BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 439


                                                                    Page  1





          SENATE THIRD READING


          SB  
          439 (Allen)


          As Amended  June 11, 2015


          Majority vote


          SENATE VOTE:  23-12


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Elections       |5-2  |Ridley-Thomas, Gatto, |Grove, Travis Allen |
          |                |     |Low, Mullin, Perea    |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |12-4 |Gomez, Bloom, Bonta,  |Bigelow, Gallagher, |
          |                |     |Calderon, Daly,       |Jones, Wagner       |
          |                |     |Eggman, Eduardo       |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |Quirk, Rendon, Weber, |                    |
          |                |     |Wood                  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 


          SUMMARY:  Permits elections officials to offer conditional voter  
          registration at satellite offices prior to Election Day, as  








                                                                     SB 439


                                                                    Page  2





          specified.  Establishes processes and procedures for the review  
          and approval of ballot on demand systems and electronic poll  
          books, as defined, for use in California elections.   
          Specifically, this bill:  
          1)Permits a county elections official to offer conditional voter  
            registration and provisional voting at satellite offices on  
            days prior to Election Day, in addition to Election Day.
          2)Defines a "ballot on demand system" to mean 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 or finish card stock; or, 


             c)   Finish unfinished ballot cards into ballot cards.


          3)Requires the Secretary of State (SOS) to adopt regulations  
            governing the manufacture, finishing, quality standards,  
            distribution, and inventory control of ballot on demand  
            systems.  Requires the SOS to approve each ballot on demand  
            system before deploying the system for use in California  
            elections.  
          4)Requires the SOS to promulgate regulations for the purpose of  
            certifying ballot on demand systems.  


          5)Defines an "electronic poll book" to mean an electronic list  
            of registered voters that may be transported to the polling  
            location.  Requires an electronic poll book to contain the  
            same information that is required on the paper roster pursuant  
            to existing law. 


          6)Prohibits an electronic poll book from being used unless it  
            has been certified by the SOS.  








                                                                     SB 439


                                                                    Page  3







          7)Requires the SOS to adopt and publish electronic poll book  
            standards and regulations governing the certification and use  
            of electronic poll books.  Prohibits the SOS from certifying  
            an electronic poll book unless it fulfills the requirements of  
            this bill and the SOS's standards and regulations.  




          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, the SOS would incur ongoing General Fund costs of  
          about $90,000 for one position related to promulgating the  
          regulations and testing and certification of ballot on demand  
          systems and electronic poll books.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "SB 439 would allow a county  
          elections official to offer voter registration and voting at  
          satellite offices during the entire 14 days immediately  
          preceding Election Day and establish criteria for the use of  
          ballot on-demand (BOD) printing systems and electronic poll  
          books to facilitate this process as well as other early voting  
          efforts..."


          In 2012, the Legislature approved and Governor signed AB 1436  
          (Feuer), Chapter 497, Statutes of 2012, which established  
          conditional voter registration, also known as "same-day"  
          registration, in California.  Specifically, current law  
          authorizes a person who is otherwise qualified to register to  
          vote to complete a conditional voter registration and cast a  
          provisional ballot at the elections official's permanent office  
          during the 14 days immediately preceding an election or on  
          election day.  In addition, current law permits conditional  
          voter registration at elections official's satellite office on  
          Election Day only.  This bill authorizes a county elections  
          official to offer conditional voter registration and provisional  








                                                                     SB 439


                                                                    Page  4





          voting at satellites offices on other days instead of only on  
          Election Day.


          A ballot on demand system is a device that can print ballots on  
          demand for use in elections.  In practice, ballot on demand  
          systems are used in elections officials' 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.  Current law requires a ballot on demand system to be  
          approved using the same approval process that is in place for  
          commercial ballot printing operations.  Consequently, a ballot  
          on demand system's approval process must be conducted on a  
          county by county (and location by location) basis.   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.  This bill redefines  
          what it means to be a ballot on demand system.  In addition,  
          instead of requiring ballot on demand systems to be approved  
          similar to ballot printing operations, this bill creates a new  
          certification and approval process for ballot on demand systems,  
          as specified.  


          An electronic poll book is an electronic version of the  
          traditional paper poll book which contains a list of the  
          registered voters in each precinct or district.  An electronic  
          poll book typically looks like a tablet or laptop computer and  
          is used to more quickly and accurately check in a voter at his  
          or her precinct or voting sites.  Many electronic poll books  
          have a variety of other functionalities.  For example, many  
          electronic poll books have the capability to allow a poll worker  
          to look up voters from the entire county or state, connect to a  
          county or state voter registration database, notify a poll  
          worker if a voter has already voted, allow a voter to sign in  
          electronically, produce turnout numbers and lists of those who  
          have voted, and receive immediate updates on who has voted in  
          other voting jurisdictions.  In California, however, electronic  
          poll books are in their infancy and simply serve as an  








                                                                     SB 439


                                                                    Page  5





          electronic list of registered voters in the precinct or  
          district.  This bill breaks new ground and creates a new  
          election-related policy that permits a county elections official  
          to use new technology to assist in checking voters in at polling  
          places and other voting sites and sets up processes and  
          procedures for the review and approval of electronic poll books  
          for use in California elections, as specified.  


          Analysis Prepared by:  Nichole Becker / E. & R. / (916) 319-2094  
           FN: 0001391