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 4. Corruption of Voting [18560 - 18578]
  ( Article 4 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

18560.
  

Every person is guilty of a crime punishable 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, who:

(a) Not being entitled to vote at an election, fraudulently votes or fraudulently attempts to vote at that election.

(b) Being entitled to vote at an election, votes more than once, attempts to vote more than once, or knowingly hands in two or more ballots folded together at that election.

(c) Impersonates or attempts to impersonate a voter at an election.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 80. (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.)

18561.
  

Every person is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years who:

(a) Procures, assists, counsels, or advises another to give or offer his vote at any election, knowing that the person is not qualified to vote.

(b) Aids or abets in the commission of any of the offenses mentioned in Section 18560.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 81. (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.)

18562.
  

Every member of a precinct board is guilty of a misdemeanor who, prior to putting the ballot of a voter in the ballot box, commits any of the following:

(a) Attempts to find out any name on the ballot.

(b) Opens or suffers to be opened or examined the folded ballot of any voter which has been handed in.

(c) Makes or places any mark or device on any folded ballot with a view to ascertaining the name of any person for whom the voter has voted.

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

18562.5.
  

(a) A member of the public is guilty of a misdemeanor if, while observing any of the following, he or she willfully engages in any conduct set forth in subdivision (b):

(1) The processing of vote by mail ballots conducted pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15100) of Division 15.

(2) The semifinal official canvass conducted pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 15150) of Division 15.

(3) The official canvass conducted pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 15300) of Division 15.

(4) A recount conducted pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 15600) of Division 15.

(b) (1) Attempting to ascertain the identity and ballot choices of a voter, or having observed or learned the identity of a voter, attempting to ascertain the ballot choices of that voter.

(2) Opening a provisional or vote by mail ballot envelope containing a voted ballot in order to ascertain the voter’s ballot choices.

(3) Making or placing a mark or device on a ballot or secrecy envelope in an attempt to ascertain the voter’s ballot choices.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 94, Sec. 1. (AB 269) Effective January 1, 2010.)

18563.
  

Every member of a precinct board is guilty of a misdemeanor who, without the consent of a voter, discloses the name of any candidate the board member has discovered in his capacity as a member of the board to have been voted for by the voter.

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

18564.
  

Any person is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, three, or four years who, before or during an election:

(a) Tampers with, interferes with, or attempts to interfere with, the correct operation of, or willfully damages in order to prevent the use of, any voting machine, voting device, voting system, vote tabulating device, or ballot tally software program source codes.

(b) Interferes or attempts to interfere with the secrecy of voting or ballot tally software program source codes.

(c) Knowingly, and without authorization, makes or has in his or her possession a key to a voting machine that has been adopted and will be used in elections in this state.

(d) Willfully substitutes or attempts to substitute forged or counterfeit ballot tally software program source codes.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 82. (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.)

18564.5.
  

(a) The Secretary of State, Attorney General, and any local elections official in the county in which the act occurs, may bring a civil action against an individual, business, or other legal entity that commits any of the following acts before, during, or after an election:

(1) Tampers, interferes, or attempts to interfere with the correct operation of, or willfully damages in order to prevent the use of, any voting machine, voting device, voting system, vote tabulating device, or ballot tally software.

(2) Interferes or attempts to interfere with the secrecy of voting or interferes or attempts to interfere with ballot tally software program source codes.

(3) Knowingly, and without authorization, gains access to or provides another person or persons with access to a voting machine for the purpose of committing one of the acts specified by this section.

(4) Willfully substitutes or attempts to substitute forged, counterfeit, or malicious ballot tally software program source codes.

(5) Knowingly, and without authorization, inserts or causes the insertion of uncertified hardware, software, or firmware, for whatever purpose, into any voting machine, voting device, voting system, vote tabulating device, or ballot tally software.

(6) Fails to notify the Secretary of State prior to any change in hardware, software, or firmware to a voting machine, voting device, voting system, or vote tabulating device, certified or conditionally certified for use in this state.

(b) A civil action may be brought pursuant to this section for a civil penalty not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for each act and for injunctive relief, if appropriate.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 813, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

18565.
  

Any person who aids or abets in the commission of any of the offenses described in Section 18564 is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of six months or in the state prison for 16 months or two or three years.

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

18566.
  

Every person is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, three, or four years who:

(a) Forges or counterfeits returns of an election purported to have been held at a precinct where no election was in fact held.

(b) Willfully substitutes forged or counterfeit returns of election in the place of true returns for a precinct where an election was actually held.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 83. (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.)

18567.
  

Every person who willfully adds to or subtracts from the votes actually cast at an election, in any official or unofficial returns, or who alters the returns, is 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. 84. (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.)

18568.
  

Every person is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment, who:

(a) Aids in changing or destroying any poll list or official ballot.

(b) Aids in wrongfully placing any ballots in the ballot container or in taking any therefrom.

(c) Adds or attempts to add any ballots to those legally polled at any election by fraudulently putting them into the ballot container, either before or after the ballots therein have been counted.

(d) Adds to or mixes with, or attempts to add to or mix with, the ballots polled, any other ballots, while they are being counted or canvassed or at any other time, with intent to change the result of the election, or allows another to do so, when in his or her power to prevent it.

(e) Carries away or destroys, attempts to carry away or destroy, or knowingly allows another to carry away or destroy, any poll list, ballot container, or ballots lawfully polled or who willfully detains, mutilates, or destroys any election returns.

(f) Removes any unvoted ballots from the polling place before the completion of the ballot count.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 85. (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.)

18569.
  

Every person who aids or abets in the commission of any of the offenses mentioned in Section 18566, 18567, or 18568 is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for the period of six months or in the state prison for 16 months or two or three years.

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

18570.
  

Every person is guilty of a misdemeanor who does any one of the following:

(a) Removes or defaces any posted copy of the results of votes cast within the period of 48 hours from the official time fixed for the closing of the polls.

(b) Delays delivery of or changes the copy of the result of votes cast that is to be delivered to the city or county elections official.

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

18571.
  

Any person acting on any counting board who refuses to obey any lawful order of the county elections official or his or her deputy is guilty of a misdemeanor, unless he or she is by his or her refusal guilty of a higher crime under the laws of this state.

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

18572.
  

Each counting board and its members are subject to the liabilities and penalties to which precinct boards or their members are subject where the votes and returns are counted at the precincts where they were polled.

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

18573.
  

Every person 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 who furnishes any voter wishing to vote, who cannot read, with a ballot, informing or giving that voter to understand that it contains a name written or printed thereon different from the name which is written or printed thereon, or defrauds any voter at any election by deceiving and causing him or her to vote for a different person for any office than he or she intended or desired to vote for.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 86. (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.)

18573.5.
  

(a) It is a misdemeanor for a person who is providing care or direct supervision to an elder in a state-licensed or state-subsidized facility or program to coerce or deceive the elder into voting for or against a candidate or measure contrary to the elder’s intent or in the absence of any intent of the elder to cast a vote for or against that candidate or measure.

(b) For purposes of this section, “elder” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 15610.27 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(c) A violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed six months or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per ballot containing a vote cast by the elder as a result of the coercion or deception or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(d) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under any other provision.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 260, Sec. 1. (AB 547) Effective January 1, 2012.)

18574.
  

Every person who, after being required by the precinct board at an election, refuses to be sworn or, being sworn, refuses to answer any pertinent questions propounded by the board touching the right of another to vote, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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

18575.
  

Every person is guilty of a felony, and on conviction shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for two, three or four years, who at any election:

(a) Without first having been appointed and qualified, acts as an election officer.

(b) Not being an election officer, performs or discharges any of the duties of an election officer in regard to the handling, counting, or canvassing of any ballots.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 87. (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.)

18576.
  

Any person who willfully (a) interferes with the prompt delivery of a completed vote by mail ballot application, (b) retains a completed vote by mail ballot application, without the voter’s authorization, for more than three days excluding weekends and state holidays, or by the deadline for return of vote by mail ballot applications, whichever is earlier, or (c) denies an applicant the right to return his or her own completed vote by mail ballot application to the local elections official having jurisdiction over the election, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 508, Sec. 116. Effective January 1, 2008.)

18577.
  

Any person having charge of a completed vote by mail ballot who willfully interferes or causes interference with its return to the local elections official having jurisdiction over the election is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 508, Sec. 117. Effective January 1, 2008.)

18578.
  

Any person who applies for, or who votes or attempts to vote, a vote by mail ballot by fraudulently signing the name of a fictitious person, or of a regularly qualified voter, or of a person who is not qualified to vote, 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, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 88. (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.)

ELECElections Code - ELEC4