AB 2010, as introduced, Ridley-Thomas. Samples ballots and voter pamphlets.
Existing law permits a candidate for a nonpartisan elective office in any local agency, which includes any city, county, city and county, or district, to prepare a written statement, pursuant to specified guidelines, to be included in a voter’s pamphlet that is mailed to each voter. Existing law requires each voter’s pamphlet to contain a notice in the heading of the first page of that pamphlet that, among other things, each candidate’s statement in the pamphlet is volunteered by the candidate. Existing law requires an elections official to provide a Spanish translation to those candidates who wish to have one.
Existing law authorizes a county or city elections official to establish procedures designed to permit a voter to opt out of receiving his or her voter’s pamphlet and other related materials by mail, and instead obtain them electronically via email or by accessing them on the county’s or city’s Internet Web site, provided specified conditions are met.
This bill would authorize the governing body of a local agency to permit a candidate for nonpartisan elective office in the local agency to prepare a written statement for electronic distribution. This bill would require the statement to be posted on the Internet Web site of the elections official, permit the statement to be included in a voter’s pamphlet that is electronically distributed, and prohibit the statement from being included in a voter’s pamphlet that is printed and mailed to voters. This bill would require the elections official to provide a Spanish translation to those candidates who wish to have one. This bill would require the notice in the heading of the first page of the voter’s pamphlet, in certain circumstances, to specify that additional statements are available on the Internet Web site of the elections official.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 13307 of the Elections Code is amended
(a) (1) Each candidate for nonpartisan elective office
4in any local agency, including any city, county, city and county,
5or district, may prepare a candidate’s statement on an appropriate
6form provided by the elections official. The statement may include
7the name, age, and occupation of the candidate and a brief
8description, of no more than 200 words, of the candidate’s
9education and qualifications expressed by the candidate himself
10or herself. However, the governing body of the local agency may
11authorize an increase in the limitations on words for the statement
12from 200 to 400 words. The statement shall not include the party
13affiliation of the candidate, nor membership or activity in partisan
15(2) The statement
authorized by this subdivision shall be filed
16in the office of the elections official when the candidate’s
17nomination papers are returned for filing, if it is for a primary
18election, or for an election for offices for which there is no primary.
19The statement shall be filed in the office of the elections official
20no later than the 88th day before the election, if it is for an election
21for which nomination papers are not required to be filed. If a runoff
22election or general election occurs within 88 days of the primary
23or first election, the statement shall be filed with the elections
24official by the third day following the governing body’s declaration
25of the results from the primary or first election.
26(3) Except as provided in Section 13309, the statement may be
27withdrawn, but not changed, during the period for filing nomination
P3 1papers and until 5 p.m. of the next working day after the close of
2the nomination period.
3(b) (1) The elections official shall send to each voter, together
4with the sample ballot, a voter’s pamphlet
begin delete whichend delete contains the
5written statements of each candidate that is prepared pursuant to
begin delete this section.end delete The statement of each candidate shall
7be printed in type of uniform size and darkness, and with uniform
9(2) The elections official shall provide a Spanish translation to
10those candidates who wish to have one, and shall select a person
11to provide that translation who is one of the following:
12(A) A certified and registered interpreter on the Judicial Council
14(B) An interpreter categorized as “certified” or “professionally
15qualified” by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
16(C) From an institution accredited by a regional or national
17accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of
19(D) A current voting member in good standing of the American
21(E) A current member in good standing of the American
22Association of Language Specialists.
6 The local agency may estimate the total cost of printing,
begin delete and mailing theend delete candidate’s statements filed pursuant to this section,
9including costs incurred as a result of complying with the federal
10Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended. The local agency may
11require each candidate filing a statement to pay in advance to the
12local agency his or her estimated pro rata share as a condition of
13having his or her statement included in the voter’s pamphlet. In the event the estimated payment is
15required, the receipt for the payment shall include a written notice
16that the estimate is just an approximation of the actual cost that
17varies from one election to another election and may be
18significantly more or less than the estimate, depending on the actual
19number of candidates filing statements. Accordingly, the local
20agency is not bound by the estimate and may, on a pro rata basis,
21bill the candidate for additional actual expense or refund any excess
22paid depending on the final actual cost. In the event of
23underpayment, the local agency may require the candidate to pay
24the balance of the cost incurred. In the event of overpayment, the
begin delete which,end delete or the elections official who, collected
26the estimated cost shall prorate the excess amount among the
27candidates and refund the excess amount paid within 30 days of
30 Nothing in this section shall be deemed to make any
31statement, or the authors thereof, free or exempt from any civil or
32criminal action or penalty because of any false, slanderous, or
33libelous statements offered for printing or contained in the voter’s pamphlet.
36 Before the nominating period opens, the local agency for
37that election shall determine whether a charge shall be levied
38against that candidate for the candidate’s statement sent to each
39voter. This decision
P5 1shall not be revoked or modified after the seventh day prior to the
2opening of the nominating period. A written statement of the
3regulations with respect to charges for handling, packaging,
begin delete andend delete
4 mailing shall be provided to each
5candidate or his or her representative at the time he or she picks
6up the nomination papers.
8 For purposes of this section and Section 13310, the board
9of supervisors shall be deemed the governing body of judicial
Section 13312 of the Elections Code is amended to
Each voter’s pamphlet prepared pursuant to
14 Section 13307 shall contain a
begin delete statementend delete
15 in the heading of the first page in heavy-faced gothic type, not
16smaller than 10-point,
begin delete that: (a), theend delete
18 pamphlet does not contain a complete list of
19candidates and that a complete list of candidates appears on the
20sample ballot (if any candidate is not listed in the
begin delete pamphlet), and
21that (b), eachend delete
22 candidate’s statement in the pamphlet
23volunteered by the
begin delete candidate,end delete and (if printed at the
24candidate’s expense) is printed at his or her expense.