BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2010


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          2010 (Ridley-Thomas)


          As Amended  May 25, 2016


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 79-0 |(May 5, 2016)  |SENATE: |37-0  |(June 30, 2016)  |
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          Original Committee Reference:  E. & R.


          SUMMARY:  Permits local agencies to allow candidates for local,  
          nonpartisan elective office to submit candidate statements that  
          are electronically distributed, but are not included in the  
          voter's pamphlets that accompany the sample ballots.   
          Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Permits the governing body of a local agency to allow each  
            candidate for nonpartisan elective office in the agency to  
            prepare a candidate's statement for the purpose of electronic  
            distribution.  Provides that a statement prepared for  
            electronic distribution shall be posted on the Internet Web  
            site of the elections official, and may be included in a  
            voter's pamphlet that is electronically distributed by the  
            elections official, as specified.  Provides that a candidate's  
            statement prepared for electronic distribution shall not be  
            mailed to voters, as specified.










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          2)Requires candidate statements that are mailed to voters to be  
            electronically distributed in the same manner as any statement  
            that is submitted for electronic distribution.  Requires  
            statements that are electronically distributed pursuant to  
            this bill to be displayed in a type of uniform size and  
            darkness, and with uniform spacing.


          3)Requires the elections official to provide translations of  
            electronic candidate statements, upon request, in the same  
            manner as translations are provided for other candidate  
            statements.   


          4)Permits a local agency to require candidates who submit  
            electronic candidate statements to pay the estimated share of  
            having the statement electronically distributed in advance.   
            Provides that the local agency is not bound by the estimate  
            and may bill candidates for the additional actual expense or  
            refund any excess paid depending on the final actual cost.


          5)Requires each voter's pamphlet that contains candidate  
            statements from candidates for nonpartisan elective office of  
            a local agency, if the agency has authorized candidates to  
            prepare statements for electronic distribution, to include a  
            statement that additional statements are available on the  
            Internet Web site of the elections official, and requires the  
            statement to include the address of the Web site at which the  
            statements may be viewed.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)Permit the elections official who is conducting the election  
            to decide whether to allow candidates to submit candidate  
            statements for electronic distribution. 


          2)Delete a requirement that a specified notice about candidate  
            statements that appears in the voter's pamphlet must be  








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            printed in heavy-faced gothic type. 


          3)Make corresponding and technical changes.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "The cost of candidate  
          statements has a direct impact on the amount of information that  
          voters have about candidates who are running for local office.   
          In the November 2014 election, San Francisco did not charge  
          candidates for local nonpartisan office for placing a candidate  
          statement in the voter's pamphlet.  Of the 43 candidates running  
          for local, nonpartisan office, 42 submitted a candidate  
          statement to be included in the voter's pamphlet.  By contrast,  
          in jurisdictions where candidates must pay to have their  
          statements included in the voter's pamphlet, it is not uncommon  
          for less than 10% of candidates to have a statement appear in  
          the voter's pamphlet.  As people increasingly choose to access  
          information about elections electronically, and as elections  
          officials move to improve efficiency by providing more  
          information to voters in an electronic format, it makes sense to  
          provide a lower cost option for candidates to communicate with  
          voters about their qualifications."


          Every candidate for nonpartisan, local elective office has the  
          ability to prepare a candidate's statement to be included in a  
          voter's pamphlet that is sent to voters with the sample ballot.   
          Because sample ballots are sent to all voters except those who  
          register to vote shortly before the election, these statements  
          allow candidates to provide a large segment of the electorate  
          with information about their qualifications.


          In order to defray the costs of producing the voter's pamphlet,  
          existing law allows local agencies to charge candidates for the  
          costs of printing, handling, translating, and mailing candidate  
          statements to voters.  The cost of placing a candidate statement  








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          in the voter's pamphlet generally is related to the number of  
          voters who are eligible to vote for the office that a candidate  
          is seeking.  While the cost of a candidate's statement might be  
          less than $100 for a school board candidate in a small school  
          district, the estimated cost for a candidate for Superior Court  
          Judge in Orange County to provide a 400 word statement is nearly  
          $29,000.  In Los Angeles County, the cost for a candidate for  
          countywide office to place a candidate statement in the voter's  
          pamphlet exceeds $70,000, and could cost four times that amount  
          if the candidate chose to have the statement printed in Spanish  
          as well as English, and if the statement was long enough that it  
          extended onto a second page in the voter's pamphlet.


          The Senate amendments to this bill give the elections official  
          who is conducting the election the ability to decide whether to  
          allow candidates to submit candidate statements for electronic  
          distribution and make other minor and technical changes.  This  
          bill, as amended in the Senate, is consistent with Assembly  
          actions.


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Ethan Jones / E. & R. / (916) 319-2094  FN:  
          0003466