SB 362, as amended, Padilla. Voting procedures: natural disasters.
Existing law designates the Secretary of State as the chief elections officer of the state and requires him or her to study and adopt regulations governing the use of voting machines, voting devices, vote tabulating devices, and ballot marking systems. Existing law also establishes procedures for the marking and counting of ballots in the case of electrical failure or other emergency.
This bill would make legislative findings relating to natural disasters and their effect on a state resident’s ability to vote.
begin delete The bill would require the Governor and the Secretary of State to establish voting procedures and guidelines for voters affected by natural disasters.end delete
Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program:
begin deleteno end delete.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(a) Natural disasters
begin delete withinend delete California begin delete, the United States, can affect a state resident’s ability to
4or other parts of the worldend delete
5vote. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters can destroy or
6damage election infrastructure, including the electrical and
7telecommunications grid and polling places, disrupt the delivery
8of vote by mail ballots by the United States Postal Service, and
9displace election officials and interrupt their duties.
10(b) California residents volunteer to help victims of natural
11disasters, including their family members. California voters, such
12as firefighters, police officers, National Guardsmen, utility workers,
13and average citizens travel to areas affected by disasters for
14extended periods of time to help with recovery efforts that can
15include other states and countries. Disasters and volunteer efforts
16can occur close to an election and affect a volunteer’s ability to
18(c) Currently, neither the Governor, the Secretary of State, nor
begin delete official hasend delete the authority to establish
20procedures and guidelines to specifically allow residents affected
begin delete aend delete disaster to vote.
Section 19006 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
The Governor and the Secretary of State shall establish
14voting procedures and guidelines for voters affected by natural