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AB-1591 Elections omnibus bill.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/18/2021 09:00 PM
AB1591:v99#DOCUMENT

Revised  April 29, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1591


Introduced by Committee on Elections (Assembly Members Berman (Chair), Seyarto (Vice Chair), Bennett, Low, Mullin, and Blanca Rubio Mayes, Mullin, and Blanca Rubio)

March 18, 2021


An act to amend Sections 13204, 13300.7, 14298, 17300, and 17303 of the Elections Code, relating to elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1591, as introduced, Committee on Elections. Elections omnibus bill.
(1) Existing law requires a ballot to direct voters, with respect to candidates for Justice of the California Supreme Court or the California Court of Appeal, as further specified, to mark the voting target next to the word “Yes” or “No,” to the right of the name of the candidate. Existing law also requires a ballot TO direct voters, with respect to voting on any measure, to mark the voting target next to the word “Yes” or after the word “No.”
This bill would remove the part of the above-described direction regarding voting for a Justice of the California Supreme Court or the California Court of Appeal that requires voters to mark the voting target to the right of the name of the candidate. The bill would require a ballot to direct voters, with respect to voting on any measure, to mark the voting target next to the word “Yes” or next to the word “No.”
(2) Existing law authorizes county and city elections officials to establish procedures designed to permit a voter to opt out of receiving the voter’s county voter information guide, state voter information guide, notice of polling place, and associated materials by mail, and instead obtain them electronically if specified conditions are satisfied. Existing law requires these procedures to include a verification process to confirm a voter’s identity, either in writing, as specified, or electronically by submitting the voter’s California driver’s license number, California identification number, or a partial social security number.
This bill would also require the verification process to confirm the identity of a voter by telephone or in person, upon confirmation of the voter’s date of birth, residence address, and California driver’s license number, California identification number, or a partial social security number.
(3) Existing law requires a local precinct board to maintain at least one printed copy of the voter list, and to post a notice stating that only a member of the precinct board may mark the list, and that it is a misdemeanor to remove, tear, mark, or otherwise deface the list with the intent to falsify or prevent others from ascertaining specified information about a voter. Existing law requires a similar notice to be posted if an electronic poll book is used.
This bill would revise the notice required if an electronic poll book is used to state that only a member of the precinct board may operate the device, and that it is a misdemeanor to tamper with, manipulate, or otherwise operate or interact with the device with the intent to falsify or prevent others from ascertaining specified information about a voter.
(4) Existing law requires an elections official to preserve all voter rosters or combined rosters and voter lists, if applicable, until 5 years after the date of the election, after which they may be destroyed by the official.
This bill would specify that if an electronic poll book is used, a copy of the electronic data file may be preserved in lieu of preserving a paper copy of the rosters or combined rosters and voter lists, if applicable.
(5) Existing law provides that for specified elections, the elections official shall preserve, among other items, a copy of the roster used as the voting record or, if an electronic poll book is used, a copy of the electronic data file, for a period of 22 months.
This bill would eliminate the elections official’s duty to preserve a copy of the roster used as the voting record or, if an electronic poll book is used, a copy of the electronic data file.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 13204 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13204.
 (a) The instructions to voters shall be printed below the district designation. The instructions shall begin with the words “INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS:” in no smaller than 16-point capital type. Thereafter, there shall be printed in 10-point capital type all of the following directions that are applicable to the ballot:
“To vote for a candidate for Chief Justice of California; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal; or Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, mark the voting target next to the word “Yes,” to the right of the name of the candidate. “Yes. To vote against that candidate, mark the voting target next to the word “No,” to the right of the name of that candidate.”“No.”
“To vote for any other candidate of your selection, mark the voting target next to the candidate’s name. [When justices of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal do not appear on the ballot, the instructions referring to voting after the word “Yes” or the word “No” will be deleted and the above sentence shall read: “To vote for a candidate whose name appears on the ballot, mark the voting target next to the candidate’s name.”] Where two or more candidates for the same office are to be elected, place a mark next to the names of all candidates for the office for whom you desire to vote, not to exceed, however, the number of candidates to be elected.”
“To vote for a qualified write-in candidate, write the person’s name in the blank space provided for that purpose after the names of the other candidates for the same office.”
“To vote on any measure, mark the voting target next to the word “Yes” or after next to the word “No.”
“Marking the ballot outside of the designated space to vote for a candidate or measure may compromise the secrecy of the ballot.”
“If you wrongly mark, tear, or deface this ballot, return it to the precinct board member and obtain another.”
“On vote by mail ballots mark with pen or pencil.”
(b) The instructions to voters shall be separated from the portion of the ballot that contains the various offices and measures to be voted on.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13300.7 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

13300.7.
 Notwithstanding any other law, county and city elections officials may establish procedures designed to permit a voter to opt out of receiving his or her the voter’s county voter information guide, state voter information guide, notice of polling place, and associated materials by mail, and instead obtain them electronically via email or by accessing them on the county’s or city’s Internet Web site, internet website, if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The procedures establish a method of providing notice of and an opportunity by which a voter can notify elections officials of his or her the voter’s desire to obtain ballot materials electronically in lieu of receiving them by mail.
(b) The voter email address or any other information provided by the voter under this section remains confidential pursuant to Section 6254.4 of the Government Code and Section 2194 of this code.
(c) The procedures provide notice and opportunity for a voter who has opted out of receiving a county voter information guide and other materials by mail to opt back into receiving them by mail.
(d) The procedures establish a process by which a voter can apply electronically to become a vote by mail voter.
(e) A voter may only opt out of, or opt back into, receiving his or her the voter’s county voter information guide and other ballot materials by mail if the elections official receives the request and can process it before the statutory deadline for the mailing of those materials for the next election, pursuant to Section 13303. If a voter misses this deadline, the request shall take effect the following election.
(f) The procedures shall include a verification process to confirm the voter’s identity, either in identity in any of the following manners:
(1) In writing with a signature card that can be matched to the one on file with the elections official, or if the request is submitted electronically, it shall contain the official.
(2) Electronically with the electronic transmission containing the voter’s California driver’s license number, California identification number, or a partial social security number.
(3) By telephone or in person, upon confirmation of the voter’s date of birth, residence address, and California driver’s license number, California identification number, or a partial social security number.
(g) Information made available over the Internet internet pursuant to this section shall meet or exceed the most current, ratified standards under Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), as amended, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium for accessibility. Election officials may also implement recommendations of the Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee made pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 2053, and of any local Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee created pursuant to the guidelines promulgated by the Secretary of State related to the accessibility of polling places by the physically handicapped.

SEC. 3.

 Section 14298 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

14298.
 (a) The precinct board shall maintain at least one printed copy of the voter list posted during the whole time of voting. The copies of the voter list shall not be marked in any manner except by a member of the precinct board acting pursuant to Section 14294.
(b) A member of the precinct board shall post a notice on each voter list that reads as follows: “This voter list shall not be marked in any manner except by a member of the precinct board acting pursuant to Section 14294. Any person who removes, tears, marks, or otherwise defaces this voter list with the intent to falsify or prevent others from readily ascertaining the name, address, or political preference of any voter, or the fact that a voter has or has not voted, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
(c) If an electronic poll book is used, a notice shall be posted near the electronic poll book that reads as follows: “This electronic roster shall not be marked operated in any manner except by a member of the precinct board acting pursuant to Section 14294. Any person who removes, tears, marks, tampers with, manipulates, or otherwise defaces this index operates or interacts with this device with the intent to falsify or prevent others from readily ascertaining the name, address, or political preference of any voter, or the fact that a voter has or has not voted, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

SEC. 4.

 Section 17300 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

17300.
 (a) (1) The elections official shall preserve all rosters or combined rosters and voter lists as provided for in Section 14107, if applicable, until five years after the date of the election, after which they may be destroyed by that official.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, if an electronic poll book is used, a copy of the electronic data file may be preserved in lieu of preserving a paper copy of the rosters or combined rosters and voter lists, if applicable.
(b) In lieu of preserving the original roster, the elections official may, by filming or other suitable method, record the original roster of voters and destroy the roster following the next subsequent general election.

SEC. 5.

 Section 17303 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

17303.
 (a) The following provisions apply to those elections in which candidates for one or more of the following offices are voted upon: President, Vice President, United States Senator, and United States Representative.
(b) The elections official shall preserve the package or packages containing the following items for a period of 22 months:
(1) Two tally sheets.

(2)The copy of the roster used as the voting record. If an electronic poll book is used, a copy of the electronic data file may be preserved in lieu of creating a paper copy.

(3)

(2) The challenge lists.

(4)

(3) The assisted voters’ list.
(c) All voters may inspect the contents of the package or packages at all times following commencement of the official canvass of the votes.
(d) If a contest is not commenced within the 22-month period, or if a criminal prosecution involving fraudulent use, marking, or falsification of ballots, or forgery of vote by mail voters’ signatures is not commenced within the 22-month period, either of which may involve the vote of the precinct from which voted ballots were received, the elections official may have the packages destroyed or recycled.

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REVISIONS:
Heading—Lines 2 and 3.
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