BILL NUMBER: AB 1121	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Davis

                        FEBRUARY 27, 2009

   An act to add and repeal Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10050)
to Part 1 of Division 10 of the Elections Code, relating to
elections.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1121, as introduced, Davis. Elections: ranked voting.
   Existing law provides procedures for the nomination of candidates
for elective offices in general law cities. It specifies the
procedures for the conduct of the election, the canvass of ballots,
and certification of persons elected to office. Related provisions
require the holding of a runoff election if no candidate has been
elected at the municipal election. Existing law provides that a
vacancy in an elective office may be filled by appointment at a
special election or at the next regular municipal election. Under
existing law, the Secretary of State is the chief elections officer
of the state and is required to administer the provisions of the
Elections Code.
   This bill would authorize the Secretary of State to approve not
more than 10 cities and counties, in total, to conduct a local
election using ranked voting if specified conditions are met. The
bill would specify requirements for using ranked voting in both a
single-candidate election and a multiple-candidate election.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 10050) is added to
Part 1 of Division 10 of the Elections Code, to read:
      CHAPTER 2.  RANKED VOTING


   10050.  (a) A total of not more than 10 cities and counties may
conduct a local election using ranked voting in which voters rank the
candidates for office in order of preference. Ranked voting
elections may be used for single-winner elections, such as Mayor or
City Attorney, or for elections that elect multiple candidates to
office, such as city council. Ranked voting elections are tabulated
in rounds as specified in Section 10058 for single-winner elections
and Section 10059 for multiple-winner elections. General provisions
for both single-winner elections and multiple-winner elections are
specified in this chapter.
   (b) Only general law counties and general law cities may use
ranked voting pursuant to this chapter. A charter city or charter
county may use ranked voting if authorized by its charter or other
provisions of law.
   10051.  A city or county may submit a written request to the
Secretary of State for authorization to use ranked voting in a local
election pursuant to this chapter. The Secretary of State shall
approve each request in the order of its receipt until the maximum
number of cities and counties, as specified in subdivision (a) of
Section 10050, has been authorized to use ranked voting.
   10052.  A city or county may not conduct a local election using
ranked voting unless that election is conducted on a voting system
that is capable of conducting the election using ranked voting and
that voting system has been approved by the Secretary of State
pursuant to Division 19 (commencing with Section 19001), or by
another procedure that has been approved by the Secretary of State,
which at minimum includes detailed specifications for counting,
auditing, and reporting of results.
   10053.  The following definitions apply for purposes of this
chapter:
   (a) "Continuing ballot" means a ballot that counts toward some
candidate.
   (b) "Continuing candidate" means a qualified candidate that has
not been elected or eliminated.
   (c) "Majority of votes" means more than 50 percent of the votes
from continuing ballots.
   (d) "Qualified candidate" means a candidate listed on the ballot
for this election or a write-in candidate qualified for participation
in this election.
   (e) "Ranked voting" means an election method in which voters rank
the candidates for office in order of preference, and the ballots are
counted in rounds that, in the case of a single-winner election,
simulate a series of runoffs until only two candidates remain, with
the one having the greater number of votes being declared the winner,
or in the case of multiple-winner elections, until all seats to be
elected have been filled.
   (f) "Ranking" for a candidate on a voter's ballot is the number
assigned to that candidate by the voter to express his or her
preference for that candidate, with the "highest ranking" being the
one with the lowest numerical value for a qualified candidate, in
which a first choice ranking indicates a greater preference for a
candidate than a second choice ranking, and "highest continuing
ranking" for a candidate on a voter's ballot is the ranking with the
lowest numerical value for a continuing candidate. The "highest
ranking" and "highest continuing ranking" are those rankings already
advanced past blank choices or marks for unqualified write-in
candidates as specified in subdivision (b) of Section 10056 and
subdivision (a) of Section 10057.
   10054.  A voting method authorized by this chapter may be adopted
by any of the following means:
   (a) By approval of a ballot measure submitted to the voters by the
governing body of the city or county at an election pursuant to
Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000).
   (b) By initiative ordinance or charter amendment adopted pursuant
to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9000).
   10055.  A city or county using ranked voting in a local election
shall conduct a voter education and outreach campaign to familiarize
voters with ranked voting in English and in every language in which a
ballot is made available to voters in that city or county. The voter
education and outreach campaign shall include public service
announcements on radio or television or in the print media that are
disseminated consistently with the language assistance requirements
of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1973aa-1a).
   10056.  (a) A ranked voting ballot shall allow voters to rank as
many choices as there are candidates. If the voting equipment cannot
feasibly accommodate a number of rankings on the ballot equal to the
number of candidates, the elections official may limit the number of
choices a voter may rank to the maximum number allowed by the
equipment. This limit shall never be less than three.
   (b) The ballot shall not interfere with a voter's ability to rank
at least two write-in candidates. For the purposes of this section, a
mark for an unqualified write-in candidate shall not be considered a
mark for a candidate.
   10057.  (a) In the first or any round, if a ballot reaches a
ranking with no candidate indicated, that ballot shall immediately be
advanced to the next ranking. If a mark for an unqualified write-in
candidate as described in subdivision (b) of Section 10056, that
ballot shall be advanced to the next ranking.
   (b) If two or more candidates tie for the smallest number of
votes, the candidate to eliminate shall be chosen by lot in a manner
similar to that described by subdivision (a) of Section 15651, except
that subdivision (b) of Section 15651 shall not apply, and the
candidate chosen by lot shall be eliminated.
   (c) After each round, any ballot that is not continuing is an
undervote, overvote, or exhausted ballot, pursuant to this
subdivision. A ballot that has no candidates indicated at any ranking
shall be declared an "undervote." If a ballot reaches a ranking with
more than one candidate indicated, that ballot shall immediately be
declared an "overvote." If a ballot cannot be advanced because no
further candidates are ranked on that ballot, that ballot shall
immediately be declared "exhausted." A ballot that has been declared
an undervote, overvote, or exhausted shall remain so and shall not
count toward any candidate in that round or in subsequent rounds.
   10058.  Ranked voting pursuant to Section 10050 for an election to
elect a single candidate to office shall be known as "instant runoff
voting" and shall be conducted in the following manner:
   (a) The ballots shall be counted in rounds pursuant to the
following order:
   (1) In the first round, every ballot shall count as a vote towards
the candidate indicated by the highest continuing ranking on that
ballot.
   (2) After every round, if exactly two candidates remain, the
candidate receiving the greater number of votes from the continuing
ballots shall be declared elected. If both candidates received the
same number of votes from the continuing ballots, the tie shall be
resolved by lot.
   (3) If more than two candidates remain, the candidate receiving
the smallest number of votes shall be eliminated, and every ballot
counting toward that candidate shall be advanced to the next-ranked
continuing candidate on the ballot. If there is a tie between two or
more candidates for the smallest number of votes, the tie shall be
resolved by lot. All the ballots shall be counted again in a new
round.
   (b) During the elimination stage of any round, if a candidate has
more votes than the combined vote total of all candidates with fewer
votes, but less than a majority of votes, all the candidates with
fewer votes than this candidate shall be eliminated simultaneously,
and those ballots advanced to the next-ranked continuing candidate.
If two or more sets of candidates meet this criterion, the provisions
of this subdivision apply to the largest set. For purposes of this
subdivision, "sets of candidates" means ____.
   (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if a voting
system cannot feasibly continue the count until only two candidates
remain, the system may terminate the count when a candidate receives
a majority of votes from the continuing ballots, and the candidate
who received the majority of votes shall be declared elected.
   10059.  Ranked voting pursuant to Section 10050 for an election to
elect two or more candidates to office shall be known as "choice
voting" and shall be conducted in the following manner:
   (a) The minimum threshold of votes required for election shall be
determined by dividing the total number of votes cast for that
office, excluding undervotes as defined in Section 10057, by one more
than the number of offices to be filled and then adding one vote,
and then disregarding any fraction, as shown in the following
formula:
   The total number of votes cast, excluding undervotes as defined in
Section 10057, divided by the sum of one plus the number of offices
to be filled, plus one, disregarding any fraction, equals the minimum
threshold of votes necessary to be elected.
   (b) All ballots are counted and each ballot is allocated as a vote
to the candidate receiving the highest ranking.
   (c) Each candidate that receives the minimum threshold of votes
necessary to be elected shall be declared elected.
   (d) If a candidate on the first count has a number of highest
ranking votes exactly equal to the minimum number of votes required
for election, that candidate is declared elected, and the counted
ballots indicating that candidate as a highest ranking are put aside
and the other rankings recorded on the ballots are not examined.
   (e) If a candidate on the first count gains more than the minimum
number of votes required for election, the candidate is declared
elected, and the number of votes in excess of the number of votes
required for election (the surplus) is recorded. All of the elected
candidate's ballots are then reexamined and assigned to candidates
not yet elected according to the highest continuing ranking on the
ballots of those who gave a first preference vote to the elected
candidate. These votes are allocated according to a "transfer value."
The formula for the transfer value is:
   Surplus votes cast for the elected candidate, divided by total
number of votes received by the elected candidate, calculated out to
four decimal places using "rounding to nearest" equals the transfer
value.
   (f) If two or more candidates on the first count gain more than
the minimum number of votes required for election, all of those
candidates are declared elected. Each of the ballots of the candidate
with the largest number of highest ranking votes will be reexamined
first and assigned (at the transfer value) to candidates not yet
elected according to the next highest continuing ranking marked on
that ballot. The ballots of the other elected candidates will then be
reexamined and their surpluses distributed in order according to the
number of highest ranking votes each candidate received.
   (g) (1) If a candidate reaches more than the minimum number of
votes required for election as the consequence of a transfer of votes
from an elected candidate, the number of votes in excess of the
number of votes required for election shall be transferred to other
candidates. This transfer will be to the next highest continuing
ranking shown on each of this candidate's ballots. These ballots now
include (A) ballots indicating this candidate as the highest ranking,
and (B) the ballots transferred to the candidate from one or more
elected candidates. The transfer value for the ballots on which the
candidate was indicated by the highest ranking is the same as the
transfer value defined in subdivision (e).
   (2) The transfer value for each ballot transferred to the
candidate from one or more previously elected candidates shall be the
surplus votes cast for the elected candidate divided by the total
number of votes received by the elected candidate multiplied by the
previous transfer value of the ballot received by that candidate, as
shown in the following formula:
   The surplus votes cast for the elected candidate, divided by the
total number of votes received by the elected candidate, multiplied
by the previous transfer value of the ballot received by that
candidate, calculated out to four decimal places using "rounding to
nearest."
   (h) If no candidate has a number of votes equal to or greater than
the minimum number of votes required for election, either on the
first count or as a consequence of a redistribution of surplus votes
from a previously elected candidate, the candidate with the smallest
number of votes is eliminated. All of the eliminated candidate's
ballots, both ballots indicating that candidate as the highest
ranking and any ballots transferred from other candidates, are
transferred to the next highest continuing ranking on the eliminated
candidate's ballots. The ballots in which the eliminated candidate
was indicated by the highest ranking are transferred to the candidate
indicated by the next highest continuing ranking on that ballot at
full value. Ballots received from previously elected or previously
eliminated candidates are transferred at the transfer value at which
the ballots were received.
   (i) Tabulation of votes shall continue in the following sequence:
   (1) Determine whether a candidate received more votes than the sum
of the combined vote total of all candidates who received fewer
votes than that candidate and the combined total of all surplus votes
not yet redistributed. If this is the case, all candidates with
fewer votes than this candidate shall be eliminated simultaneously
according to the procedure specified in paragraph (3). If two or more
sets of candidates meet this criterion, the provisions of this
paragraph apply to the largest set. For the purposes of this
paragraph, "sets of candidates" means ____.
   (2) The surplus votes of elected candidates shall be redistributed
until no more candidates receive the minimum threshold of votes
required for election. The surplus votes of the newly elected
candidate with the greatest surplus will be distributed first, and
the surpluses of the other newly elected candidates will then be
distributed in order according to the number of surplus votes of each
elected candidate awaiting transfer of surplus votes.
   (3) Candidates are eliminated as specified in subdivision (h), and
the votes of eliminated candidates are redistributed until another
candidate receives the minimum threshold of votes required for
election.
   (4) When the number of elected and continuing candidates is equal
to the number of candidates to be elected, all of the continuing
candidates are declared elected even though they may not have reached
the minimum threshold of votes required for election.
   (j) A tie between two or more candidates for fewest votes, as
specified in subdivision (h), shall be resolved by lot, and the
candidate chosen by lot shall be eliminated. A tie between two or
more candidates for the number of highest ranking votes received, as
specified in subdivision (f), or the most surplus votes, as specified
in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i), shall be resolved by lot, and
the candidate chosen by lot shall be the first to have his or her
surplus votes transferred.
   10060.  (a) The instructions to the voters for an election that
uses ranked voting shall read substantially as follows:
   "To vote in this election, indicate by selecting or marking a '1'
in the voting square to the right of your first choice, a '2' in the
voting square to the right of your second choice, a '3' in the voting
square to the right of your third choice, and so on. Do not give the
same number to more than one candidate. You may rank as many or as
few of the candidates as you choose, up to the limit specified, if
any. Your second choice will not hurt your first choice, your third
choice will not hurt your first two choices, and so on.
   "You may include one or more qualified write-in candidates in your
rankings by writing each person's name in one of the blank spaces
provided for that purpose after the names of the other candidates for
the same office, and then writing the desired ranking in the voting
square to the right of that name."
   (b) The instructions may be modified as appropriate for the
specific voting equipment used, as long as the intent of this chapter
is preserved.
   10061.  (a) As soon as possible after the close of polls of a
ranked voting election, the local elections official shall post
ballot image reports on the official Internet Web site for the city
or county. The "ballot image report" for an election means a report
that lists, for each ballot, the candidate or candidates indicated at
each ranking, the precinct of the ballot, and whether the ballot was
cast by mail. In the report, the ballots shall be listed in an order
that does not permit the order in which they were cast in each
precinct to be reconstructed.
   (b) The local elections official shall also make a summary report
and a comprehensive report available to the public after each ranked
voting election. The "summary report" for a race means a report that
lists the candidate vote totals in each round, along with the
cumulative numbers of undervotes, overvotes, and exhausted ballots in
each round.
   (c) The "comprehensive report" for a race means a report that
categorizes the numbers in the summary report by precinct. The report
shall list, for each round, the number of ballots cast in each
precinct that count as votes for each candidate in that round, that
have been declared undervotes, that have been declared overvotes up
to that point, and that have been declared exhausted up to that
point.
   (d) The local elections official shall make preliminary versions
of the summary report and ballot image report available as soon as
possible after the commencement of the official canvass of the vote
pursuant to Section 15301 and prior to the 1 percent manual tally
pursuant to Section 15360. The summary report, ballot image report,
comprehensive report, and preliminary versions of the summary report
and ballot image report shall be made available to the public during
the canvass on the Internet and by other means. The ballot image
report and preliminary versions of the ballot image report shall be
made available in a plain text electronic format.
   10062.  This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2019, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2019, deletes or extends
that date.