CA Legislation Affecting Election Administration

2007-2008 Session of the California Legislature

The following describes legislation introduced in the 2007-2008 Session which affects the work of election officials. There are three sections below 1) Bill introduced, passed, and signed (and therefore enacted) in 2007 2) Bills introduced, passed and vetoed in 2007 and 3) Bills introduced in 2007 and continuing or bills introduced in 2008.

Regarding bills in the third section below. The 2007-2008 Session ended on August 31, 2008. The bills below that passed in August were sent to the Governor on Sept 17 and 18. He vetoed all of those except one: SB 381. The standard veto message was:

'I am returning _____ Bill ______ without my signature. The historic delay in passing the
2008-2009 State Budget has forced me to prioritize the bills sent to
my desk at the end of the year's legislative session. Given the
delay, I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for
California. This bill does not meet that standard and I cannot sign
it at this time. Sincerely, Arnold Schwarzenegger'

The other six enacted or 'chaptered' bills below were all signed on or before August 1, 2008.

To see the status, history or text of any bill listed below go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html then change the session to '(2007-2008)PRIOR,' chose the appropriate house (Assembly for AB and Senate for SB) and then enter the bill number and hit search.



Bills enacted in 2007

Registration

SB 603 - Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking and for Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers and Patients - extended to January 1, 2013

SB 768 - Confidentiality of Voter Registration Information - DL#, CA ID #, SS#

AB 452 - Voter Registration Notification - Include change in party affiliation and instructions if that is incorrect; SoS and county election officials may develop procedures to promptly reregister voters who believe their registration was changed improperly.

SB 854 - Voter Registration Opportunities For High School And College Students - Students can submit registration forms to the SoS, students can opt to have automated class registration system produce voter registration form preprinted with personal information, report by SoS on number of forms sent and completed, voter registration coordinator for SoS to contact at each school.

Absentee/Vote-by-mail 

AB 223 - Voting by Military Called to Service in the United States : Extends provision allowing voted ballots to be returned by fax to absentee voters called to military services in the United States on or after the absentee ballot application deadline. Allows application to be submitted by fax, email, or on-line transmission if county makes transmission option possible, allows application in a California county in which recalled to service if different from county in which registered, and requires election official from county in which called to service but not registered to obtain and send appropriate ballot from county in which registered.

AB 1243 - Change of Term 'Absentee' to 'Vote-by-Mail' - restates AB 1287, SB 603 and AB 223 and changes language where it says 'absent' or 'absentee' to 'vote-by-mail.'

Election Day Issues

SB 113 - Presidential Primary in February - Presidential primary to be held on the first Tuesday of February and cannot be consolidated with the statewide direct primary for that year.

AB 1287 - Satellite Voting Location after Disaster - changes date to notice voters about satellite location from 14 days before the election to 48 hours before the election.

AB 917 - Availability of Paper Ballots and Parallel Monitoring of DRE Systems - If ballots run out, election officials shall deliver enough extra ballots so that all eligible voters can cast their ballots within two hours; while waiting for deliver voters get option of alternative procedure to cast ballot (that has been approved by the SoS); when DRE's are present in polling places: certain percentages of paper ballots (out of registered voters) must be available; paper ballots (if available) must be provided to voters on request; county election officials must establish procedures for use of paper ballots if DRE is non-functional; provisional ballots may be used as regular ballots and must be counted as regular ballot if voter is otherwise qualified. SoS shall conduct parallel monitoring of DRE systems when precinct has more than one DRE system, and the results must be made available prior to certification of the election.

AB 288 - Voter Intimidation Restitution Fund - Any person convicted of voter intimidation may be charged a restitution fee which goes to this fund to be used by the SoS for voter education addressing the specific crime committed.

Other issues affecting election officials

AB 18 - Use of Signature Stamp by Voters - Voter who by reason of disability is unable to write may use a signature stamp or authorized another to use the stamp in place of a signature or mark, with certain conditions. SoS must report on use of stamps to Legislature by January 1, 2009.

AB 119 - Cost of Elections - Elections conducted during 2007 must be paid for out of county treasuries unless called by a city (and then must be paid by the city) or a vacancy in state or federal legislative district (and then must be paid by the state)

AB 1734 - Election Records Format - The ballot choices of decline-to-state voters in a partisan primary must be made available in either printed or electronic form when requested. The statement of vote of all candidates and measures in a statewide election must be sent to the SoS in electronic format.



Bills vetoed in 2007

Registration

AB 183 - Report on Voter Registration in High Schools - School districts with high schools must report on (and publish on website) voter registration efforts.

AB 1551 - Website Or Toll-Free Telephone Number To Verify Registration Status.

SB 382 - New Citizens Can Register Up Until the Close Of Polls On Election Day. 

Absentee/Vote-by-mail

AB 44 - Candidate Statements Provided with Absentee Ballots

AB 773 - Return Absentee Ballot To Any Polling Place In The State

AB 1167 - Notice To Voters Re Extra Postage Needed For Absentee Ballot Return - also negotiate with USPS on handling ballots with insufficient postage, report on plan, all posted on SoS website.

Election Day Issues

AB 466 - Student Poll Workers and Average Daily Attendance

AB 614 - Language Assistance And Poll Workers : Local election officials report to SOS on language assistance efforts, recruit bilingual poll workers for precincts which must have translated ballots posted, community organizations help decide which precincts, election officials evaluate complaints against poll workers, SOS develop with advisory board list of best practices for training poll workers.

AB 1294 - Local Elections Conducted by Ranked Voting Under Certain Conditions

AB 122 - Copies Of Laws That Prohibit Voter Intimidation And Fraud Issued To Candidates 

Other issues affecting election officials

SB 408 - Petition Circulators Residency Requirement - Initiative and referendum petition circulators must be either registered to vote in or have lived for a prescribed period of time in the jurisdiction to which the initiative or referendum would apply.

SB 439 - Intent of Write-in Vote - Write-in vote counted if voter's intent can be determined even if voter has not literally complied with the voting instructions.



Bills continuing or introduced in 2008


Registration

AB 1862 - Residency Confirmation - County election officials send an alternate residency confirmation postcard each July to all voters who have not voted or updated their registration in 4 years; names of voters placed in inactive file under certain conditions - (hearings cancelled 4-8-08 and not reset)

AB 2317 - Proof Of Citizenship When Submit New Registration or Re-Registration In Different County (Failed in committee 4-10-08)

AB 1819 - Voter Registration at 16 years of Age - Submit affidavit of registration at 16 years to be effective at 18 years (In Senate Appropriations at end of session)

AB 2371 - DMV Application And State Tax Return Are Automatic Voter Registration (In Assembly Appropriations at end of session)

SB 381 - Online Voter Registration -
person holding DMV-issued ID can submit affidavit of registration electronically on Secretary of State (SOS) website; SOS obtains signature from DMV. (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08, Enacted 9-30-08, Effective when SOS certifies that CA has a HAVA-compliant statewide voter registration database)


Vote-by-mail

AB 643 - Absentee Ballot Processing Report (In Senate Inactive File since 9-4-07; amended on 8-22-08 to become bill about voting device testing - see below under 'Other Issues')

AB 2964 - Free Access System to Check on Status of Vote-by-Mail Ballot - Local 'free access' system to allow Vote-by-Mail voter to determine if ballot was counted, and if not counted, why - (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-18-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

AB 1662 - Special Runoff Ballot for Military and Overseas Voters (In Senate Appropriations since 4-1-08 and at end of session)

AB 984 - Notice To Voters Re Extra Postage Needed for Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return - Same as AB 1167 vetoed in 2007 but without other provisions (In Senate Appropriations at end of session)

AB 1928 - Notice to Voters on Identification Envelope or in Instructions that Vote-By-Mail Ballot must be received by county election officials by the close of polls on election day and that postmarks on election day are not sufficient. (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08; Vetoed on 9-28-08)

AB 2218 - Local Government Property Assessment Elections - Declaration and instructions on ballots for local government property assessment elections (In Senate Appropriations at end of session)

AB 2958 - Send Notice Of Polling Place To Permanent Vote-By-Mail Voters (In Senate Appropriations at end of session)

AB 1292 - Candidate Statements Provided with Vote-by-Mail Ballots - Same as AB 44 vetoed in 2007 except added that not required for voters who registered to vote-by-mail less than 29 days prior to the election - (Vetoed 9-1-08 - consideration of veto pending in Assembly at end of session)

AB 2786 - Faxing Of Voted Military And Overseas Ballots
- Extends sunset, to 1-1-11, of the law allowing UOCAVA ballots to be returned by fax - (Enacted 8-1-08)


Election Day Issues

AB 1828 - Jury Exemption for Poll Workers (Failed in committee 3-25-08)

AB 2634 - Make Statewide General Election Day a State Holiday (Failed in committee 4-16-08)

AB 2953 - Nonpartisan Voters at Primary Elections - Poll workers inform non-partisan voters of party ballots available in primary election (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-18-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

SB 1749 - Secretary of State authorized to adopt uniform standards for the online training of poll workers and Secretary of State encouraged to assess poll worker training needs and promote poll worker option to state employees (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08; Vetoed on 9-28-08)

AB 2633 - Precincts, Precinct Boards, and Polling Places - Changes to how precincts can be consolidated, precinct boards assigned, and polling place locations with precinct boundaries (In Senate Appropriations at end of session)

SB 1694 - Election Reform Act of 2008 - Ballot availability for all voters and noticing for non-partisan voters in a primary. (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

AB 3068 - Secretary of State conduct parallel monitoring only in precincts that have more than one direct recording electronic (DRE) voting system (amended on 7-2-08 to bill regarding billing for candidate statements - see below under 'Other Issues')

AB 3014 - Time in Voting Booth - Eliminates time limit on time in voting booth (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

SB 1235 - Notice of Polling Place Change at the former polling place (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

SB 967 - Number of Voters per Precinct - Election official may subtract permanent vote-by-mail voters when determining number of voters in precincts under certain circumstances (Earlier version passed in Senate in 2007 and amended version passed in both houses in 2008 and to enrollment 8-11-08; Enrolled and to Governor on 9-17-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

AB 3026 - Voting Systems and Electronic Transmission - No voting system connected to Internet at any time or election data transmitted by modem or wireless communications. (Enacted 2-22-08, Effective 1-1-09)

AB 3070 - Special Legislative/Congressional Vacancy Elections - Special primary to fill vacancies on date that local or statewide election already scheduled for part or all of the vacant territory (Enacted 7-10-08, Effective 1-1-09)


Other Issues Affecting Election Officials

SB 1465 - Political Activity Restrictions for Election Officials (hearings cancelled and not reset as of end of session)

AB 2892 - Voter Consent for Pesticide Application
- Conduct election to obtain consent of 2/3 of area before aerial pesticide application (passed Election Committee 4-10-08 and then failed in Agriculture Committee 4-16-08)

AB 2858 - Recount Procedures - Specific procedures for requesting and conducting recounts for certain types of offices (Failed in committee 4-10-08)

AB 2959 - Provide Itemized Cost Of Recount To Voter Requesting Recount (Vetoed August 2008 - consideration of veto pending in Assembly at end of session)

AB 643 - Notice to Public re Testing of Voting Devices (In Assembly Rules Committe when session ended)

AB 3068 - Billing for Candidate Statements (Enrolled and to Governor on 9-18-08; Vetoed on 9-27-08)

AB 2597 - Appropriates $878,000 to California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to pay claims resulting from county special election costs (Enacted and effective on 6-23-08)

AB 1808 - Candidate Information
- Candidates for US Senate can purchase space in the state ballot pamphlet and candidates for US Representative can purchase space in the county sample ballot; SOS must provide information in the state ballot pamphlet about any Supreme Court justices on the ballot and a notice in the pamphlet directing voters to its website for information on candidates for US President or US Vice President (Enacted 7-17-08, Effective 1-1-09)

AB 2758 - Source Code for Voting Systems
- Vendors submit source code for certified voting systems into escrow (Enacted on 7-22-08, Effective 1-1-09)

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