Code Section

Elections Code - ELEC

DIVISION 14. ELECTION DAY PROCEDURES [14000 - 14443]

  ( Division 14 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )
  

CHAPTER 3. Procedures at Polls [14200 - 14313]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )
  

ARTICLE 1. Election Day Posting Requirements [14200 - 14203]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

  
14201.  

(a) In counties and precincts where the Secretary of State has determined that it is appropriate, the county elections official shall provide facsimile copies of the ballot, as described in subdivision (b), with the ballot measures and ballot instructions printed in Spanish, one of which shall be posted in a conspicuous location in the polling place and at least one of which shall be made available for voters at the polling place to use as a reference when casting a private ballot. Facsimile ballots shall also be printed in other languages and provided in the same manner if a significant and substantial need is found by the Secretary of State. A facsimile copy of the ballot available for voters to use in casting a private ballot shall be sufficiently distinct in appearance from a regular ballot to prevent voters from attempting to vote on the facsimile copy.

(b) (1) In determining if it is appropriate to provide the election materials in Spanish or other languages, the Secretary of State shall determine the number of residents of voting age in each county and precinct who are members of a single language minority, and who lack sufficient skills in English to vote without assistance. If the number of these residents equals 3 percent or more of the voting-age residents of a particular county or precinct, or if interested citizens or organizations provide the Secretary of State with information that gives the Secretary of State sufficient reason to believe a need for the furnishing of facsimile ballots, the Secretary of State shall find a need to provide at least two facsimile copies with the ballot measures and ballot instructions printed in Spanish or other applicable language in the affected polling places.

(2) If the Secretary of State determines that the number of voting-age residents in a precinct who are members of a single language minority and who lack sufficient skills in English to vote without assistance exceeds 20 percent of the voting-age residents in that precinct, the county elections official shall provide at least four facsimile copies of the ballot in the language of that language minority, one of which shall be posted in a conspicuous location in the polling place and at least three of which shall be made available for voters at the polling place to use as a reference when casting a private ballot.

(c) (1) In polling places where facsimile copies of the ballot are necessary, members of the precinct boards shall be trained on the purpose and proper handling of the facsimile copies of the ballot and shall be prepared to inform voters of the existence of the facsimile copies of the ballot, as appropriate.

(2) If a voter requests a facsimile copy of a ballot that is available in his or her language of preference pursuant to subdivision (a), a member of the precinct board shall provide the facsimile copy of the ballot to the voter.

(3) In polling places where facsimile copies of the ballot are necessary, a sign near the index of registration shall inform voters of the existence of the facsimile copies of the ballot. The sign shall be in English and in the language or languages of the facsimile copies available in that polling place.

(d) At least 14 days before an election, the county elections official shall provide information on the county elections Internet Web site identifying all polling places in the county and the languages of facsimile copies of the ballot that will be available to voters at each polling place. Explanatory information pertaining to the list of polling places, but not the list itself, shall be available in all languages in which the county provides facsimile copies of the ballot.

(e) The county elections official shall include text in the county voter information guide that refers voters with language needs to the portion of the county elections Internet Web site containing the information specified in subdivision (d). The text shall be in all languages in which the county provides facsimile copies of the ballot.

(f) The Secretary of State shall make the determinations and findings set forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) by January 1 of each year in which the Governor is elected.

(g) (1) A county elections official shall not be required to provide facsimile copies of the ballot in a particular language if the county elections official is required to provide translated ballots in that language pursuant to Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).

(2) In a polling place where a county elections official is required pursuant to subdivision (a) to provide a facsimile copy of the ballot in a language other than English, the county elections official may instead provide voters with a ballot translated into that language. A county elections official who provides and publicizes translated ballots in the same manner as translated ballots provided and publicized pursuant to Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.), in lieu of providing facsimile copies of the ballot in any language required under subdivision (a), need not comply with subdivisions (c), (d), and (e) as pertaining to that language.

(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that non-English-speaking citizens, like all other citizens, should be encouraged to vote. Therefore, appropriate efforts should be made on a statewide basis to minimize obstacles to voting by citizens who lack sufficient skill in English to vote without assistance.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 845, Sec. 9. (AB 918) Effective January 1, 2018.)