Code Section Group

Elections Code - ELEC

DIVISION 18. PENAL PROVISIONS [18000 - 18700]

  ( Division 18 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 6. Corruption of the Voting Process [18500 - 18578]

  ( Chapter 6 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 3. Intimidation of Voters [18540 - 18548]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

18540.
  

(a) Every person who makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence, or tactic of coercion or intimidation, to induce or compel any other person to vote or refrain from voting at any election or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or measure at any election, or because any person voted or refrained from voting at any election or voted or refrained from voting for any particular person or measure at any election is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years.

(b) Every person who hires or arranges for any other person to make use of or threaten to make use of any force, violence, or tactic of coercion or intimidation, to induce or compel any other person to vote or refrain from voting at any election or to vote or refrain from voting for any particular person or measure at any election, or because any person voted or refrained from voting at any election or voted or refrained from voting for any particular person or measure at any election is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 77. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

18541.
  

(a) No person shall, with the intent of dissuading another person from voting, within 100 feet of a polling place, do any of the following:

(1) Solicit a vote or speak to a voter on the subject of marking his or her ballot.

(2) Place a sign relating to voters’ qualifications or speak to a voter on the subject of his or her qualifications except as provided in Section 14240.

(3) Photograph, video record, or otherwise record a voter entering or exiting a polling place.

(b) Any violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 12 months, or in the state prison. Any person who conspires to violate this section is guilty of a felony.

(c) For purposes of this section, 100 feet means a distance of 100 feet from the room or rooms in which voters are signing the roster and casting ballots.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 88, Sec. 33. (AB 176) Effective January 1, 2010.)

18542.
  

Every employer, whether a corporation or natural person, or any other person who employs, is guilty of a misdemeanor if, in paying his or her employees the salary or wages due them, encloses their pay in pay envelopes upon which or in which there is written or printed the name of any candidate or any political mottoes, devices, or arguments containing threats, express or implied, intended or calculated to influence the political opinions or actions of the employees.

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

18543.
  

(a) Every person who knowingly challenges a person’s right to vote without probable cause or on fraudulent or spurious grounds, or who engages in mass, indiscriminate, and groundless challenging of voters solely for the purpose of preventing voters from voting or to delay the process of voting, or who fraudulently advises any person that he or she is not eligible to vote or is not registered to vote when in fact that person is eligible or is registered, or who violates Section 14240, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 12 months or in the state prison.

(b) Every person who conspires to violate subdivision (a) is guilty of a felony.

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

18544.
  

(a) Any person in possession of a firearm or any uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel, who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate city or county elections official is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years, or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b) This section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1) An unarmed uniformed guard or security personnel who is at the polling place to cast his or her vote.

(2) A peace officer who is conducting official business in the course of his or her public employment or who is at the polling place to cast his or her vote.

(3) A private guard or security personnel hired or arranged for by a city or county elections official.

(4) A private guard or security personnel hired or arranged for by the owner or manager of the facility or property in which the polling place is located if the guard or security personnel is not hired or arranged solely for the day on which an election is held.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 78. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

18545.
  

Any person who hires or arranges for any other person in possession of a firearm or any uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel, to be stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate elections official is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years, or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. This section shall not apply to the owner or manager of the facility or property in which the polling place is located if the private guard or security personnel is not hired or arranged solely for the day on which the election is held.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 79. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

18546.
  

As used in this article:

(a) “Elections official” means the county elections official, registrar of voters, or city clerk.

(b) “Immediate vicinity” means the area within a distance of 100 feet from the room or rooms in which the voters are signing the roster and casting ballots.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 221, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 2003.)

18547.
  

(a) In addition to any other fine or penalty imposed by this article, the court may order any person convicted of violating this article to pay a restitution fine, the amount of which shall be determined by the court and be commensurate with the seriousness of the offense.

(b) The moneys derived from the fine assessed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be deposited in the Voter Intimidation Restitution Fund, created in Section 18548.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 491, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2008.)

18548.
  

The Voter Intimidation Restitution Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. Upon appropriation by the Legislature, moneys in the fund shall be allocated to the Secretary of State to be used in voter education campaigns addressing the specific crime committed by anyone convicted of violating this article. The funds shall also be used for the administrative costs associated with distribution of the fund.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 491, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2008.)

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