BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 213
          Author:   Galgiani (D)
          Amended:  5/28/13
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE ELECTIONS & CONST. AMEND. COMM.  :  4-0, 3/19/13
          AYES:  Correa, Anderson, Hancock, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Padilla

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 4/16/13
          AYES:  Evans, Walters, Anderson, Corbett, Jackson, Leno, Monning

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 5/23/13
          AYES:  De León, Walters, Gaines, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg


           SUBJECT  :    Election petitions:  circulators

           SOURCE :     Secretary of State


           DIGEST  :    This bill prohibits a person from circulating a state  
          or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition or  
          nominating paper unless the person is 18 years of age or older.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Prohibits the circulation of initiative, referendum, and  
             recall petitions and nominating papers by a person who is not  
             a resident of the state.
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          2. Requires that wherever a petition or paper is submitted to  
             the elections official, each section of the petition or paper  
             shall have attached to it a declaration signed by the  
             circulator of the petition or paper, setting forth, in the  
             circulator's own hand, as specified.

          3. Requires the circulator to certify to the content of the  
             declaration as to its truth and correctness, under penalty of  
             perjury under the laws of the State of California, with the  
             signature of his/her name.  Requires the circulator to state  
             the date and the place of execution on the declaration  
             immediately preceding his/her signature.

          This bill prohibits a person from circulating a state or local  
          initiative, referendum, or recall petition or nominating paper  
          unless the person is 18 years of age or older.

           Background
           
          In 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of  
          Nader v. Brewer (1998) 531 F.3d 1028, struck down an Arizona  
          statute that, among other things, required circulators of  
          petitions to be residents of Arizona.  

          The 1st Amendment, which applies to the states through the 14th  
          Amendment, provides, in part, that Congress shall make no law  
          abridging the freedom of speech or the right of the people to  
          assemble peaceably.  Political speech lies at the core of that  
          Amendment.  Circulation of petitions for elections, as noted by  
          the Nader case, "is 'core political speech,' because it involves  
          interactive communication concerning political change, and the  
          1st Amendment protection for such interaction is therefore 'at  
          its zenith.'"  (Nader, 531 F.3d at 1035, citing Meyer v. Grant  
          (1988) 486 U.S. 414, 422, 425.)  Accordingly, under United  
          States Supreme Court precedent, when a severely burdensome  
          election law is challenged, it is subject to strict scrutiny and  
          can only be upheld if the burden it imposes on the exercise of  
          these constitutional rights is sufficiently narrow to serve a  
          compelling state interest.  The Nader court held that a  
          residency requirement for election petition circulators is  
          severely burdensome and does not survive strict scrutiny  
          analysis, in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments.  


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          Since the Nader decision, multiple California counties have  
          reportedly been sued for this state's residency requirement for  
          petition circulators.  In order to bring California into  
          compliance with that decision, this bill, sponsored by Secretary  
          of State (SOS), amends various sections of the Elections Code to  
          remove a residency requirement for persons who wish to circulate  
          petitions in California.  Essentially, non-residents will no  
          longer be barred from circulating election petitions in this  
          state for lack of residency.  Instead, this bill requires that  
          in order to circulate a petition or nominating paper, the person  
          must be at least 18 years of age or older.  

          FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the SOS  
          anticipates the need for one personnel year at the Associate  
          Government Program Analyst level with first year costs of  
          $101,053 and annual ongoing costs of $96,053 (General).

          The above estimate is based on an approximation of 100,000  
          circulators in California and that 2% of those individuals may  
          be non-residents and therefore falling under the scope of this  
          bill.  Costs stem from various duties including processing  
          consent forms, and receiving, tracking, and forwarding court  
          filings that are served on the SOS.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/24/13)

          Secretary of State (source)
          California Association of Clerks and Election Officials
          Rural County Representatives of California



          RM:k  5/28/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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