as amended, Ridley-Thomas.
begin deleteSamples ballots and voter pamphlets. end delete
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
begin delete distribution.end delete 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 begin delete official.end delete
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
P3 1official by the third day following the governing body’s declaration
2of the results from the primary or first election.
3(3) Except as provided in Section 13309, the statement may be
4withdrawn, but not changed, during the period for filing nomination
5papers and until 5 p.m. of the next working day after the close of
6the nomination period.
7(b) (1) The elections official shall send to each voter, together
8with the sample ballot, a voter’s pamphlet that contains the written
9statements of each candidate that is prepared pursuant to
10subdivision (a). The statement of each candidate shall be printed
11in type of uniform size and darkness, and with uniform spacing.
12(2) The elections official shall provide a Spanish translation to
13those candidates who wish to have one, and shall select a person
14to provide that translation who is one of the following:
15(A) A certified and registered interpreter on the
17(B) An interpreter categorized as “certified” or “professionally
18qualified” by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
19(C) From an institution accredited by a regional or national
20accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of
22(D) A current voting member in good standing of the American
24(E) A current member in good standing of the American
25Association of Language Specialists.
26(c) (1) In addition to the statement prepared pursuant to
29 the governing body of a local agency may permit each candidate
30for nonpartisan elective office in the local agency to prepare a
31candidate's statement for the purpose of electronic distribution
32pursuant to this subdivision.
33(2) A statement prepared pursuant to this subdivision shall be
34posted on the Internet Web site of the elections official, and may
35be included in a voter's pamphlet that is electronically distributed
36by the elections official pursuant to Section 13300.7, but shall not
37be included in a voter's pamphlet that is printed and mailed to
38voters pursuant to subdivision (b).
39(3) A statement that is printed in the voter's pamphlet and
40to voters pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be included with the
P4 1statement that is prepared and electronically distributed pursuant
2to this subdivision.
3(4) A statement that is prepared and electronically distributed
4pursuant to this subdivision shall be displayed in type of uniform
5size and darkness, and with uniform spacing.
6(5) The elections official shall provide a Spanish translation to
7those candidates who wish to have one, and shall select a person
8to provide that translation who is one of the persons listed in
9paragraph (2) of subdivision (b).
10(d) The local agency may estimate the total cost of printing,
11handling, translating, mailing, and electronically distributing a
12candidate’s statements filed pursuant to this section, including
13costs incurred as a result of complying with the federal Voting
14Rights Act of 1965, as amended. The local agency may require
15each candidate filing a statement to pay in advance to the local
16agency his or her estimated pro rata share as a condition of having
17his or her statement included in the voter’s pamphlet or
18electronically distributed. In the event the estimated payment is
19required, the receipt for the payment shall include a written notice
20that the estimate is just an approximation of the actual cost that
21varies from one election to another election and may be
22significantly more or less than the estimate, depending on the actual
23number of candidates filing statements. Accordingly, the local
24agency is not bound by the estimate and may, on a pro rata basis,
25bill the candidate for additional actual expense or refund any excess
26paid depending on the final actual cost. In the event of
27underpayment, the local agency may require the candidate to pay
28the balance of the cost incurred. In the event of overpayment, the
29local agency that, or the elections official who, collected the
30estimated cost shall prorate the excess amount among the
31candidates and refund the excess amount paid within 30 days of
33(e) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to make any
34statement, or the authors thereof, free or exempt from any civil or
35criminal action or penalty because of any false, slanderous, or
36libelous statements offered for printing or electronic distribution
37pursuant to this section, or contained in the voter’s pamphlet.
38(f) Before the nominating period opens, the local agency for
39that election shall determine whether a charge shall be levied
40against that candidate for the candidate’s statement sent to each
P5 1voter and, if authorized pursuant to subdivision (c), for the
2electronically distributed candidate’s statement. This decision shall
3not be revoked or modified after the seventh day prior to the
4opening of the nominating period. A written statement of the
5regulations with respect to charges for handling, packaging,
6 mailing, and electronic distribution shall be provided to each
7candidate, or his or her representative, at the time he or she picks
8up the nomination papers.
9(g) For purposes of this section and Section 13310, the board
10of supervisors shall be deemed the governing body of judicial
In addition to the restrictions set forth in Section 13307,
15any candidate’s statement submitted pursuant to Section 13307
16shall be limited to a recitation of the candidate’s own personal
17background and qualifications, and shall not in any way make
18reference to other candidates for that office or to another
19candidate’s qualifications, character, or activities. The elections
20official shall not cause to be
begin delete printedend delete or circulated any statement that the elections official
22determines is not so limited or that includes any reference
23prohibited by this section.
Section 13312 of the Elections Code is amended to
(a) Each voter’s pamphlet prepared pursuant to
28subdivision (b) of Section 13307 shall contain a notice in the
29heading of the first
begin delete page in heavy-faced gothic type,end delete not
begin delete 10-pointend delete, that specifies both of the
32(1) That the pamphlet does not contain a complete list of
33candidates and that a complete list of candidates appears on the
34sample ballot (if any candidate is not listed in the pamphlet).
35(2) That each candidate’s statement in the pamphlet is
36volunteered by the candidate and (if printed at the candidate’s
37expense) is printed at his or her expense.
38(b) If a local agency has authorized each candidate for
39nonpartisan elective office to prepare a candidate’s statement for
40the purpose of electronic distribution pursuant to subdivision (c)
P6 1of Section 13307, and if a candidate has submitted a statement for
2that purpose, the notice required by subdivision (a) shall specify
3that additional statements are available on the Internet Web site
4of the elections official and shall include the Internet Web site
5address at which the statements may be viewed.