SB 589, as amended, Hill. Vote by mail ballots: sample ballots.
Existing law sets forth procedures for voting by mail and requires the local elections official to compare the signature on the identification envelope of a vote by mail ballot with the voter’s signature that appears on his or her affidavit of registration. If the signatures compare, existing law requires the elections official to deposit the ballot in a ballot container. If the ballot is rejected because the signatures do not compare, existing law requires that the ballot not be counted and that the cause of the rejection be written on the face of the identification envelope. Existing law also requires the elections official to establish procedures to track and confirm the receipt of vote by mail ballots that are voted and to make that information available by means of online access using the county’s elections division Internet Web site, or, if it has no Internet Web site, by a toll-free telephone number that may be used to confirm the date the ballot was received.
begin deleteThis bill would permit the county elections official to compare the signature on the identification envelope of a vote by mail ballot with the signature that appears on the voter’s current or previous affidavit of registration on file with the elections official. end deleteThis bill would require the elections official to establish a free access system by which a vote by mail voter may learn whether his or her ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why it was not counted. This bill would require the elections official to make the free access system available to a vote by mail voter begin delete for at least 30 days immediately following theend delete
completion of the official canvass.
By requiring elections officials to provide a higher level of service, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law requires the appropriate elections official to prepare sample ballots for each election and to cause to be printed at least as many copies of the sample ballot as there are voters in each voting precinct. Existing law requires the elections official to mail a sample ballot to each voter who registered at least 29 days prior to the election.
This bill would permit the elections official to elect not to mail a sample ballot to a voter if specified conditions are satisfied. For each voter to whom the elections official elects not to mail a sample ballot, this bill would permit the elections official to cause to be printed one less copy of the sample ballot.
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 reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 3019 of the Elections Code is repealed.
Section 3019 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
(a) Upon receipt of a vote by mail ballot, the county
4elections official shall compare the signature on the identification
5envelope with any of the following to determine whether the
7(1) The signature appearing on the voter’s current or previous
8affidavit of registration on file with the elections official.
9(2) The signature appearing on the voter’s vote by mail ballot
10application, provided the elections official has compared the
11signature on the voter’s vote by mail ballot application with the
P3 1signature on the voter’s affidavit of registration pursuant to Section
3(b) In comparing
signatures pursuant to subdivision (a), the
4elections official may use the duplicate file of affidavits of
5registered voters or facsimiles of voters’ signatures, provided that
6the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies
7with the law.
8(c) The variation of a signature caused by the substitution of
9initials for the first or middle name, or both, shall not be grounds
10for the elections official to determine that the signatures do not
12(d) A ballot shall not be removed from its identification envelope
13until the time for processing ballots. A ballot shall not be rejected
14for cause after the identification envelope has been opened.
15(e) (1) If, upon conducting the comparison of signatures
16pursuant to subdivision (a), the elections official determines that
17the signatures compare, he or she shall deposit the ballot, still in
18the identification envelope, in a ballot container in his or her office.
19(2) If, upon conducting the comparison of signatures pursuant
20to subdivision (a), the elections official determines that the
21signatures do not compare, the identification envelope shall not
22be opened and the ballot shall not be counted. The cause of the
23rejection shall be written on the face of the identification envelope.
24(f) The county elections official shall establish a free access
25system that allows a vote by mail voter to learn whether his or her
26vote by mail ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why the
27ballot was not counted. For each election, the elections official
28shall make the free access system available to a vote by mail voter
29for at least 30 days immediately following the completion of the
Upon receipt of the vote by mail ballot the elections
34official shall compare the signature on the envelope with that
35appearing on the affidavit of registration and, if they compare,
36deposit the ballot, still in the identification envelope, in a ballot
37container in his or her office. A variation of the signature caused
38by the substitution of initials for the first or middle name, or both,
39shall not invalidate the ballot. If the ballot is rejected because the
40 signatures do not compare, the envelope shall not be opened and
P4 1the ballot shall not be counted. The cause of the rejection shall be
2written on the face of the identification envelope.
4the elections official has compared the signature of the
5voter’s application with the affidavit pursuant to Section 3009, the
6application may be used rather than the affidavit to make the
7signature check required by this section.
9ballot shall be removed from its identification envelope
10until the time for processing.
begin delete Noend delete ballot shall be rejected for
11cause after the envelope has been opened.
13determining from the records of registration if
14signature and residence address on the identification envelope
15appear to be the same as
begin delete thatend delete on the affidavit of registration,
16the elections official or registrar of voters may use the duplicate
17file of affidavits of registered voters or the facsimiles of voters’
18signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying
19the facsimiles complies with the law.
Section 13305 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
(a) Notwithstanding Sections 13300 and 13303, a
29county elections official may elect not to mail a sample ballot to
30a voter if all of the following are satisfied:
31(1) The voter is one of the following:
32(A) A permanent vote by mail voter pursuant to Chapter 3
33(commencing with Section 3200) of Division 3.
34(B) A voter in a mail ballot election conducted pursuant to
35Division 4 (commencing with Section 4000).
36(C) A voter in a precinct in which an election is conducted
37pursuant to Section 3005.
38(2) The county elections official prepares and mails to each
39voter a voter information guide. The voter information guide shall
40include all of the information required to be included in, and shall
P5 1be accompanied by all the election materials required to
2accompany, the sample ballot, except for both of the following:
3(A) An application for a vote by mail ballot.
4(B) A notice that a vote by mail ballot application is enclosed.
5(3) The voter is furnished with an official ballot pursuant to
6Section 3005 or 3010.
7(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 13303, for each
8voter to whom the elections official elects not to mail a sample
9ballot pursuant to subdivision (a), the elections official may cause
10to be printed one less copy of the sample ballot.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
13Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
14this act provides for offsetting savings to local agencies or school
15districts that result in no net costs to the local agencies or school
16districts, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government