Code Section Group

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 - 14314]

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

ARTICLE 3. Challenging a Voter [14240 - 14253]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

14240.
  

(a) A person offering to vote may be orally challenged within the polling place only by a member of the precinct board upon any or all of the following grounds:

(1) That the voter is not the person whose name appears on the roster.

(2) That the voter is not a resident of the precinct, or in an election conducted using a voter center, not a resident of the county.

(3) That the voter is not a citizen of the United States.

(4) That the voter has voted in that election.

(5) That the voter is presently on parole for the conviction of a felony.

(b) A person, other than a member of a precinct board or other official responsible for the conduct of the election, shall not challenge or question any voter concerning the voter’s qualifications to vote.

(c) If any member of a precinct board receives, by mail or otherwise, any document or list concerning the residence or other voting qualifications of any person or persons, with the express or implied suggestion, request, or demand that the person or persons be challenged, the board member shall first determine whether the document or list contains or is accompanied by evidence constituting probable cause to justify or substantiate a challenge. In any case, before making any use whatever of such a list or document, the member of the precinct board shall immediately contact the elections official, charged with the duty of conducting the election, and describe the contents of the document or list and the evidence, if any, received bearing on voting qualifications. The elections official shall advise the members of the precinct board as to the sufficiency of probable cause for instituting and substantiating the challenge and as to the law as herein provided, relating to hearings and procedures for challenges by members of the precinct board and determination thereof by a precinct board. The elections official may, if necessary, designate a deputy to receive and answer inquiries from precinct board members as herein provided.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 56. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

14241.
  

A piece of mailed matter returned undelivered by the post office shall not be accepted or used as evidence upon which to initiate a challenge as to residency by any member of the precinct board unless other evidence or testimony is also presented, nor shall the mailed matter, standing alone without other evidence or testimony, be accepted as evidence by the precinct board in determining a challenge.

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

14242.
  

The ground for challenge set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 14240 shall not apply to any person duly registered as a voter in any precinct in California and moving from that precinct within 14 days prior to an election.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 811, Sec. 25. Effective January 1, 2004.)

14243.
  

If the challenge is on the ground that the person seeking to vote is not the person whose name appears on the roster, a member of the precinct board shall tender the following oath: “You do swear (or affirm) that you are the person whose name is entered on the roster.”

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 57. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

14244.
  

If the challenge is on the ground that the person seeking to vote is not a resident of the precinct, or in an election conducted using a voter center, not a resident of the county, the person challenged shall be sworn to answer questions, and after having been sworn, a member of the precinct board shall ask that person: “Are you a resident of this precinct?” or in an election conducted using a voter center, “Are you a resident of the county?”; If the answer to the question is “Yes,” without significant qualification, no other questions shall be asked.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 58. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

14245.
  

If the challenge is on the ground that the person challenged has already cast a ballot for this election, a member of the precinct board shall tender to the person challenged this oath:

“You do swear (or affirm) that you have not previously voted in this election, either by vote by mail ballot or at a polling place.”

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 508, Sec. 81. Effective January 1, 2008.)

14246.
  

If the challenge is on the ground either that the person challenged is not the person whose name appears on the roster, or that he or she has voted that day, the challenge shall be determined in favor of the person challenged if that person takes the oath as set forth either in Section 14243 or 14245.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 806, Sec. 59. (SB 286) Effective January 1, 2018.)

14247.
  

Challenges of voters that they are not residents of the precinct or citizens of the United States shall be tried and determined by the precinct board at the time of the challenge. The precinct board may, at its discretion, also request any other person, present in the polling place to be sworn and answer questions, whom the board believes may have knowledge or information concerning the facts of the challenge.

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

14248.
  

Before administering an oath to a person regarding his or her place of residence, a member of the precinct board shall read to the person challenged, the rules prescribed by Section 14249 and Article 2 (commencing with Section 2020) of Chapter 1 of Division 2.

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

14249.
  

If any person challenged refuses to take the oaths tendered, or refuses to be sworn and to answer the questions concerning the matter of residence, that person shall not be allowed to vote.

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

14250.
  

The precinct board, in determining the place of residence of any person, shall be governed by the rules set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 2020) of Chapter 1 of Division 2.

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

14251.
  

Any doubt in the interpretation of the law shall be resolved in favor of the challenged voter.

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

14252.
  

The precinct board shall compile a list showing all of the following:

(a) The name and address of each person challenged.

(b) The name, address, and any other identification as a voter, of each person offering information concerning any person’s qualifications to vote, or testifying pursuant to Section 14247, together with the name and address and any other identification of the person about whom the information or testimony is given.

(c) The grounds of each challenge.

(d) The determination of the board upon the challenge, together with any written evidence pertaining thereto.

(e) If evidence has been presented to the board requesting challenges, the evidence shall be returned to the elections official responsible for the conduct of the election.

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

14253.
  

In the event that the precinct board determines that persistent challenging of voters is resulting in a delay of voting sufficient to cause voters to forego voting because of insufficient time or for fear of unwarranted intimidation, the board shall discontinue all challenges, and so note on the roster.

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

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