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SB-504 Elections: voter registration.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/17/2021 09:00 PM
SB504:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 504


Introduced by Senator Becker

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 2170 of, and to repeal and add Section 2212 of, the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 504, as introduced, Becker. Elections: voter registration.
(1) Existing law authorizes an individual who is eligible to register to vote to complete and deliver to a county elections official a conditional voter registration application that is deemed effective after the elections official determines the individual’s eligibility to vote and validates the information on the application. Existing law authorizes a voter who has conditionally registered to cast a provisional or nonprovisional ballot on the day of the election, as specified. Existing law authorizes military and overseas voters, as defined, to register for, and to vote a vote by mail ballot in, any election within the state or within the precinct in which the voter last resided within the territorial limits of the United States, as specified. Existing law requires a county elections official to permit a military or overseas voter to vote using a certified remote accessible vote by mail system, except as specified.
This bill would require a county elections official to make conditional voter registration available to military and overseas voters via a certified remote accessible vote by mail system.
(2) Existing law requires the clerk of the superior court of each county to periodically furnish the Secretary of State and county elections official with certain information regarding persons who have been committed to state prison for a felony conviction. Existing law requires the Secretary of State or the county elections official to cancel the affidavit of voter registration of persons who are currently imprisoned for the conviction of a felony.
This bill would repeal those provisions and instead require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, on a weekly basis, to provide the Secretary of State with specified identifying information for persons imprisoned for the conviction of a felony and persons on parole or otherwise released from that imprisonment. The bill would require the Secretary of State to provide county elections officials with that information. The bill would require county elections officials to cancel the affidavits of voter registration of persons who are imprisoned and to notify persons who have been released from imprisonment that their voting rights are restored, that they may register to vote, and of the procedures for registering to vote. The bill would immunize counties and county elections officials from liability based on actions taken in accordance with this bill based on information received from the Secretary of State or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(3) By increasing the duties of local officials on matters relating to voter registration, the 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2170 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2170.
 (a) “Conditional voter registration” means a properly executed affidavit of registration that is delivered by the registrant to the county elections official during the 14 days immediately preceding an election or on election day and which may be deemed effective pursuant to this article after the elections official processes the affidavit, determines the registrant’s eligibility to register, and validates the registrant’s information, as specified in subdivision (c).
(b) In addition to other methods of voter registration provided by this code, an elector who is otherwise qualified to register to vote under this code and Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution may complete a conditional voter registration and cast a provisional ballot, or nonprovisional ballot under subdivision (f), during the 14 days immediately preceding an election or on election day pursuant to this article.
(c) (1) A conditional voter registration shall be deemed effective if the county elections official is able to determine before or during the canvass period for the election that the registrant is eligible to register to vote and that the information provided by the registrant on the registration affidavit matches information contained in a database maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the federal Social Security Administration.
(2) If the information provided by the registrant on the registration affidavit cannot be verified pursuant to paragraph (1) but the registrant is otherwise eligible to vote, the registrant shall be issued a unique identification number pursuant to Section 2150 and the conditional voter registration shall be deemed effective.
(d) The county elections official shall offer conditional voter registration and voting pursuant to this article, in accordance with all of the following procedures:
(1) The elections official shall provide conditional voter registration and voting pursuant to this article at all permanent and satellite offices of the county elections official and all polling places in the county.
(2) The elections official shall make conditional voter registration and voting available to military and overseas voters described in subdivision (b) of Section 300 through a certified remote accessible vote by mail system described in Section 3016.5.

(2)

(3) The elections official shall advise registrants that a conditional voter registration will be effective only if the registrant is determined to be eligible to register to vote for the election and the information provided by the registrant on the registration affidavit is verified pursuant to subdivision (c).

(3)

(4) The elections official shall conduct the receipt and handling of each conditional voter registration and offer and receive a corresponding ballot in a manner that protects the secrecy of the ballot and allows the elections official to process the registration, determine the registrant’s eligibility to register, and validate the registrant’s information before counting or rejecting the corresponding ballot.

(4)

(5) After receiving a conditional voter registration, the elections official shall process the registration, determine the registrant’s eligibility to register, and attempt to validate the registrant’s information.

(5)

(6) If a conditional registration is deemed effective, the elections official shall include the corresponding ballot in the official canvass.
(e) After receiving a conditional voter registration, the elections official shall provide a provisional ballot in accordance with the following procedures:
(1) If the elections office, satellite office, or polling place is equipped with an electronic poll book, or other means to determine the voter’s precinct, the elections official shall provide the voter with a ballot for the voter’s precinct if the ballot is available. The ballot may be cast by any means available at the elections office, satellite office, or polling place.
(2) If the elections official is unable to determine the voter’s precinct, or a ballot for the voter’s precinct is unavailable, the elections official shall provide the voter with a ballot and inform the voter that only the votes for the candidates and measures on which the voter would be entitled to vote in the voter’s assigned precinct may be counted pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 14310. The ballot may be cast by any means available at the elections office, satellite office, or polling place.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), if the elections official is able to determine the voter’s precinct, but a ballot for the voter’s precinct is unavailable, the elections official may inform the voter of the location of the voter’s polling place. A voter described in this paragraph shall not be required to vote at the voter’s polling place and may instead, at the voter’s choosing, cast a ballot pursuant to paragraph (2).
(4) This subdivision does not apply to elections conducted pursuant to Section 4005 or 4007.
(f) An elections official may offer a nonprovisional ballot to a registrant if the official does both of the following:
(1) Uses the statewide voter registration database developed in compliance with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.) to do all of the following before issuing the nonprovisional ballot:
(A) Verify that the registrant is deemed eligible to register to vote.
(B) Verify that the registrant has not voted in the state in that election.
(C) Verify that the registrant has not been included on a roster for that election in another county in the state that is not conducting elections pursuant to Section 4005.
(D) Update the voter’s record to indicate that the voter has voted in that election.
(2) If the registrant has been included on a roster for that election in that county, the official updates that roster to indicate that the voter has voted and shall not be issued another nonprovisional ballot for that election.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2212 of the Elections Code is repealed.
2212.

The clerk of the superior court of each county, on the basis of the records of the court, shall furnish to the Secretary of State and the county elections official in the format prescribed by the Secretary of State, not less frequently than the first day of every month, a statement showing the names, addresses, and dates of birth of all persons who have been committed to state prison as the result of a felony conviction since the clerk’s last report. The Secretary of State or county elections official shall cancel the affidavits of registration of those persons who are currently imprisoned for the conviction of a felony. The clerk shall certify the statement under the seal of the court.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2212 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

2212.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Conviction” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 2101.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(3) “Imprisoned” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 2101.
(4) “Parole” means a term of supervision by the department.
(b) The department shall provide to the Secretary of State, on a weekly basis and in a format prescribed by the Secretary of State, the identification information described in subdivision (c) for all of the following persons:
(1) Persons imprisoned for the conviction of a felony and under the jurisdiction of the department.
(2) Persons on parole or persons released from imprisonment for the conviction of a felony and no longer under the jurisdiction of the department.
(c) Personal identification information for the purposes of subdivision (b) includes all of the following:
(1) All known first and last names.
(2) Last known address.
(3) Date of birth.
(4) Last four digits of the person’s social security number, if available.
(5) Driver’s license or state-issued identification number, if available.
(d) The Secretary of State shall provide the information described in subdivision (b) to county elections officials within three days of receipt of the information from the department.
(e) Upon receipt of information from the Secretary of State pursuant to subdivision (d), a county elections official shall do all of the following:
(1) Cancel the affidavit of registration of any person described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) whose registration information matches a unique identifier provided by the Secretary of State to the county used in the statewide voter registration database developed in compliance with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.).
(2) Notify a person described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), and whose last known address is within the county based on a unique identifier provided by the Secretary of State to the county used in the statewide voter registration database developed in compliance with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act (52 U.S.C. Sec. 20901 et seq.), that the person’s voting rights are restored and advise the person that if the person is otherwise entitled to register to vote, the person may register to vote. The county elections official shall also provide the person with information regarding the procedure for registering to vote.
(f) A county or county elections official shall not be liable for erroneously adding, canceling, or failing to cancel the affidavit of registration of any person based on information provided by the Secretary of State or the department pursuant to this section. A county or county elections official shall not be liable for taking or failing to take the actions described in subdivision (e) when the county or county elections official have received incomplete information from the Secretary of State or the department.

SEC. 4.

 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.