BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 439|
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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SB 439
          Author:   Allen (D)
          Amended:  4/15/15  
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE ELECTIONS & C.A. COMMITTEE:  4-1, 4/21/15
           AYES:  Allen, Hancock, Hertzberg, Liu
           NOES:  Anderson

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  5-2, 5/11/15
           AYES:  Lara, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza
           NOES:  Bates, Nielsen

           SUBJECT:   Election procedures: conditional voter registration:  
                      ballot on demand systems


          SOURCE:    Author


          DIGEST:  This bill permits county elections officials to offer  
          conditional voter registration and provisional voting at  
          satellite offices during the entire 14 days immediately  
          preceding Election Day and establishes criteria for the use of  
          ballot on   demand printing systems.  This system is commonly  
          referred to as either "election day voter registration" or "same  
          day voter registration."


          ANALYSIS: 


          Existing law:








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          1)Provides that a properly executed affidavit of voter  
            registration shall be deemed effective upon receipt by the  
            elections official if postmarked or received on or before the  
            15th day prior to an election to be held in the registrant's  
            precinct.

          2)Provides for conditional voter registration whereby a  
            qualified person may register to vote after the 15th day prior  
            to an election or on Election Day, and cast a provisional  
            ballot which will be counted if the conditional voter  
            registration is deemed effective.

          3)Requires county elections officials to offer conditional voter  
            registration and provisional voting at its permanent offices,  
            and permits them to offer this type of registration and voting  
            at satellite offices on Election Day. 

          4)Specifies that conditional voter registration, as described  
            above, becomes operative on January 1 of the year following  
            the year in which the Secretary of State (SOS) certifies that  
            the state has a statewide voter registration database that  
            complies with the requirements of the federal Help America  
            Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).  It is anticipated that this  
            statewide voter database will become operative in 2016,  
            therefore conditional voter registration will commence in  
            2017.

          5)Requires the SOS to adopt regulations governing the  
            manufacture, finishing, quality standards, distribution, and  
            inventory control of ballot cards and requires the biennial  
            inspection of the manufacturing, finishing, and storage  
            facilities involving ballot cards. 

          6)Requires the SOS to also approve each ballot card manufacturer  
            or finisher before a manufacturer or finisher provides ballot  
            cards for use in California elections.

          This bill:

          1)Permits county elections officials to offer conditional voter  
            registration and provisional voting at satellite offices after  
            the 15th day prior to an election through and including  
            Election Day. 







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          2)Requires the SOS to adopt regulations for purposes of  
            certifying ballot on demand systems and requires the SOS to  
            approve each ballot on demand system before the system is  
            deployed for use in California elections. 

          3)Prohibits a jurisdiction from purchasing, leasing, or  
            contracting for, and a vendor, company, or person from  
            selling, leasing, or contracting with a jurisdiction for, a  
            ballot on demand system unless the ballot on demand system has  
            been certified by the SOS.

          4)Defines "ballot on demand system" as a self-contained system  
            that allows users to do any of the following on an as-needed  
            basis:

             a)   Manufacture or finish ballot sheets or unfinished ballot  
               cards.

             b)   Manufacture and finish card stock.

             c)   Finish unfinished ballot cards into ballot cards.

          Background
          
          Pending Election Day registration in California.  AB 1436  
          (Feuer, Chapter 497, Statutes of 2012) provided for Election Day  
          voter registration in California but it will not be implemented  
          until 2017, following the certification of VoteCal, the new  
          HAVA-compliant statewide voter database.  While AB 1436 requires  
          county elections officials to offer voter registration and  
          concurrent voting by provisional ballot at the official's  
          permanent office during the 14 days following the normal close  
          of registration through Election Day it limits this convenience  
          to electors at satellite office locations to only Election Day  
          itself.
           
           Election Day voter registration in other states.  According to  
          the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 10 states  
          plus the District of Columbia presently offer Election Day voter  
          registration, allowing any qualified resident of the state to go  
          to the polls or an election official's office on Election Day,  
          register that day, and then vote.  Like California, Hawaii has  
          also enacted Election Day voter registration but has not yet  







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          implemented it.  Illinois piloted Election Day voter  
          registration at limited locations during the 2014 General  
          Election and it will be implemented statewide June 1, 2015.  In  
          most other states, voters must register by a deadline prior to  
          Election Day.  The deadline varies by state, with most falling  
          between eight and 30 days before the election.

          Ballot on demand systems.  Ballot on demand printing systems are  
          used in elections official's offices and other locations in  
          order to provide any voter with his or her proper ballot  
          regardless of the precinct to which the voter is assigned.   
          While some counties are currently using ballot on demand  
          printing systems that have been approved by prior SOS, current  
          statutes require the approval process to be conducted on a  
          county by county (and location by location) basis which is very  
          cumbersome and serves as a disincentive for counties to  
          participate.  For instance, if a single county wants to use a  
          ballot on demand system, that county would have to seek separate  
          approval for each location where they anticipate usage.




          Comments




          1)According to the author:



            As a way of accommodating what should be an enormous number of  
            last-minute registrants, SB 439 will allow county elections  
            officials to offer voter registration and voting at satellite  
            offices during the entire 14 days immediately preceding  
            Election Day in addition to their main offices.  

            In order to facilitate this process more cost-effectively and  
            make the experience quicker and more convenient for voters, SB  
            439 will also establish clear statutory authority and criteria  
            for the use of ballot on demand printing systems.  The SOS  
            will then be free to certify the Ballot on Demand System as  
            systems instead of each county having to seek individual  







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            approval.


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


          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:


           Minor administrative costs to the SOS (General Fund).


          The SOS will incur minor costs for revising existing regulations  
          for purposes of certifying ballot on demand systems.


          SUPPORT:   (Verified5/11/15)


          California Association of Clerks and Election Officials
          California Public Interest Research Group
          Secretary of State


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/11/15)


          None received


          Prepared by:Darren Chesin / E. & C.A. / (916) 651-4106
          5/13/15 16:37:49


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