BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 562|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |

                                    THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 562
          Author:   Holden (D)
          Amended:  5/6/15 in Assembly
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE ELECTIONS & C.A. COMMITTEE:  5-0, 6/16/15
           AYES:  Allen, Anderson, Hancock, Hertzberg, Liu

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  74-0, 5/22/15 (Consent) - See last page for  

           SUBJECT:   Elections:  ballots

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:   This bill requires the Office of the Superintendent of  
          Public Instruction (SPI) to be listed on the ballot under the  
          heading of STATEWIDE EDUCATION; requires the Office of SPI to  
          appear on the ballot immediately after the races for State  
          Assembly; and makes other technical changes.


          Existing law:

          1)Sets forth the order of precedence of offices and measures on  
            the ballot, and requires the Office of SPI to be listed in the  
            ballot under the heading, SCHOOL.  

          2)Requires every ballot to contain the following:

             a)   The title of each office, arranged to conform as nearly  
               as practical in accordance with existing law;


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             b)   The names of all qualified candidates, as specified; and  

             c)   The titles and summaries of measures submitted to a vote  
               of the voters.

          3)Requires the offices on the ballot to be listed in the order  
            detailed below, beginning in the column to the left:

             a)   Under the heading, PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT (at a  
               Presidential general election): Nominees of the qualified  
               political parties and independent nominees for President  
               and Vice President.

             b)   Under the heading, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (at a  
               Presidential primary election):  Names of the presidential  
               candidates to whom the delegates are pledged and names of  
               the chairpersons of unpledged delegations.

             c)   Under the heading STATE:

                 i)       Governor;
                 ii)      Lieutenant Governor;
                 iii)     Secretary of State;
                 iv)      Controller;
                 v)       Treasurer;
                 vi)      Attorney General;
                 vii)     Insurance Commissioner; and
                 viii)    Member, State Board of Equalization.

             d)   Under the heading, UNITED STATES SENATOR:  Candidates or  
               nominees to the United States Senate.

             e)   Under the heading, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE:   
               Candidates or nominees to the House of Representatives of  
               the United States.

             f)   Under the heading, STATE SENATOR:  Candidates or  
               nominees to the State Senate.

             g)   Under the heading, MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY:   


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                                                                    Page  3

               Candidates or nominees to the Assembly.

             h)   Under the heading, COUNTY COMMITTEE:  Members of the  
               County Central Committee.

             i)   Under the heading, JUDICIAL:

                 i)       Chief Justice of California;
                 ii)      Associate Justice of the Supreme Court;
                 iii)     Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal;
                 iv)      Associate Justice, Court of Appeal;
                 v)       Judge of the Superior Court; and
                 vi)      Marshal.

             j)   Under the heading, SCHOOL:

                 i)       Superintendent of Public Instruction;
                 ii)      County Superintendent of Schools;
                 iii)     County Board of Education Members;
                 iv)      College District Governing Board Members;
                 v)       Unified District Governing Board Members;
                 vi)      High School District Governing Board Members;  
                 vii)     Elementary District Governing Board Members.

             aa)  Under the heading, COUNTY:

                 i)       County Supervisor; and
                 ii)      Other offices in alphabetical order by the title  
                   of the office.

             bb)  Under the heading, CITY:

                 i)       Mayor;
                 ii)      Member, City Council; and
                 iii)     Other offices in alphabetical order by the title  
                   of the office.

             cc)  Under the heading, DISTRICT:  Directors or trustees for  
               each district in alphabetical order according to the name  
               of the district.


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                                                                    Page  4

             dd)  Under the heading, MEASURES SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS,  
               ballot measures beginning with state measures.

          4)Permits county elections officials to vary the order of  
            school, county, city, and district offices and measures in  
            order to allow for the most efficient use of space on the  
            ballot provided that the Office of SPI always precedes any  
            school, county, or city office and state measures always  
            precede local measures.

          This bill:

          1)Changes the order of precedence on the ballot for the Office  
            of SPI by doing the following:

             a)   Creates the heading STATEWIDE EDUCATION and places it  
               just below candidates or nominees to the Assembly.

             b)   Requires the title Superintendent of Public Instruction  
               be listed immediately underneath the heading STATEWIDE  

          2)Makes other technical changes.


          Ballot content and form.  Existing law requires a ballot to  
          comply with a variety of laws that dictate its form and content.  
           For example, a ballot is required to contain the title of each  
          office, the names of all qualified candidates, as specified,  
          ballot designations, as specified, titles and summaries of  
          measures submitted to voters, and instructions to voters, among  
          other things.  In addition, existing law requires a ballot to  
          follow certain formatting requirements, such as the order  
          offices must appear on the ballot and font size.  While existing  
          law does allow for some flexibility in ballot format, such as  
          allowing a county elections official to make ballot formatting  
          changes to accommodate the limitations of a voting system or  
          vote tabulating device, as specified, most requirements are  
          fairly specific.

          As described above, existing law requires the Office of SPI to  


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          be listed under the heading SCHOOL, which is listed after  
          candidates for President and Vice President, candidates for  
          statewide offices (such as Governor, Lieutenant Governor,  
          Secretary of State, etc.), candidates for United States Senator  
          and Representative, candidates for state Senate and Assembly,  
          candidates for county central committees, and finally judicial  
          candidates.   As a result, the Office of SPI is found further  
          down the ballot usually on the second page.

          1)According to the author, the SPI is the only statewide elected  
            officer that does not appear at the top of the ballot.  AB 562  
            makes a technical change to instead require the SPI to be  
            listed under the heading, "STATEWIDE EDUCATION," alongside  
            other statewide elected officers in order to ensure that  
            voters have the opportunity to select their candidate.

          2)Ballot placement.  Many studies discuss the phenomenon of  
            "voter fatigue" or "ballot drop-off" in which the number of  
            votes cast per office drops consistently as a voter moves down  
            the ballot.  For instance, the number of votes cast for  
            President is almost always much greater than the number of  
            votes cast for many candidates located lower on the ballot for  
            other offices (such as state legislators, judicial, county  
            supervisors, city councilors, etc.).  Other studies discuss  
            the advantage of ballot placement content and contend that  
            there is an advantage to being listed first on the ballot and  
            that offices in the middle and the bottom of the ballot tend  
            to receive less attention.  According to a Sacramento Bee  
            editorial provided by the author's office, approximately 6.7  
            million ballots were cast in the November 4, 2014 General  
            Election and only 5.4 million of them included a vote for  
            either of the two candidates running for the Office of SPI.

          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No

          SUPPORT:   (Verified6/16/15)


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          California Association of Clerks and Election Officials 

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified6/16/15)

          None received

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  74-0, 5/22/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla,  
            Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau,  
            Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly,  
            Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina  
            Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez,  
            Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Roger Hernández, Holden,  
            Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine, Linder, Lopez, Low,  
            Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Melendez, Mullin,  
            Nazarian, Obernolte, Patterson, Perea, Quirk, Rendon,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Steinorth, Mark  
            Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Wilk, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Alejo, Jones, O'Donnell, Olsen, Waldron,  

          Prepared by:Frances Tibon Estoista / E. & C.A. / (916) 651-4106
          6/18/15 12:00:19

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