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 2. County Elections [9100 - 9190]

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

ARTICLE 1. Initiative [9100 - 9126]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

9100.
  

In addition to any other method provided by law, ordinances may be enacted by any county pursuant to this article.

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

9101.
  

Any proposed ordinance may be submitted to the board of supervisors by filing an initiative petition with the county elections official, signed by not less than the number of voters specified in this article.

Each petition section shall comply with Sections 100 and 9020 and contain a full and correct copy of the notice of intention and accompanying statement including the full text of the proposed ordinance.

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

9102.
  

Any proposal to enact, amend, or otherwise revise a county charter by initiative petition may be submitted to the board of supervisors and shall be subject to this article. However, nothing in this article shall be construed to allow a board of supervisors to enact, amend, or otherwise revise a county charter without submitting the proposal to the voters.

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

9103.
  

(a) Before circulating any initiative petition in a county, or any petition relating to the annexation of territory by a county, the consolidation of counties, or the dissolution of a county, its proponents shall file with the county elections official a notice of intention to do so. The notice shall include the names and business or residence addresses of at least one but not more than five proponents of the petition, and shall be accompanied by the written text of the initiative and a request that a ballot title and summary be prepared.

(b) Any person filing a notice of intent with the county elections official shall pay a fee to be established by the board of supervisors not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) to be refunded to the filer if, within one year of the date of filing the notice of intent, the county elections official certifies the sufficiency of the petition.

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

9103.5.
  

From the time materials pertaining to an initiative petition are filed pursuant to Section 9103 until the day after the county elections official determines that the initiative petition does not contain the minimum number of signatures required, the day after the election at which the initiative measure is put before the voters, or the day after the proposed ordinance is adopted by the board of supervisors after being submitted to the board of supervisors pursuant to Section 9101, as applicable, the county elections official shall do both of the following:

(a) Keep on file at his or her office the notice of intention, written text of the initiative, and request for a ballot title and summary that the proponents of the initiative measure filed with the county elections official pursuant to Section 9103.

(b) Furnish copies of the materials he or she is required to keep on file pursuant to subdivision (a) to any person upon request. The county elections official may charge a fee to a person obtaining copies pursuant to this subdivision. The fee may not exceed the actual cost incurred by the county elections official in providing the copies.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 240, Sec. 1. (AB 1851) Effective January 1, 2013.)

9104.
  

The notice of intention shall contain the printed name, signature, and business or residence address of at least one but not more than five proponents, and may include a printed statement, not exceeding 500 words in length, stating the reasons for the proposed petition. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:

 Notice of Intention to Circulate Petition


Notice is hereby given by the persons whose names appear hereon of their intention to circulate the petition within the County of ____ for the purpose of ____. A statement of the reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows: (optional statement).

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

9105.
  

(a) The county elections official shall immediately transmit a copy of any proposed measure to the county counsel. Within 15 days after the proposed measure is filed, the county counsel shall provide and return to the county elections official a ballot title and summary for the proposed measure. The ballot title may differ from any other title of the proposed measure and shall express in 500 words or less the purpose of the proposed measure. In providing the ballot title, the county counsel shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the proposed measure in such language that the ballot title shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.

(b) The county elections official shall furnish a copy of the ballot title and summary to the proponents of the proposed measure. The proponents shall, prior to the circulation of the petition, publish the Notice of Intention, and the ballot title and summary of the proposed measure in a newspaper of general circulation published in that county, and file proof of publication with the county elections official.

(c) The ballot title and summary prepared by the county counsel shall appear upon each section of the petition, above the text of the proposed measure and across the top of each page of the petition on which signatures are to appear, in roman boldface type not smaller than 12 point. The ballot title and summary shall be clearly separated from the text of the measure. The text of the measure shall be printed in type not smaller than 8 point.

The heading of the proposed measure shall be in substantially the following form:

Initiative Measure to be Submitted Directly to the Voters

The county counsel has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed measure:

(Here set forth the title and summary prepared by the county counsel. This title and summary must also be printed across the top of each page of the petition whereon signatures are to appear.)

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 312, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2000.)

9106.
  

Any elector of the county may seek a writ of mandate requiring the ballot title or summary prepared by the county counsel to be amended. The court shall expedite hearing on the writ. A peremptory writ of mandate shall be issued only upon clear and convincing proof that the ballot title or summary is false, misleading, or inconsistent with the requirements of Section 9105.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 237, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

9107.
  

The county elections official shall ascertain the number of signatures required to sign the petition by obtaining the number of votes cast within the county for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election preceding the publication of the notice of intention to circulate the initiative petition.

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

9108.
  

The proponents may commence to circulate the petitions among the voters of the county for signatures by any registered voter of the county after publication of the title and summary prepared by the county counsel. Each section of the petition shall bear a copy of the notice of intention, and the title and summary prepared by the county counsel.

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

9109.
  

Each petition section shall have attached to it an affidavit to be completed by the circulator. The affidavit shall be substantially in the same form as set forth in Section 104.

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

9110.
  

Signatures shall be secured and the petition shall be presented to the county elections official for filing within 180 days from the date of receipt of the title and summary, or after termination of any action for a writ of mandate pursuant to Section 9106 and, if applicable, after receipt of an amended title or summary or both, whichever occurs later.

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

9111.
  

(a) During the circulation of the petition or before taking either action described in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 9118, the board of supervisors may refer the proposed initiative measure to a county agency or agencies for a report on any or all of the following:

(1) Its fiscal impact.

(2) Its effect on the internal consistency of the county’s general and specific plans, including the housing element, the consistency between planning and zoning, and the limitations on county actions under Section 65008 of the Government Code and Chapters 4.2 (commencing with Section 65913) and 4.3 (commencing with Section 65915) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code.

(3) Its effect on the use of land, the impact on the availability and location of housing, and the ability of the county to meet its regional housing needs.

(4) Its impact on funding for infrastructure of all types, including, but not limited to, transportation, schools, parks, and open space. The report may also discuss whether the measure would be likely to result in increased infrastructure costs or savings, including the costs of infrastructure maintenance, to current residents and businesses.

(5) Its impact on the community’s ability to attract and retain business and employment.

(6) Its impact on the uses of vacant parcels of land.

(7) Its impact on agricultural lands, open space, traffic congestion, existing business districts, and developed areas designated for revitalization.

(8) Any other matters the board of supervisors requests to be in the report.

(b) The report shall be presented to the board of supervisors within the time prescribed by the board of supervisors, but no later than 30 days after the county elections official certifies to the board of supervisors the sufficiency of the petition.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 92, Sec. 62. (SB 1289) Effective January 1, 2019.)

9112.
  

On or before April 1 of each odd-numbered year, the county elections official of each county shall file a report with the Secretary of State containing the following information:

(a) The number of county initiative petitions circulated during the preceding two calendar years that did not qualify for the ballot, and the number of these proposed initiatives for which reports were prepared pursuant to Section 9111.

(b) With respect to county initiative measures that qualified for the ballot in the preceding two calendar years, the number that were approved by the voters, and the number of these ballot measures for which reports were prepared pursuant to Section 9111.

(c) With respect to county initiative measures that qualified for the ballot in the preceding two calendar years, the number which were not approved by the voters, and the number of these ballot measures for which reports were prepared pursuant to Section 9111.

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

9113.
  

The petition shall be filed by the proponents, or by any person or persons authorized in writing by the proponents. All sections of the petition shall be filed at one time. Any sections of the petition not so filed shall be void for all purposes. Once filed, no petition section shall be amended except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

When the petition is filed, the county elections official shall determine the total number of signatures affixed to the petition. If, from this examination, the county elections official determines that the number of signatures, prima facie, equals or is in excess of the minimum number of signatures required, the county elections official shall examine the petition in accordance with Section 9114 or 9115. If, from this examination, the county elections official determines that the number of signatures, prima facie, does not equal or exceed the minimum number of signatures required, no further action shall be taken.

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

9114.
  

Except as provided in Section 9115, within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, the elections official shall examine the petition, and from the records of registration ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. A certificate showing the results of this examination shall be attached to the petition.

In determining the number of valid signatures, the elections official may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters’ signatures provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law.

The elections official shall notify the proponents of the petition as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.

If the petition is found insufficient, no further action shall be taken. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures, shall not preclude the filing of a new petition on the same subject, at a later date.

If the petition is found sufficient, the elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the board of supervisors at the next regular meeting of the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 728, Sec. 77. (AB 1020) Effective January 1, 2016. Operative September 26, 2016, when the Secretary of State issued the certification prescribed by Stats. 2015, Ch. 728, Sec. 88.)

9115.
  

(a) Within 30 days from the date of filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, if, from the examination of petitions pursuant to Section 9114 shows that more than 500 signatures have been signed on the petition, the elections official may use a random sampling technique for verification of signatures. The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn so that every signature filed with the elections official shall be given an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. The random sampling shall include an examination of at least 500, or 3 percent of the signatures, whichever is greater.

(b) If the statistical sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is within 95 to 110 percent of the number of signatures of qualified voters needed to declare the petition sufficient, the elections official shall, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the petition, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, examine and verify the signatures filed. If the elections official determines, prior to completing the examination of each signature filed, that the petition is signed by the requisite number of qualified voters to declare the petition sufficient, the elections official may terminate the verification of the remaining unverified signatures.

(c) In determining from the records of registration, what number of valid signatures are signed on the petition, the elections official may check the signatures against facsimiles of voters’ signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law.

(d) The elections official shall attach to the petition a certificate showing the result of this examination and shall notify the proponents of either the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.

(e) If the petition is found insufficient, no action shall be taken on the petition. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures shall not preclude the filing later of an entirely new petition to the same effect.

(f) If the petition is found to be sufficient, the elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the board of supervisors at the next regular meeting of the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 728, Sec. 78. (AB 1020) Effective January 1, 2016. Operative September 26, 2016, when the Secretary of State issued the certification prescribed by Stats. 2015, Ch. 728, Sec. 88.)

9118.
  

If the initiative petition is signed by voters not less in number than 10 percent of the entire vote cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election preceding the publication of the notice of intention to circulate an initiative petition, the board of supervisors shall do one of the following:

(a) Adopt the ordinance, without alteration, at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented, or within 10 days after it is presented.

(b) Submit the ordinance, without alteration, to the voters pursuant to Section 1405.

(c) Order a report pursuant to Section 9111 at the regular meeting at which the certification of the petition is presented. When the report is presented to the board of supervisors, the board shall either adopt the ordinance within 10 days or order an election pursuant to subdivision (b).

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 748, Sec. 4. (AB 765) Effective January 1, 2018.)

9118.5.
  

The proponent of an initiative may withdraw the initiative at any time before the 88th day before the election, whether or not the petition has already been found sufficient by the elections official.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 155, Sec. 1. (SB 1153) Effective January 1, 2019.)

9119.
  

Whenever any ordinance is required by this article to be submitted to the voters of a county at any election, the county elections official shall cause the ordinance to be printed. A copy of the ordinance shall be made available to any voter upon request.

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

9120.
  

Article 3 (commencing with Section 9160) shall govern the procedures for submitting arguments for county initiatives.

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

9121.
  

Any number of proposed ordinances may be voted upon at the same election.

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

9122.
  

If a majority of the voters voting on a proposed ordinance vote in its favor, the ordinance shall become a valid and binding ordinance of the county. The ordinance shall be considered as adopted upon the date the vote is declared by the board of supervisors, and shall go into effect 10 days after that date.

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

9123.
  

If the provisions of two or more ordinances adopted at the same election conflict, the ordinance receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall control.

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

9124.
  

The enacting clause of an ordinance submitted to the voters of a county shall be substantially in the following form:

“The people of the County of ____ ordain as follows:”

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

9125.
  

No ordinance proposed by initiative petition and adopted either by the board of supervisors without submission to the voters or adopted by the voters shall be repealed or amended except by a vote of the people, unless provision is otherwise made in the original ordinance. In all other respects, an ordinance proposed by initiative petition and adopted shall have the same force and effect as any ordinance adopted by the board of supervisors.

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

9126.
  

This article does not apply to any statewide initiative measure.

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

ELECElections Code - ELEC1