Code Section Group

Elections Code - ELEC

DIVISION 12. PREELECTION PROCEDURES [12000 - 12327]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 4. Precinct Boards [12300 - 12327]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [12300 - 12327]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

12300.
  

Any voter, or any individual who possesses the qualifications set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 12302, may file an application with the elections official for the position of precinct board member. The elections official may require the application be made on specific forms supplied by the elections official.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 162, Sec. 1. (AB 817) Effective January 1, 2014.)

12301.
  

The persons appointed to serve as election officers for each precinct at any election shall constitute the precinct board for that precinct.

(Enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2.)

12302.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), a member of a precinct board shall be a voter of the state. The member may serve only in the precinct for which his or her appointment is received.

(b) (1) In order to provide for a greater awareness of the elections process, the rights and responsibilities of voters, and the importance of participating in the electoral process, as well as to provide additional members of precinct boards, an elections official may appoint not more than five pupils per precinct to serve under the direct supervision of precinct board members designated by the elections official. A pupil may be appointed, notwithstanding his or her lack of eligibility to vote, subject to the approval of the governing board of the educational institution in which the pupil is enrolled, if the pupil possesses the following qualifications:

(A) Is at least 16 years of age at the time of the election for which he or she is serving as a member of a precinct board.

(B) Is a United States citizen, will be a citizen at the time of the election for which he or she is serving as a member of a precinct board, or is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, as defined in Section 101(a)(20) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101(a)(20)).

(C) Is a pupil in good standing attending a public or private secondary educational institution.

(D) Is a pupil who has a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

(2) A pupil appointed pursuant to this subdivision may not be used by a precinct board to tally votes.

(c) (1) In order to promote civic engagement among residents of the state and to provide additional members of precinct boards, an elections official may appoint not more than five nonvoters per precinct to serve as precinct board members. A nonvoter may be appointed, notwithstanding his or her lack of eligibility to vote, if the nonvoter possesses the following qualifications:

(A) Is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, as defined in Section 101(a)(20) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101(a)(20)).

(B) Is otherwise eligible to register to vote pursuant to Section 2101 except for his or her lack of United States citizenship.

(2) A nonvoter appointed to a precinct board pursuant to this subdivision shall not be permitted to do either of the following:

(A) Serve as, or perform any of the duties of, the inspector of a precinct board.

(B) Tally votes for the precinct board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 150, Sec. 1. (AB 554) Effective January 1, 2016.)

12303.
  

(a) A person who cannot read or write the English language is not eligible to act as a member of any precinct board.

(b) 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 to minimize obstacles to non-English-speaking citizens voting without assistance.

(c) (1) Where the elections official finds that citizens described in subdivision (b) approximate 3 percent or more of the voting-age residents of a precinct, or if interested citizens or organizations provided information that the elections official believes indicates a need for voting assistance for qualified citizens described in subdivision (b), the elections official shall make reasonable efforts to recruit election officials who are fluent in a language used by citizens described in subdivision (b) and in English. This recruitment shall be conducted through the cooperation of interested citizens and organizations and through voluntarily donated public service notices in the media, including newspapers, radio, and television, particularly those media that serve the non-English-speaking citizens described in subdivision (b).

(2) (A) Within 150 days following each statewide general election, the county elections official shall report to the Secretary of State the number of individuals recruited to serve as members of precinct boards, including the number of individuals recruited who are fluent in each language required to be represented under Section 14201 and Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.). The Secretary of State shall issue uniform standard reporting guidelines.

(B) The Secretary of State shall post all county reports received under subparagraph (A) on his or her Internet Web site within 180 days following each statewide general election.

(3) At each polling place, a member of the precinct board shall identify the languages spoken by him or her, other than English, by wearing a name tag, button, sticker, lanyard, or other mechanism, as determined by the county elections official. The text indicating the language skills of the member of the precinct board shall be in the non-English language or languages spoken by that member.

(d) At least 14 days before an election, the elections official shall prepare and make available to the public a list of the precincts to which officials were appointed pursuant to this section, and the language or languages other than English in which they will provide assistance.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 845, Sec. 6. (AB 918) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12304.
  

(a) The composition of the precinct board shall be determined by the elections official based on election precinct size. The precinct board shall consist of a minimum of one inspector and two clerks. Additional clerk positions may be allocated in proportion to the number of registered voters within the precinct.

(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2005.

(Repealed (in Sec. 8) and added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 904, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2002. Section operative January 1, 2005, by its own provisions.)

12306.
  

The county elections official of any county, in appointing members of the several precinct boards to serve in the direct primary and general elections under the provisions of this code, shall permit the county central committee of each qualified political party to nominate for appointment to the precinct board a member of that party who is registered and resident in that precinct. Nomination pursuant to this section shall be made in writing to the county elections official not less than 90 days before the election for which the nomination is made. In making appointments to precinct boards from nominations submitted by political parties, the county elections official shall give preference to the nominee of any qualified political party with at least 10 percent of the registered voters in the precinct for which the nomination is made.

(Enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2.)

12307.
  

Upon filing the list of names and addresses of those who have been appointed members of the precinct board, the elections official shall immediately mail or deliver to each voter so appointed, a notice stating the appointment and the position to which assigned, the penalty for failure to serve, and any other matter that the elections official determines.

(Enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2.)

12309.
  

(a) Following the appointment of members of precinct boards, the elections official shall instruct inspectors so appointed concerning their duties in connection with the conduct of the election, which instruction shall conform to the uniform standards adopted by the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 12309.5.

(b) A person may not serve as an inspector of a precinct board at an election unless instruction has been received in accordance with this section except that, in the case of the emergency disability of a regular inspector, substitute inspectors shall be given any instruction found necessary by the elections official.

(c) At the request of the elections official, the legislative body may contract with any qualified person or organization for purposes of instructing inspectors in accordance with this section.

(d) This section shall become operative on June 30, 2005.

(Repealed (in Sec. 3) and added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 530, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2004. Section operative June 30, 2005, by its own provisions.)

12309.5.
  

(a) No later than June 30, 2005, the Secretary of State shall adopt uniform standards for the training of precinct board members, based upon the recommendations of the task force appointed pursuant to subdivision (b). The uniform standards shall, at a minimum, address the following:

(1) The rights of voters, including, but not limited to, language access rights for linguistic minorities, the disabled, and protected classes as referenced and defined in the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10301 et seq.).

(2) Election challenge procedures such as challenging precinct administrator misconduct, fraud, bribery, or discriminatory voting procedures as referenced and defined in the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10301 et seq.).

(3) Operation of a jurisdiction’s voting system, including, but not limited to, modernized voting systems, touch-screen voting, and proper tabulation procedures.

(4) Poll hours and procedures concerning the opening and closing of polling locations on election day. Procedures shall be developed that, notwithstanding long lines or delays at a polling location, ensure all eligible voters who arrive at the polling location before closing time are allowed to cast a ballot.

(5) Relevant election laws and any other subjects that will assist an inspector in carrying out his or her duties.

(6) Cultural competency, including, but not limited to, having adequate knowledge of diverse cultures, including languages, that may be encountered by a poll worker during the course of an election, and the appropriate skills to work with the electorate.

(7) Knowledge regarding issues confronting voters who have disabilities, including, but not limited to, access barriers and the need for reasonable accommodations.

(8) Procedures involved with provisional, fail-safe provisional, vote by mail, and provisional vote by mail voting.

(b) The Secretary of State shall appoint a task force of at least 12 members who have experience in the administration of elections and other relevant backgrounds to study and recommend uniform guidelines for the training of precinct board members. The task force shall consist of the chief elections officer of the two largest counties, the two smallest counties, and two county elections officers selected by the Secretary of State, or their designees. The Secretary of State shall appoint at least six other members who have elections expertise, or their designees, including members of community-based organizations that may include citizens familiar with different ethnic, cultural, and disabled populations to ensure that the task force is representative of the state’s diverse electorate. The task force shall make its recommendations available for public review and comment before the submission of the recommendations to the Secretary of State and the Legislature.

(c) The task force shall file its recommendations with the Secretary of State and the Legislature no later than January 1, 2005.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 86, Sec. 119. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2017.)

12310.
  

Each member of a precinct board shall receive compensation from the governing body of the jurisdiction. This sum shall be paid out of the treasury of the jurisdiction in which the election is held. The inspector may receive more compensation than the other members of the precinct board. The additional compensation to the inspector is for services rendered in securing precinct board members and other duties which may be directed by the elections official.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 36. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12311.
  

No public agency shall be required as the result of any assignment or transfer to pay the stipend of an election officer for services to any person other than the election officer to whom the stipend is due.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 725, Sec. 23. Effective January 1, 1997.)

12312.
  

A person shall not be suspended or discharged from any service or employment because of absence while serving as an election officer.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 37. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12313.
  

(a) If any member of a precinct board does not appear at the opening of the polls on the morning of an election, those voters present, including members of the board, shall appoint a voter to fill the vacancy. If none of the members appointed appears at that time, the voters of the precinct present at that time may appoint a board.

(b) This section does not apply to elections conducted using vote centers.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 38. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12314.
  

The inspector may appoint a voter to replace any precinct board member who ceases to act or becomes incapacitated during the progress of an election.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 725, Sec. 24. Effective January 1, 1997.)

12315.
  

If the inspector ceases to act, a majority of the remaining members of the precinct board may appoint a substitute.

(Enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2.)

12316.
  

In constituting precinct boards, the elections official may excuse persons appointed whom the elections official is satisfied ought to be excused. Substitutions may be made when any person appointed is excused or found disqualified or incompetent, until a final or amended list of election officers is sent to the inspector for that precinct.

(Enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2.)

12318.
  

(a) Following the notification of the precinct board members appointed pursuant to Section 12307, the county elections official shall mail or deliver to the county central committee of each qualified political party a copy of the list, and the elections official may notify the same committee of any substitute appointments that are made until the time the notice of final order is sent to the precinct inspector. This list shall have the names of precinct board members in precinct order.

(b) In addition, the elections official shall make available a copy of the list prescribed in subdivision (a) to any person requesting a copy. Any person requesting a copy of the list shall sign a roster specifying his or her name, telephone number, and address, and shall provide the elections official with adequate personal identification.

(c) This section does not apply to elections conducted using vote centers.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 39. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12319.
  

The elections official shall immediately mail or deliver to each person appointed as inspector a notice showing the precinct polling place and the voters appointed to serve as election officers in that precinct.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 725, Sec. 26. Effective January 1, 1997.)

12320.
  

No person is eligible to act as an election officer until the declaration required by Section 12321 has been signed.

(Enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2.)

12321.
  

(a) (1) Each inspector shall sign a declaration of intention to faithfully discharge the duties of inspector and shall return it to the elections official at least 15 days before election day or the first day of service at a vote center. If the inspector fails or refuses to sign and file the declaration, the elections official shall appoint a substitute who shall make and file the application.

(2) The declaration of an inspector and each of the declarations of other members of the precinct board provided for in this article shall be signed in the presence of a witness and shall be as binding on the signer as would be an oath of office.

(3) The declaration of an inspector shall be in substantially the following form:

State of California

County of


ss.

I do hereby solemnly declare that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, and that I will to the best of my ability, faithfully discharge the duties of inspector for polling place or vote center ______ for the election to be held on ______, 20__.

.

Signed in the presence of  _____ (Signature) _____

on ______, 20__.

(b) Before entering upon the performance of duties, each of the precinct board members, other than the inspector, shall sign a declaration of intention to faithfully discharge the duties of an election officer. The declaration shall be signed before any member of the precinct board. The form for each of the declarations shall be provided in the roster for the polling place. The declaration of the precinct board member shall be in substantially the following form:

State of California

County of


ss.

I do hereby solemnly declare that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, and that I will to the best of my ability, faithfully discharge the duties of precinct board member for polling place or vote center______ for the election to be held on ______, 20__.

.

Signed in the presence of  _____ (Signature) _____

on ______, 20__.

(c) Any precinct board member may administer and certify oaths required to be administered during the progress of an election. This authorization shall include the power to give any type of oath required of a public employee. There shall be no fee or charge for administering an oath.

(d) In lieu of signing and returning the declaration of the inspector, as provided in this chapter, the county elections official may require the inspector to sign the declaration for an election and before entering upon the performance of these duties.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 40. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12327.
  

(a) If the precinct board members for any precinct have not been appointed or cannot serve, or the polling place has not been designated prior to an election, the county elections official shall, by written order, immediately appoint the precinct board members or designate the polling place for the precinct, as the case may require, and shall notify each precinct board member of the appointment.

(b) If, at this time, the elections official cannot make suitable arrangements for a polling place in any precinct in which none has been designated, the elections official may designate a polling place in any contiguous precinct. Any precinct board member serving in this polling place shall be regarded as serving in the proper precinct within the meaning of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 725, Sec. 33. Effective January 1, 1997.)

ELECElections Code - ELEC1