Code Section Group

Elections Code - ELEC

DIVISION 9. MEASURES SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS [9000 - 9610]

  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 1. State Elections [9000 - 9096]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 7. State Voter Information Guide [9080 - 9096]
  ( Heading of Article 7 amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 22. )

9080.
  

The provisions of Sections 9084 to 9093, inclusive, are a restatement of, and shall be construed in conformity with, Sections 88001 to 88007, inclusive, of the Government Code.

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

9081.
  

There shall be a state voter information guide, that the Secretary of State shall prepare.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 23. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9082.
  

The Secretary of State shall cause to be printed as many state voter information guides as needed to comply with this code.

The state voter information guides shall be printed in the Office of State Printing unless the Director of General Services determines that the printing of the guides in the Office of State Printing cannot be done adequately, competently, or satisfactorily, in which case the Secretary of State, subject to the approval of the Director of General Services, shall contract with a private printing concern for the printing of all or a part of the guides.

Copy for preparation of the state voter information guides shall be furnished to the Office of State Printing at least 40 days before the date for required delivery to the elections officials as provided in Section 9094.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 24. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9082.5.
  

The Secretary of State shall cause to be produced an audio recorded version of the state voter information guide. This audio recorded version shall be made available in quantities to be determined by the Secretary of State and shall contain an impartial summary, arguments for and against, rebuttal arguments, and other information concerning each measure that the Secretary of State determines will make the audio recorded version of the state voter information guide easier to understand or more useful to the average voter.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 25. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9082.7.
  

(a) The Secretary of State shall make available the complete state voter information guide over the Internet. The online version of the state voter information guide shall contain all of the following:

(1) For each candidate listed in the guide, a means to access campaign contribution disclosure reports for the candidate that are available online.

(2) For each state ballot measure listed in the guide, a means to access the consolidated information specified in subdivision (b).

(b) The Secretary of State shall create an Internet Web site, or use other available technology, to consolidate information about each state ballot measure in a manner that is easy for voters to access and understand. The information shall include all of the following:

(1) A summary of the ballot measure’s content.

(2) The total amount of reported contributions made in support of and opposition to the ballot measure, calculated and updated as follows:

(A) (i) The total amount of contributions in support of the ballot measure shall be calculated by adding together the total amounts of contributions made in support of the ballot measure and reported in semiannual statements required by Section 84200 of the Government Code, preelection statements required by Section 84200.5 of the Government Code, campaign statements required by Section 84202.3 of the Government Code, and late contribution reports required by Section 84203 of the Government Code that are reported within 16 days of the election at which the measure will appear on the ballot.

(ii) The total amount of contributions in opposition to the ballot measure shall be calculated by adding together the total amounts of contributions made in opposition to the ballot measure and reported in semiannual statements required by Section 84200 of the Government Code, preelection statements required by Section 84200.5 of the Government Code, campaign statements required by Section 84202.3 of the Government Code, and late contribution reports required by Section 84203 of the Government Code that are reported within 16 days of the election at which the measure will appear on the ballot.

(iii) For purposes of determining the total amount of reported contributions pursuant to this subparagraph, the Secretary of State shall, to the extent practicable with respect to committees primarily formed to support or oppose a ballot measure, do both of the following:

(I) Ensure that transfers of funds between primarily formed committees are not counted twice.

(II) Treat a contribution made to a primarily formed committee that supports or opposes more than one state ballot measure as if the total amount of that contribution was made for each state ballot measure that the committee supports or opposes.

(B) The total amount of reported contributions calculated under this paragraph for each state ballot measure shall be updated not later than five business days after receipt of a semiannual statement, campaign statement, or preelection statement and not later than two business days after receipt of a late contribution report within 16 days of the election at which the measure will appear on the ballot.

(C) The total amount of reported contributions calculated under this paragraph for each state ballot measure shall be accompanied by an explanation that the contribution totals may be overstated due to the inclusion of contributions made to committees supporting or opposing more than one state ballot measure, as required by subclause (II) of clause (iii) of subparagraph (A).

(3) A current list of the top 10 contributors supporting and opposing the ballot measure, if compiled by the Fair Political Practices Commission pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 84223 of the Government Code.

(4) (A) A list of each committee primarily formed to support or oppose the ballot measure, as described in Section 82047.5 of the Government Code, and a means to access information about the sources of contributions reported for each committee.

(B) Information about the sources of contributions shall be updated as new information becomes available to the public pursuant to the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code).

(C) If a committee identified in subparagraph (A) receives one million dollars ($1,000,000) or more in contributions for an election, the Secretary of State shall provide a means to access online information about the committee’s top 10 contributors reported to the Fair Political Practices Commission pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 84223 of the Government Code.

(D) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 84223 of the Government Code, the Fair Political Practices Commission shall automatically provide any list of top 10 contributors created pursuant to Section 84223 of the Government Code, and any subsequent updates to that list, to the Secretary of State for purposes of compliance with this section.

(5) Any other information deemed relevant by the Secretary of State.

(c) Information made available over the Internet pursuant to this section shall meet or exceed the most current, ratified standards under Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), as amended, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium for accessibility. The Secretary of State may also implement recommendations of the Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee made pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 2053.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 26. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9083.
  

If the ballot contains a question as to the confirmation of a justice of the Supreme Court or a court of appeal, the Secretary of State shall include in the state voter information guide a written explanation of the electoral procedure for justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal. The explanation shall state the following:

“Under the California Constitution, justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal are subject to confirmation by the voters. The public votes “yes” or “no” on whether to retain each justice.

“These judicial offices are nonpartisan.

“Before a person can become an appellate justice, the Governor must submit the candidate’s name to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, which is comprised of public members and lawyers. The commission conducts a thorough review of the candidate’s background and qualifications, with community input, and then forwards its evaluation of the candidate to the Governor.

“The Governor then reviews the commission’s evaluation and officially nominates the candidate, whose qualifications are subject to public comment before examination and review by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That commission consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General of California, and a senior Presiding Justice of the Courts of Appeal. The Commission on Judicial Appointments must then confirm or reject the nomination. Only if confirmed does the nominee become a justice.

“Following confirmation, the justice is sworn into office and is subject to voter approval at the next gubernatorial election, and thereafter at the conclusion of each term. The term prescribed by the California Constitution for justices of the Supreme Court and courts of appeal is 12 years. Justices are confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments only until the next gubernatorial election, at which time they run for retention of the remainder of the term, if any, of their predecessor, which will be either four or eight years.”

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 27. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9083.5.
  

(a) If a candidate for nomination or election to a partisan office will appear on the ballot, the Secretary of State shall include in the state voter information guide a written explanation of the election procedure for such offices. The explanation shall read substantially similar to the following:


PARTY-NOMINATED/PARTISAN OFFICES

Under the California Constitution, political parties may formally nominate candidates for party-nominated/partisan offices at the primary election. A candidate so nominated will then represent that party as its official candidate for the office in question at the ensuing general election and the ballot will reflect an official designation to that effect. The top votegetter for each party at the primary election is entitled to participate in the general election. Parties also elect officers of official party committees at a partisan primary.

No voter may vote in the primary election of any political party other than the party he or she has disclosed a preference for upon registering to vote. However, a political party may authorize a person who has declined to disclose a party preference to vote in that party’s primary election.


(b) If any candidate for nomination or election to a voter-nominated office will appear on the ballot, the Secretary of State shall include in the state voter information guide a written explanation of the election procedure for such offices. The explanation shall read substantially similar to the following:


VOTER-NOMINATED OFFICES

Under the California Constitution, political parties are not entitled to formally nominate candidates for voter-nominated offices at the primary election. A candidate nominated for a voter-nominated office at the primary election is the nominee of the people and not the official nominee of any party at the following general election. A candidate for nomination or election to a voter-nominated office shall have his or her party preference, or lack of party preference, reflected on the primary and general election ballot, but the party preference designation is selected solely by the candidate and is shown for the information of the voters only. It does not constitute or imply an endorsement of the candidate by the party designated, or affiliation between the party and candidate, and no candidate nominated by the qualified voters for any voter-nominated office shall be deemed to be the officially nominated candidate of any political party. The parties may list the candidates for voter-nominated offices who have received the official endorsement of the party in the county voter information guide.

All voters may vote for any candidate for a voter-nominated office, provided they meet the other qualifications required to vote for that office. The top two votegetters at the primary election advance to the general election for the voter-nominated office, even if both candidates have specified the same party preference designation. A party is not entitled to have a candidate with its party preference designation participate in the general election unless such candidate is one of the two highest votegetters at the primary election.


(c) If any candidate for nomination or election to a nonpartisan office, other than judicial office, shall appear on the ballot, the Secretary of State shall include in the state voter information guide a written explanation of the election procedure for such offices. The explanation shall read substantially similar to the following:


NONPARTISAN OFFICES

Under the California Constitution, political parties are not entitled to nominate candidates for nonpartisan offices at the primary election, and a candidate nominated for a nonpartisan office at the primary election is not the official nominee of any party for the office in question at the ensuing general election. A candidate for nomination or election to a nonpartisan office may NOT designate his or her party preference, or lack of party preference, on the primary and general election ballot. The top two votegetters at the primary election advance to the general election for the nonpartisan office.


(d) Posters or other printed materials containing the notices specified in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, shall be included in the precinct supplies pursuant to Section 14105.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 28. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9084.
  

The state voter information guide shall contain all of the following:

(a) A complete copy of each state measure.

(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), before each state measure, a conspicuous notice that identifies the location on the Secretary of State’s internet website of the specific constitutional or statutory provision that the state measure would repeal or revise.

(2) The text of a measure relating to debts and liabilities, including a bond measure, shall be printed in the state voter information guide as required by Section 1 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.

(c) A copy of the arguments and rebuttals for and against each state measure.

(d) A copy of the analysis of each state measure.

(e) Tables of contents, indexes, art work, graphics, and other materials that the Secretary of State determines will make the state voter information guide easier to understand or more useful for the average voter.

(f) A notice, conspicuously printed on the cover of the state voter information guide, indicating that additional copies of the state voter information guide will be mailed by the county elections official upon request.

(g) A written explanation of the judicial retention procedure as required by Section 9083.

(h) The Voter Bill of Rights pursuant to Section 2300.

(i) If the ballot contains an election for the office of United States Senator, information on candidates for United States Senator. A candidate for United States Senator may purchase the space to place a statement in the state voter information guide that does not exceed 250 words. The statement shall not make any reference to any opponent of the candidate. The statement shall be submitted in accordance with timeframes and procedures set forth by the Secretary of State for the preparation of the state voter information guide.

(j) If the ballot contains a question on the confirmation or retention of a justice of the Supreme Court, information on justices of the Supreme Court who are subject to confirmation or retention.

(k) If the ballot contains an election for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, a notice that refers voters to the Secretary of State’s internet website for information about candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.

(l) A written explanation of the appropriate election procedures for party-nominated, voter-nominated, and nonpartisan offices as required by Section 9083.5.

(m) A written explanation of the top 10 contributor lists required by Section 84223 of the Government Code, including a description of the internet websites where those lists are available to the public.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 29, Sec. 76. (SB 82) Effective June 27, 2019.)

9085.
  

(a) The state voter information guide shall also contain a section, located near the front of the guide, that provides a concise summary of the general meaning and effect of “yes” and “no” votes on each state measure.

(b) The summary statements required by this section shall be prepared by the Legislative Analyst. These statements are not intended to provide comprehensive information on each measure. The Legislative Analyst shall be solely responsible for determining the contents of these statements. The statements shall be available for public examination and amendment pursuant to Section 9092.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 30. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9086.
  

The state voter information guide shall contain as to each state measure to be voted upon, the following, in the order set forth in this section:

(a) (1) Upon the top portion of the first page, and not exceeding one-third of the page, shall appear:

(A) Identification of the measure by number and title.

(B) The official summary prepared by the Attorney General.

(C) The total number of votes cast for and against the measure in both the State Senate and Assembly, if the measure was passed by the Legislature.

(2) The space in the title and summary that is used for an explanatory table prepared pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 9087 and Section 88003 of the Government Code shall not be included when measuring the amount of space the information described in paragraph (1) has taken for purposes of determining compliance with the restriction prohibiting the information described in paragraph (1) from exceeding one-third of the page.

(b) Beginning at the top of the right page shall appear the analysis prepared by the Legislative Analyst if the analysis fits on a single page. If it does not fit on a single page, the analysis shall begin on the lower portion of the first left page and shall continue on subsequent pages until it is completed.

(c) Immediately below the analysis prepared by the Legislative Analyst shall appear a printed statement that refers voters to the Secretary of State’s internet website for a list of committees primarily formed to support or oppose a ballot measure, and information on how to access the committee’s top 10 contributors.

(d) Arguments for and against the measure shall be placed on the next left and right pages, respectively, following the final page of the analysis of the Legislative Analyst. The rebuttals shall be placed immediately below the arguments.

(e) If an argument against the measure has not been submitted, the argument for the measure shall appear on the right page facing the analysis.

(f) Before each state measure, a conspicuous notice identifying the location on the Secretary of State’s internet website of the complete text of the state measure. The Secretary of State’s internet website shall contain the provisions of the proposed measure and the existing laws repealed or revised by the measure. The provisions of the proposed measure differing from the existing laws affected shall be distinguished in print, so as to facilitate comparison. There shall be printed immediately below each state measure, except for a measure relating to debts and liabilities under Section 1 of Article XVI of the California Constitution, including a bond measure, in no less than 10-point bold type, a legend substantially as follows: “If you desire a copy of the full text of the state measure, please call the Secretary of State at (insert toll-free telephone number) and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.”

(g) The following statement shall be printed at the bottom of each page where arguments appear: “Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors, and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.”

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 29, Sec. 77. (SB 82) Effective June 27, 2019.)

9087.
  

(a) The Legislative Analyst shall prepare an impartial analysis of the measure describing the measure and including a fiscal analysis of the measure showing the amount of any increase or decrease in revenue or cost to state or local government. If it is estimated that a measure would result in increased cost to the state, an analysis of the measure’s estimated impact on the state shall be provided, including an estimate of the percentage of the General Fund that would be expended due to the measure, using visual aids when appropriate. An estimate of increased cost to the state or local governments shall be set out in boldface print in the state voter information guide.

(b) The analysis shall be written in clear and concise terms, so as to be easily understood by the average voter, and shall avoid the use of technical terms wherever possible. The analysis may contain background information, including the effect of the measure on existing law and the effect of enacted legislation which will become effective if the measure is adopted, and shall generally set forth in an impartial manner the information the average voter needs to adequately understand the measure. To the extent practicable, the Legislative Analyst shall use a uniform method in each analysis to describe the estimated increase or decrease in revenue or cost of a measure, so that the average voter may draw comparisons among the fiscal impacts of measures. The condensed statement of the fiscal impact summary for the measure prepared by the Attorney General to appear on the ballot shall contain the uniform estimate of increase or decrease in revenue or cost of the measure prepared pursuant to this subdivision.

(c) The Legislative Analyst may contract with a professional writer, educational specialist, or another person for assistance in writing an analysis that fulfills the requirements of this section, including the requirement that the analysis be written so that it will be easily understood by the average voter. The Legislative Analyst may also request the assistance of a state department, agency, or official in preparing his or her analysis.

(d) Before submitting the analysis to the Secretary of State, the Legislative Analyst shall submit the analysis to a committee of five persons, appointed by the Legislative Analyst, for the purpose of reviewing the analysis to confirm its clarity and easy comprehension to the average voter. The committee shall be drawn from the public at large, and one member shall be a specialist in education, one member shall be bilingual, and one member shall be a professional writer. Members of the committee shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties. Within five days of the submission of the analysis to the committee, the committee shall make recommendations to the Legislative Analyst as it deems appropriate to guarantee that the analysis can be easily understood by the average voter. The Legislative Analyst shall consider the committee’s recommendations, and he or she shall incorporate in the analysis those changes recommended by the committee that he or she deems to be appropriate. The Legislative Analyst is solely responsible for determining the content of the analysis required by this section.

(e) (1) The title and summary of any measure that appears on the ballot shall be amended to contain a summary of the Legislative Analyst’s estimate of the net state and local government fiscal impact.

(2) For state bond measures that are submitted to the voters for their approval or rejection, the summary of the Legislative Analyst’s estimate described in paragraph (1) shall include an explanatory table of the information in the summary.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 32. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9088.
  

(a) At each statewide election at which state bond measures will be submitted to the voters for their approval or rejection, the state voter information guide for that election shall include a discussion, prepared by the Legislative Analyst, of the state’s current bonded indebtedness situation.

(b) This discussion shall include information as to the dollar amount of the state’s current authorized and outstanding bonded indebtedness, the approximate percentage of the state’s General Fund revenues that are required to service this indebtedness, and the expected impact of the issuance of the bonds to be approved at the election on the items specified in this subdivision. In cases where a bond measure allocates funds for programs, the discussion shall also include, to the extent practicable, the proportionate share of funds for each major program funded by the measure.

(c) The discussion required by this section shall appear on a separate page in the state voter information guide immediately following the rebuttal to the argument against the last ballot measure included in the state voter information guide.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 33. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9088.5.
  

For any statewide election that is held less than one year before the federal decennial census, the state voter information guide shall contain information that promotes awareness of, and participation in, the federal decennial census.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 652, Sec. 3. (AB 2592) Effective January 1, 2019.)

9089.
  

Measures shall be printed in the state voter information guide, so far as possible, in the same order, manner and form in which they are designated upon the ballot.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 34. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9090.
  

The state voter information guide shall be printed according to the following specifications:

(a) The guide shall be printed in clear readable type, no less than 10-point, except that the text of any measure may be set forth in eight-point type.

(b) The guide shall be of a size and printed on a quality and weight of paper which, in the judgment of the Secretary of State, best serves the voters.

(c) The guide shall contain a certificate of correctness by the Secretary of State.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 35. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9091.
  

The Legislative Counsel shall prepare and proofread the texts of all measures and the provisions which are repealed or revised.

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

9092.
  

Not less than 20 days before he or she submits the copy for the state voter information guide to the State Printer, the Secretary of State shall make the copy available for public examination. Any elector may seek a writ of mandate requiring a copy to be amended or deleted from the state voter information guide. A peremptory writ of mandate shall issue only upon clear and convincing proof that the copy in question is false, misleading, or inconsistent with the requirements of this code or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 88000) of Title 9 of the Government Code, and that issuance of the writ will not substantially interfere with the printing and distribution of the state voter information guide as required by law. Venue for a proceeding under this section shall be exclusively in Sacramento County. The Secretary of State shall be named as the respondent and the State Printer and the person or official who authored the copy in question shall be named as real parties in interest. If the proceeding is initiated by the Secretary of State, the State Printer shall be named as the respondent.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 36. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9093.
  

Notwithstanding Section 81012 of the Government Code, the Legislature may without restriction amend this article to add to the state voter information guide information regarding candidates or any other information.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 37. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9094.
  

(a) The Secretary of State shall mail state voter information guides to voters before the election at which measures contained in the state voter information guide are to be voted on unless a voter has registered fewer than 29 days before the election. The mailing shall commence not less than 40 days before the election and shall be completed no later than 21 days before the election for those voters who registered on or before the 60th day before the election, and shall be completed no later than 10 days before the election for those voters who registered after the 60th day before the election and before the 28th day before the election. The Secretary of State shall mail one copy of the state voter information guide to each registered voter at the postal address stated on the voter’s affidavit of registration, or the Secretary of State may mail only one state voter information guide to two or more registered voters having the same postal address.

(b) The county elections official shall mail a state voter information guide to any person requesting a state voter information guide. Three copies, to be supplied by the Secretary of State, shall be kept at every polling place, while an election is in progress, so that they may be freely consulted by the voters.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 269, Sec. 3. (AB 3258) Effective January 1, 2019.)

9094.5.
  

(a) The Secretary of State shall establish processes to enable a voter to do both of the following:

(1) Opt out of receiving by mail the state voter information guide prepared pursuant to Section 9081.

(2) When the state voter information guide is available, receive either the state voter information guide in an electronic format or an electronic notification making the guide available by means of online access. The electronic version of the state voter information guide shall include an active hyperlink for each cited Uniform Resource Locator.

(b) The processes described in subdivision (a) do not apply where two or more registered voters have the same postal address unless each voter who shares the same postal address has chosen to discontinue receiving the state voter information guide by mail.

(c) The Secretary of State shall also establish a procedure to permit a voter to begin receiving the state voter information guide by mail again after the voter has discontinued receiving it pursuant to subdivision (a).

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 656, Sec. 4. (AB 606) Effective January 1, 2018.)

9095.
  

Any costs incurred by a county for mailing the state voter information guides pursuant to the provisions of subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 9094 shall be reimbursed to the county by the Secretary of State.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 40. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9096.
  

(a) As soon as copies of the state voter information guide and copies of the full text of all measures described in subdivision (f) of Section 9086 are available, the Secretary of State shall immediately mail the following number of copies to the listed persons and places:

(1) Five copies to each county elections official or registrar of voters.

(2) Six copies to each city elections official.

(3) Five copies to each Member of the Legislature.

(4) Five copies to the proponents of each ballot measure.

(b) The Secretary of State shall also mail:

(1) Two copies to each public library and branch of each public library.

(2) Twelve copies to each public high school or other public school teaching at least the 11th and 12th grades, and 25 copies to each public postsecondary educational institution. Upon request, and in the discretion of the Secretary of State, additional copies may be furnished to these persons and institutions.

(c) No later than one business day after receipt of a request from a voter, the Secretary of State shall mail the full text of a state measure described in subdivision (f) of Section 9086 to the voter.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 656, Sec. 5. (AB 606) Effective January 1, 2018.)

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