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SB-597 Elections: vote by mail ballots.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 04:00 AM
SB597:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 597


Introduced by Senator Grove

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Section 3011 of the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 597, as introduced, Grove. Elections: vote by mail ballots.
Existing law requires that the identification envelope for returning a vote by mail ballot contain specified information, including the signature of the voter, the residence of the voter as shown on the affidavit of registration, and the date of signing.
This bill would additionally require that the identification envelope include a verification panel, concealed during mailing, setting forth the last 4 digits of the voter’s California driver’s license or identification card number or, if unavailable, the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number. The bill would require the elections official to verify the accuracy of that information before counting the vote.
By imposing additional duties on 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3011 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

3011.
 (a) The identification envelope shall contain all of the following:
(1) A declaration, under penalty of perjury, stating that the voter resides within the precinct in which he or she the voter is voting and is the person whose name appears on the envelope.
(2) The signature of the voter. voter and the last four digits of the voter’s California driver’s license number or California identification card number, or if the voter has neither, the last four digits of the voter’s social security number. The signature and numeric identifying information must be verified as consistent with the voter’s state or federal records, prior to counting the ballot.
(3) The residence address of the voter as shown on the affidavit of registration.
(4) The date of signing.
(5) A notice that the envelope contains an official ballot and is to be opened only by the canvassing board. board if the signature and numeric identifying information are verified.
(6) A warning plainly stamped or printed on it that voting twice constitutes a crime.
(7) A warning plainly stamped or printed on it that the voter must sign the envelope in his or her the voter’s own handwriting in order for the ballot to be counted.
(8) A statement that the voter has neither applied, nor intends to apply, for a vote by mail voter’s ballot from any other jurisdiction for the same election.
(9) The name of the person authorized by the voter to return the vote by mail ballot pursuant to Section 3017.
(10) The relationship to the voter of the person authorized to return the vote by mail ballot.
(11) The signature of the person authorized to return the vote by mail ballot.
(12) A security flap or sleeve to conceal the voter’s signature and identifying information during mailing.
(b) Except at a primary election for partisan office, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the vote by mail voter’s party preference may not be stamped or printed on the identification envelope.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (9) to (11), inclusive, of subdivision (a), a ballot shall not be disqualified solely because the person authorized to return it did not provide on the identification envelope his or her the person’s name, relationship to the voter, or signature.

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.