BILL NUMBER: SB 362 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 8, 2013
INTRODUCED BY Senator Padilla
FEBRUARY 20, 2013
An act to add Section 19006 to
, the Elections
Code, relating to voting.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
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 outside California and their effect on a state
resident's ability to vote. The bill would require the
Governor and the Secretary of State to establish voting procedures
and guidelines for voters affected by natural disasters.
The bill would, upon the declaration of an out-of-state
emergency by the Governor and the issuance of an executive order
authorizing an emergency worker, as defined, to cast a ballot outside
of his or her home precinct, require a county elections official to
issue an emergency worker a vote by mail ballot upon that worker's
request. By imposing a new duty on local officials, the bill would
impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates
determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state,
reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no yes .
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the
(a) Natural disasters within outside
California , the United States, or other parts of the world
can affect a state resident's ability to vote.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters can destroy or damage
election infrastructure, including the electrical and
telecommunications grid and polling places, disrupt the delivery of
vote by mail ballots by the United States Postal Service, and
displace election officials and interrupt their duties.
(b) California residents volunteer to help victims of natural
disasters, including their family members. California voters, such as
firefighters, police officers, National Guardsmen, utility workers,
and average citizens travel to areas affected by disasters for
extended periods of time to help with recovery efforts that can
include other states and countries. Disasters and volunteer efforts
can occur close to an election and affect a volunteer's ability to
(c) Currently, neither the Governor, the Secretary of State, nor
county elections official has officials have
the authority to establish procedures and guidelines to
specifically allow residents affected by a an
out-of-state disaster to vote.
SEC. 2. Section 19006 is added to the
Elections Code , to read:
19006. (a) For purposes of this section, "emergency worker" means
a person who is officially engaged in responding to the proclamation
of an out-of-state emergency and whose vocation has been identified
in an executive order relating to the state of emergency.
(b) Upon the declaration of an out-of-state emergency by the
Governor and the issuance of an executive order authorizing an
emergency worker to cast a ballot outside of his or her home
precinct, a county elections official shall, upon request, issue a
vote by mail ballot to an emergency worker using a process to be
determined by that elections official.
(c) In order to be counted, a vote by mail ballot cast pursuant to
this section shall be received by the elections official no later
than three days after election day and postmarked on or before
election day or time-stamped or date-stamped by a private mail
delivery company on or before election day.
(d) Upon receipt of the returned ballot, the elections official
shall process the ballot pursuant to the procedures in Section 3019.
(e) A vote by mail ballot may be sent to the emergency worker via
electronic mail or facsimile.
SEC. 2. Section 19006 is added to the Elections
Code, to read:
19006. The Governor and the Secretary of State shall establish
voting procedures and guidelines for voters affected by natural
SEC. 3. If the Commission on State Mandates
determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state,
reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs
shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of
Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.