BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 365 (Pavley) - Vote by mail ballot drop boxes
          
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Version: May 4, 2015            |Policy Vote: E. & C.A. 3 - 1    |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Hearing Date:  May 11, 2015     |Consultant: Maureen Ortiz       |
          |                                |                                |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.




          


          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 365 authorizes county elections officials to  
          establish vote by mail (VBM) ballot drop-off locations, and  
          requires the Secretary of State (SOS) to promulgate regulations  
          establishing guidelines for security measures and procedures no  
          later than January 1, 2017.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  

           Approximately $55,000 in administrative expenses (General  
            Fund)

          The Secretary of State indicates costs of approximately $55,000  







          SB 365 (Pavley)                                        Page 1 of  
          ?
          
          
          to promulgate regulations.


          Background:  Existing law provides that all VBM ballots shall be voted on  
          or before the day of the election.  After marking the ballot,  
          the VBM voter must either return the ballot by mail or in person  
          at the county elections office, or return it to a member of a  
          precinct board at a polling place within the jurisdiction.
          Any voter who is unable to return the voted VBM by mail, or drop  
          it off at the elections office or polling place may designate  
          his or her spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild,  
          brother, sister, or a person residing in the same household to  
          return the ballot on his or her behalf.


          Elections officials must establish procedures to ensure the  
          secrecy of a VBM ballot returned to a precinct polling place and  
          the security, confidentiality, and integrity of any related  
          personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used.




          Proposed Law:  
            SB 365 does the following:
          1)  Authorizes a VBM voter to return the ballot to the elections  
          official from whom it came at a vote by mail ballot drop-off  
          location.


          2)  Defines "vote by mail ballot drop box" as a secure  
          receptacle established by a county or city and county elections  
          official whereby a voted vote by mail ballot may be returned to  
          the elections official from whom it was obtained.  


          3)  Defines "vote by mail ballot drop-off location" as a  
          location consisting of a secured vote by mail ballot drop box at  
          which a voted VBM ballot may be returned.


          4)  Requires the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations on  
          or before January 1, 2017.  The regulations must establish  
          guidelines based on best practices for security measures and  








          SB 365 (Pavley)                                        Page 2 of  
          ?
          
          
          procedures, including, but not limited to, chain of custody,  
          pick-up times, proper labeling, and security of the vote by mail  
          ballot drop boxes that the county may use if establishing the  
          VBM drop-off locations. 




          Related  
          Legislation:  This bill is similar to SB 240 (Yee) of 2013 which  
          would have required the establishment of VBM ballot drop-off  
          boxes at colleges and universities.  That bill failed passage in  
          the Assembly.


          Staff  
          Comments:  Staff notes that a number of counties already provide  
          ballot drop-off boxes at locations such as libraries, city  
          halls, county offices, non-profit and community organizations,  
          and others.

          SB 365 will statutorily authorize the use of ballot drop-off  
          locations as one of three methods that a vote-by-mail voter may  
          use to return his or her ballot.   
          Additionally, the bill defines "vote by mail ballot drop box" as  
          a secure receptacle established by a county or city and county  
          elections official whereby a voted VBM ballot may be returned to  
          the elections official from whom it was obtained.



                                      -- END --