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 3. Municipal Elections [9200 - 9295]

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

ARTICLE 4. Arguments Concerning City Measures [9280 - 9287]
  ( Article 4 enacted by Stats. 1994, Ch. 920, Sec. 2. )

9280.
  

Whenever a city measure qualifies for a place on the ballot, the governing body may direct the city elections official to transmit a copy of the measure to the city attorney, unless the organization or salaries of the office of the city attorney are affected. The city attorney shall prepare an impartial analysis of the measure showing the effect of the measure on the existing law and the operation of the measure. The analysis shall include a statement indicating whether the measure was placed on the ballot by a petition signed by the requisite number of voters or by the governing body of the city. If the measure affects the organization or salaries of the office of the city attorney, the governing board may direct the city elections official to prepare the impartial analysis. The analysis shall be printed preceding the arguments for and against the measure. The analysis shall not exceed 500 words in length.

If the entire text of the measure is not printed on the ballot, nor in the voter information guide, there shall be printed immediately below the impartial analysis, in no less than 10-point bold type, a legend substantially as follows:

“The above statement is an impartial analysis of Ordinance or Measure ____. If you desire a copy of the ordinance or measure, please call the elections official’s office at (insert telephone number) and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.”

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 45. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9281.
  

If no other method is provided by general law, or, in the case of a chartered city, by the charter or by city ordinance, arguments for and against any city measure may be submitted to the qualified voters of the city pursuant to this article. If a method is otherwise provided by general law, or, in the case of a chartered city, by charter or city ordinance, for submitting arguments as to a particular kind of city measure, that method shall control.

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

9282.
  

(a) For measures placed on the ballot by petition, the persons filing an initiative petition pursuant to this article may file a written argument in favor of the ordinance, and the legislative body may submit an argument against the ordinance.

(b) For measures placed on the ballot by the legislative body, the legislative body, or a member or members of the legislative body authorized by that body, or an individual voter who is eligible to vote on the measure, or bona fide association of citizens, or a combination of voters and associations, may file a written argument for or against any city measure.

(c) An argument shall not exceed 300 words in length.

(d) The city elections official shall include the following statement on the front cover, or if none, on the heading of the first page, of the printed arguments:

“Arguments in support or opposition of the proposed laws are the opinions of the authors.”

(e) The city elections official shall enclose a printed copy of both arguments with each voter information guide, but only those arguments filed pursuant to this section shall be printed and enclosed with the voter information guide. The printed arguments are “official matter” within the meaning of Section 13303.

(f) Printed arguments submitted to voters in accordance with this section shall be titled either “Argument In Favor Of Measure ____” or “Argument Against Measure ____,” accordingly, the blank spaces being filled in only with the letter or number, if any, designating the measure. At the discretion of the elections official, the word “Proposition” may be substituted for the word “Measure” in these titles.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 46. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9283.
  

A ballot argument may not be accepted under this article unless accompanied by the printed name and signature or printed names and signatures of the author or authors submitting it, or, if submitted on behalf of an organization, the name of the organization and the printed name and signature of at least one of its principal officers who is the author of the argument.

No more than five signatures shall appear with any argument submitted under this article. In case any argument is signed by more than five authors, the signatures of the first five shall be printed.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 785, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2005.)

9285.
  

(a) (1) When an argument in favor and an argument against a measure have been selected to be printed in the voter information guide, the elections official shall send a copy of the argument in favor of the measure to the authors of the argument against the measure and a copy of an argument against the measure to the authors of the argument in favor of the measure.

(2) The author or a majority of the authors of an argument relating to a city measure may prepare and submit a rebuttal argument or may authorize in writing another person or persons to prepare, submit, or sign the rebuttal argument.

(3) A rebuttal argument shall not exceed 250 words.

(4) A rebuttal argument relating to a city measure shall be filed with the elections official no later than 10 days after the final filing date for primary arguments.

(5) A rebuttal argument relating to a city measure shall not be signed by more than five persons, shall be printed in the same manner as a direct argument, and shall immediately follow the direct argument which it seeks to rebut.

(b) Subdivision (a) applies only if, not later than the day on which the legislative body calls an election, the legislative body adopts its provisions by majority vote, in which case subdivision (a) applies at the next ensuing municipal election and at each municipal election thereafter, unless later repealed by the legislative body in accordance with the procedures of this subdivision.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 47. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9286.
  

(a) Based on the time reasonably necessary to prepare and print the arguments and voter information guides and to permit the 10-calendar-day public examination as provided in Article 6 (commencing with Section 9295) for the particular election, the city elections official shall fix a date 14 days from the calling of the election as a deadline, after which no arguments for or against a city measure may be submitted for printing and distribution to the voters, as provided in this article. Arguments may be changed or withdrawn by their proponents until and including the date fixed by the city elections official during the normal business hours of the elections official’s office, as posted.

(b) The requirement in subdivision (a) that the period for submitting arguments for inclusion with the voter information guide materials must be 14 days from the calling of the election does not apply when the election is consolidated with another election pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 10400) of Division 10.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 422, Sec. 48. (AB 2911) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9287.
  

(a) If more than one argument for or more than one argument against any city measure is submitted to the city elections official within the time prescribed, he or she shall select one of the arguments in favor and one of the arguments against the measure for printing and distribution to the voters. In selecting the argument, the city elections official shall give preference and priority, in the order named, to the arguments of the following:

(1) The legislative body, or member or members of the legislative body authorized by that body.

(2) The individual voter, or bona fide association of citizens, or combination of voters and associations, who are the bona fide sponsors or proponents of the measure.

(3) Bona fide associations of citizens.

(4) Individual voters who are eligible to vote on the measure.

(b) In order to enable the city elections official to determine whether it qualifies as a bona fide association of citizens, an organization or association submitting an argument for or against a city measure shall submit with its argument a copy of one of the following:

(1) Its articles of incorporation, articles of association, partnership documents, bylaws, or similar documents.

(2) Letterhead containing the name of the organization and its principal officers.

(3) If the organization or association is a primarily formed committee established to support or oppose the measure, its statement of organization filed pursuant to Section 84101 of the Government Code.

(c) In selecting an argument from among bona fide associations of citizens, the city elections official shall not consider the type of documentation submitted pursuant to subdivision (b) or the form of the association.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 92, Sec. 63. (SB 1289) Effective January 1, 2019.)

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