Code Section

Elections Code - ELEC


  ( Heading of Division 15 amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1073, Sec. 21. )

CHAPTER 10. Tie Votes [15650 - 15673]

  ( Heading of Chapter 10 renumbered from Chapter 13 by Stats. 1998, Ch. 1073, Sec. 44. )

ARTICLE 1. Elections Other than Primary Elections [15650 - 15654]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )


(a) If at any election, except as provided in subdivision (b) and an election for Governor or Lieutenant Governor, two or more persons receive an equal and the highest number of votes for an office to be voted for in more than one county, the Secretary of State shall forthwith summon the candidates who have received the tie votes, whether upon the canvass of the returns by the Secretary of State or upon recount by a court, to appear before him or her at the Secretary of State’s office at the State Capitol at a time to be designated by him or her. The Secretary of State shall at that time and place determine the tie by lot. Except as provided in subdivision (b), in the same manner, at a time and place designated by it, the election board shall determine a tie vote, whether upon the canvass of the returns by the election board or upon a recount by a court, for candidates voted for wholly within one county or city.

(b) In lieu of resolving a tie vote by lot as provided in subdivision (a), the legislative body of any county, city, or special district not subject to the Uniform District Election Law (Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10) may resolve a tie vote by the conduct of a special runoff election involving those candidates who received an equal number of votes and the highest number of votes.

A special runoff election shall be held only if the legislative body adopts the provisions of this subdivision prior to the conduct of the election resulting in the tie vote. If a legislative body decides to call a special runoff election in the event of a tie vote, all future elections conducted by that body shall be resolved by the conduct of a special runoff election, unless the legislative body later repeals the authority for the conduct of a special runoff election.

If a special runoff election is held pursuant to this subdivision, the legislative body shall call for the runoff election to be held in the local entity on a Tuesday not less than 40 nor more than 125 days after the administrative or judicial certification of the election that resulted in a tie vote. If a regular election is to be held throughout the jurisdiction within that time period, the special runoff election shall be held on the same day as, and consolidated with, the regular election.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 199, Sec. 49. Effective January 1, 1999.)