BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          SB 362 (Padilla) - Voting: Natural Disasters
          
          Amended: April 8, 2013          Policy Vote: E&CA 4-1
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: Yes
          Hearing Date: May 13, 2013      Consultant: Maureen Ortiz
          
          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.
          
          
          Bill Summary:  SB 362 requires a county elections official to  
          issue a vote by mail ballot to emergency workers when that  
          individual is assisting with the recovery efforts during an  
          out-of-state emergency as called by the Governor.

          Fiscal Impact: 
          
              Unknown but likely less than $25,000 (General)

          Actual costs are unknown and will depend on the extent and  
          frequency of the disaster, whether the disaster occurs during an  
          election period, and the number of personnel who are not already  
          registered as vote-by-mail voters.

          Background:  Existing law, pursuant to AB 1440 (Swanson),  
          Chapter 395, Statutes of 2009, allows emergency personnel who  
          are officially engaged in responding to a state of emergency  
          after a disaster such as fire or earthquake to vote in an  
          election by casting a provisional ballot within any county in  
          California and further requires that county elections official  
          to forward that ballot to the appropriate county where the voter  
          resides.

          California residents often volunteer to assist in the recovery  
          of natural disasters that occur outside of this state.  Family  
          members and professionals such as firefighters, police officers,  
          National Guardsmen, utility workers, and other California  
          residents travel to areas affected by disasters for extended  
          periods of time to help with recovery efforts.  Sometimes these  
          efforts are close to election times and affect the individual's  
          ability to cast his or her vote in a timely manner.  









          SB 362 (Padilla)
          Page 1



          For instance, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the L. A.  
          Department of Water & Power, SoCal Edison, San Diego Gas &  
          Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric, the California Red Cross,  
          National Guard, and the California Emergency Management Urban  
          Search and Rescue Team were among many organizations that left  
          California right before the election.  Many of these individuals  
          were unable to vote because the deadline to register as a  
          vote-by-mail voter had already passed.

          Proposed Law:  SB 362 requires a county elections official to  
          issue a vote by mail ballot to an emergency workers when that  
          individual is assisting with the recovery efforts during an  
          out-of-state emergency as called by the Governor.   The ballot  
          will be counted as long as it is received by the elections  
          official no later than three days after election day and  
          postmarked on or before election day or time-stamped of  
          date-stamped by a private mail delivery company on or before  
          election day. 

          The bill authorizes the vote by mail ballot to be sent to the  
          emergency worker via electronic mail or facsimile.

          Staff Comments:  This bill could result in reimbursable state  
          mandated costs, however it is not likely that costs would exceed  
          $50,000 in any year.  Counties would only incur costs to the  
          extent that the emergency worker was out-of-state during the  
          weeks directly preceding an election AND only if the worker was  
          not already a vote-by-mail voter.