BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 183
                                                                  Page  1

          SB 183 (Correa)
          As Introduced  February 7, 2011
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :25-14  
           ELECTIONS           5-2         APPROPRIATIONS      12-5        
          |Ayes:|Fong, Bonilla, Gatto,     |Ayes:|Fuentes, Blumenfield,     |
          |     |Mendoza, Swanson          |     |Bradford, Charles         |
          |     |                          |     |Calderon, Campos, Davis,  |
          |     |                          |     |Gatto, Hall, Hill, Lara,  |
          |     |                          |     |Mitchell, Solorio         |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Logue, Valadao            |Nays:|Harkey, Donnelly,         |
          |     |                          |     |Nielsen, Norby, Wagner    |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :   Prohibits a voter from placing personal information, 
          as defined, on a ballot if the information identifies the voter, 
          and provides that a ballot that contains personal information is 
          not invalid.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Requires ballot instructions to voters to state that marking 
            the ballot outside of the designated space to vote for a 
            candidate or measure may compromise the secrecy of the ballot.

          2)Prohibits a voter from placing personal information on a 
            ballot if that information identifies the voter.

          3)Deletes a provision that a ballot be rejected if it is marked 
            in a manner as to identify the voter, and instead requires a 
            ballot that contains personal information to be separated and 
            duplicated in the same manner as defective ballots.

          4)Provides that a ballot that contains personal information is 
            not invalid.

          5)Defines "personal information" to include all of the 


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             a)   The signature of the voter;

             b)   The initials, name, or address of the voter;

             c)   A voter identification number;

             d)   A social security number; and,

             e)   A driver's license number.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Prohibits a voter from placing any mark upon a ballot that 
            will make the ballot identifiable.  Requires a ballot to be 
            rejected if it is marked or signed by the voter so that it can 
            be identified by others.

          2)Provides that any ballot that is torn, bent, or mutilated 
            shall be segregated in the manner directed by the elections 
            official and a duplicate shall be prepared.  

          3)Provides that any ballot marked in a manner as to identify the 
            voter shall be marked "Void" and placed in a container for 
            void ballots.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations 
          Committee, minor state reimbursable costs for county elections 
          officials to modify voter instructions, and to duplicate and 
          tabulate, rather than void, ballots inappropriately marked with 
          personal information.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author:  "Under current law a ballot 
          can be rejected because the voter scribbles on it to make sure 
          their pen is working.  This is unacceptable.  This bill would 
          provide that these extra marks will no longer render a ballot 
          void and ballots with personal information will be remade in the 
          same way as damaged ballots?Existing law was enacted to help 
          prevent voter corruption when ballots were hand tabulated.  In 
          this day and age of automated tabulation, there is simply no 
          danger that marking a ballot can be part of a systemic 
          vote-buying scheme that would require a complicit election 

          Current law specifies the instructions that are required to be 


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          printed on a ballot for voters.  Among other things, the 
          instructions state, "All distinguishing marks or erasures are 
          forbidden and make the ballot void."  This statement serves to 
          notify voters that markings on a ballot may make that ballot 
          invalid.  This bill narrows the prohibition in current law that 
          applies to "any mark upon a ballot" and focuses specifically on 
          "personal information."  In addition, this bill provides that a 
          ballot that contains the personal information of a voter shall 
          be duplicated and counted, instead of being void.

          This bill is identical to SB 387 (Hancock) of 2009, which was 
          vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger, who expressed concern that 
          "remaking a ballot that contains personal identifying 
          information compromises ballot secrecy and increases the 
          opportunity for fraud."

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Ethan Jones and Maria Garcia / E. & R. 
          / (916) 319-2094 

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