AB 363, as amended, Steinorth. Closing of the polls.
Existing law requires a precinct board to account for ballots at the closing of the polls.
This bill would authorize a county elections official to account for ballots at the central counting place.
Existing law prescribes the procedures for a precinct board to follow as soon as the polls close, including removing the voted ballots from the ballot container, sealing the ballots, and delivering the ballots to the receiving centers or central counting places.
This bill would authorize a county elections official to direct the precinct board to seal the ballots and to record certain information prior to the closing of the polls. This bill would also authorize the county elections official to direct other elections officials to remove the sealed ballots prior to the closing of the polls and to deliver them to a receiving center or central counting place.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 14405 of the Elections Code is amended
(a) The members of the precinct board shall account
4for the ballots delivered to them by returning a sufficient number
5of unused ballots to make up, when added to the number of official
6ballots cast and the number of spoiled and canceled ballots
7returned, the number of ballots given to them. The accounting of
8ballots may either:
9(1) Take place at the polling place.
10(2) Be performed by the elections official at the central counting
12(b) The precinct board shall complete the roster as required in
13Section 14107, and shall also complete and sign the certificate of
14performance prescribed in Section 15280, if that section applies.
Section 14420 of the Elections Code is amended to
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c),
begin delete prior toend delete
18 or as soon as the polls are closed, the precinct board shall
19remove the voted ballots from the ballot container and take them
20out of the secrecy envelopes or detach them from the secrecy stubs.
21Where the envelope or stub is also the write-in ballot, and a write-in
22vote has been registered thereon, the ballot card shall not be
23separated from the envelope or stub. If two or more separate ballot
24cards have been used in the election, the precinct board shall sort
25them into groups, each of which shall contain the same series of
27(b) After completing the action described in subdivision (a), the
28precinct board shall count the number of ballot cards in each group,
29and certify the number of ballots cast on the voting roster as
30provided by Section 14105. If there is any discrepancy between
31the number of voters listed in the roster and the number of ballots
32voted, this fact shall be noted with an explanation of the difference
33and signed by all the members of the precinct board.
begin deletePrior to end deleteor at the close of the polls, the county
35elections official may direct the precinct board to seal the ballot
36container and record on forms provided by the elections official
37the information needed for the reconciliation of ballots required
38by Section 14405.
Section 14421 of the Elections Code is amended to
Unless the county elections official has directed the
4precinct board to seal the ballot container and record information
5pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 14420, the precinct board
6shall group voted ballot cards and voted separate write-in ballots,
7as directed by the elections official, and place them in containers.
8The board shall also place spoiled and void ballots, if any, in
9containers as directed by the elections official. All of these ballots,
10along with the containers for voted ballot cards, shall be placed in
11one or more boxes, which shall then be sealed and delivered as
12soon as possible to the receiving centers or central counting places
13with the unused ballots, supplies, and other materials as directed
14by the elections official.
Section 14422 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
(a) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
17the county elections official may direct a precinct board to seal
18the ballot container prior to the closing of the polls, in accordance
19with the procedures set forth in Sections 14420 and 14421.
20 (2) As soon as the container is sealed, the county elections
21official may direct at least two elections officials to remove the
22sealed ballot container of voted untallied ballots from the polling
23place and the presence of any bystanders and to deliver the
24container to a receiving center or central counting place as directed.
25(b) Upon receipt of a
container at a receiving center or central
26counting place pursuant to subdivision (a), the county elections
27official may process the voted untallied ballots, but shall not tally
28the ballots or release any results prior to the closing of the polls.
29(c) This section shall not be construed as relieving a precinct
30board of its responsibility to account for ballots pursuant to Section