

319.5.
 (a) “Electioneering” means the visible display or audible dissemination of information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot within the 200 100 foot limit specified in subdivision (b). Prohibited electioneering information or activity includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
(1) A display of a candidate’s name, likeness, or logo.
(2) A display of a ballot measure’s number, title, subject, or logo.
(3) Buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs, or stickers containing electioneering information.
(4) Dissemination of audible electioneering information.
(5) At vote by mail ballot drop boxes, Obstructing access to, loitering near near, or disseminating visible or audible electioneering information. information at vote by mail ballot drop boxes.
(b) The activities described in subdivision (a) are prohibited within 200 100 feet of any either of the following:
(1) The entrance to a building that contains a polling place as defined by Section 338.5, an elections official’s office, or a satellite location specified in Section 3018.
(2) An outdoor site, including a curbside voting area, at which a voter may cast or drop off a ballot.

(3)A vote by mail ballot drop box for the collection of ballots as defined by Section 3025.

SEC. 2.

 Section 18370 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

18370.
 (a) A person shall not, on election day, or at any time that a voter may be casting a ballot, within the 200 100 foot limit specified in subdivision (b), do any of the following:
(1) Circulate an initiative, referendum, recall, or nomination petition or any other petition.
(2) Solicit a vote or speak to a voter on the subject of marking the voter’s ballot.
(3) Place a sign relating to voters’ qualifications or speak to a voter on the subject of the voter’s qualifications except as provided in Section 14240.
(4) Do any electioneering as defined by Section 319.5.
(b) The activities described in subdivision (a) are prohibited within 200 100 feet of any either of the following:
(1) The entrance to a building that contains a polling place as defined by Section 338.5, an elections official’s office, or a satellite location specified in Section 3018.
(2) An outdoor site, including a curbside voting area, at which a voter may cast or drop off a ballot.

(3)A vote by mail ballot drop box for the collection of ballots as defined by Section 3025.

(c) A person shall not, on election day, or at any time that a voter may be casting a ballot, do any of the following within the immediate vicinity of a voter in line to cast a ballot or drop off a ballot:
(1) Solicit a vote.
(2) Speak to a voter about marking the voter’s ballot.
(3) Disseminate visible or audible electioneering information.
(d) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

SEC. 3.

 Section 18372 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

18372.
 Notice regarding the prohibitions on electioneering set forth in this article shall be provided to the public. The Secretary of State shall promulgate regulations specifying the manner in which such notice shall be provided.

SEC. 4.

 Section 18504 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

18504.
 Notice regarding the prohibitions on activity related to corruption of the voting process set forth in this chapter shall be provided to the public. The Secretary of State shall promulgate regulations specifying the manner in which such notice shall be provided.

SEC. 5.

 Section 18541 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

18541.
 (a) A person shall not, with the intent of dissuading another person from voting, within the 200 100 foot limit specified in subdivision (b), do any of the following:
(1) Solicit a vote or speak to a voter on the subject of marking the voter’s ballot.
(2) Place a sign relating to voters’ qualifications or speak to a voter on the subject of the voter’s qualifications except as provided in Section 14240.
(3) Photograph, video record, or otherwise record a voter entering or exiting a polling place.
(4) Obstruct ingress, egress, or parking.
(b) The activities described in subdivision (a) are prohibited within 200 100 feet of any either of the following:
(1) The entrance to a building that contains a polling place as defined by Section 338.5, an elections official’s office, or a satellite location specified in Section 3018.
(2) An outdoor site, including a curbside voting area, at which a voter may cast or drop off a ballot.

(3)A vote by mail ballot drop box for the collection of ballots as defined by Section 3025.

(c) A person shall not, with the intent of dissuading another person from voting, do any of the following within the immediate vicinity of a voter in line to cast a ballot or drop off a ballot:
(1) Solicit a vote.
(2) Speak to a voter about marking the voter’s ballot.
(3) Disseminate visible or audible electioneering information.
(d) A violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 12 months, or in state prison. Any person who conspires to violate this section is guilty of a felony.

SEC. 6.

 Section 18568 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

18568.
 Every person is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment, who:
(a) Aids in changing or destroying any poll list or official ballot.
(b) Aids in wrongfully placing any ballots in the ballot container or in taking any therefrom.
(c) Adds or attempts to add any ballots to those legally polled at any election by fraudulently putting them into the ballot container, either before or after the ballots therein have been counted.
(d) Adds to or mixes with, or attempts to add to or mix with, the ballots polled, any other ballots, while they are being counted or canvassed or at any other time, with intent to change the result of the election, or allows another to do so, when in the person’s power to prevent it.
(e) Carries away or destroys, attempts to carry away or destroy, or knowingly allows another to carry away or destroy, any poll list, ballot container, or ballots lawfully polled or who willfully detains, mutilates, or destroys any election returns.
(f) Removes any unvoted ballots from the polling place before the completion of the ballot count.
(g) Provides, or aids or abets in the provision of, an unofficial vote by mail ballot drop box for the collection of ballots and marks, places, or uses Displays a container for the purpose of collecting ballots, with the intent to deceive a voter into casting a ballot in an unofficial ballot box. Evidence of intent to deceive may include using the word “official” on the vote by mail ballot drop box, container, or otherwise provides, or aids or abets in the provision of, an unofficial vote by mail ballot drop box fashioning the container in a way that is likely to deceive a voter into believing the voter is placing a ballot into a secure that the container is an official collection box that has been approved by an elections official.
(h) Encourages Directs or solicits a voter to place a ballot in a receptacle container prohibited by subdivision (g).

SEC. 7.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because 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.