Some of the 502 bills introduced in the legislature to modify the CA Election processes since 2015.
SB 450 – Signed into law in September 2016 – Voters will soon cast ballots in ‘centers’ instead of neighborhood polling places in 2018
California is on the verge of sweeping changes to its election system intended to boost plummeting voter turnout.
Based on a model used in Colorado, Senate Bill 450 would authorize counties beginning in 2018 to conduct elections where every voter is mailed a ballot and drop-off locations are available up to four weeks ahead of time in lieu of polling places. Temporary “vote centers” would also be open starting 10 days before the election to register voters and accept ballots.
“The idea, members, is that limiting voters to a single location on a single day within a single period of time simply no longer makes sense,” state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, the measure’s author, said. “Many, many people who fully intended to vote don’t end up voting because of convenience.”
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article98729012.html#storylink=cpy
Senate Bill 450 sets California on the same path as Colorado and some other states that have created vote centers and ballot drop-off boxes in response to the soaring use of vote-by-mail ballots and shrinking numbers of polling place voters.
Besides Sacramento, counties authorized to use the centers by 2018 include Orange, Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, and Tuolumne. All other counties, including Los Angeles, would be covered by the law in 2020.
AB 1494: After 6 seperate votes by the CA Legislature over 8 months they passed AB 1494 which allows voters to share how they voted, such as through “ballot selfies.” The actual language:
After the ballot is marked, a voter shall not show it to any person in a manner that reveals its contents, except as provided in subdivision (b).
(b) A voter may voluntarily disclose how he or she voted if that voluntary act does not violate any other law.
AB 1921: Anyone can now return Vote By Mail ballots for a voter
Existing law requires that the vote by mail ballot be available to any registered voter. Under existing law, a voter who is unable to return his or her vote by mail ballot may designate his or her spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, or person residing in the same household as the vote by mail voter to return the vote by mail ballot. Except in the case of a candidate or the spouse of a candidate, existing law prohibits the return of a voter’s vote by mail ballot by one of those designees who is also a paid or volunteer worker of a general purpose committee, controlled committee, or any other group or organization at whose behest the individual designated to return the ballot is performing a service.
This bill would remove those restrictions and instead authorize the designation of any person to return a vote by mail ballot. The bill would prohibit a person designated to return a vote by mail ballot from receiving any form of compensation, as defined, based on the number of ballots that the person has returned and would prohibit an individual, group, or organization from providing compensation on this basis. The bill would state that any person in charge of a vote by mail ballot who knowingly and willingly engages in criminal acts related to that ballot is subject to the appropriate punishment pursuant to existing law.
AB 1970 – Elections: vote by mail and provisional ballots.
I guess since the CA Secretary of State never implemented a provisional ballot voter’s right to know if their ballot was counted it is repeated in this law:
Existing law requires the Secretary of State to prepare and distribute to appropriate elections officials a uniform application and uniform electronic application format for a vote by mail voter’s ballot that conforms to specified requirements. Existing law requires the Secretary of State to establish a free access system that permits any voter who casts a provisional ballot to discover whether the voter’s provisional ballot was counted and if not, the reason why it was not counted. Existing law authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt regulations to ensure the uniform application of statutory provisions regarding provisional voting.
In addition since the June 2016 primary proved beyond a reasonable doubt that voters in different counties were told different rules on how to vote this bill adds:
This bill would additionally require the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations establishing guidelines for county elections officials relating to the processing of vote by mail and provisional ballots.
SB 1349: The Political Reform Act of 1974 required elected officials, candidates for elective office, and committees formed primarily to support or oppose a candidate for public office or a ballot measure, along with other entities, to file periodic campaign statements. The act requires that these campaign statements contain prescribed information related to campaign contributions and expenditures of the filing entities. Existing law, the Online Disclosure Act, requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Fair Political Practices Commission, to develop online and electronic filing processes for use by these persons and entities. The CA SOS later set a goal for a robust online system shall be made available no later than December 31, 2002. Now the legislature nearly 42 years later is setting another deadline that requires the Secretary of State’s Office and Fair Political Practices Commission, by early 2019, to replace the cumbersome Cal-Access campaign-finance system.
AB 2089: VETOED BY GOVERNOR Vote by mail ballots: voter notification.
Since this was never established where Voters can find out if their Vote By Mail ballot was counted – the online system for that information does not happen in any county that i know of:
Existing law requires a county elections official to establish a free access system that allows a vote by mail voter to learn if his or her vote by mail ballot was counted, and, if not, the reason why the ballot was not counted. Existing law requires the elections official to make the free access system available to a vote by mail voter upon completion of the official canvass and for 30 days after completion of the official canvass.
I guess actually notifying a vote by mail voter’s that their ballot were not counted was just unacceptable to the Governor. There is no statewide total of these uncounted ballots, no records of ballots tossed.
If a voter casts a vote by mail ballot, this bill would additionally require a county elections official, within 30 days after completion of the official canvass, to notify the voter if the ballot was not counted, including the reason it was not counted. By imposing an additional duty on local elections officials, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
SB 1288. VETOED BY GOVERNOR despite Senator votes of 26 AYE and 12 NO and Assemblymember votes of 48 AYE and 26 NO. The Bill would have allowed general law local governments to use ranked-choice voting. The Governors the Voters are too stupid to understand how to vote statement:
“In a time when we want to encourage more voter participation, we need to keep voting simple,” Brown wrote in his veto message for SB 1288 . “Ranked choice voting is overly complicated and confusing. I believe it deprives voters of genuinely informed choice.”
AB-2021– Passed and signed into law – Election process: public observation: international election observers.
Existing law generally permits the public to observe the election process. Existing law requires the precinct board member to conduct certain election day procedures in the presence of all persons assembled at the polling place. Existing law requires the semifinal official canvass and official canvass to be open to the public. Existing law requires the processing of vote by mail ballot return envelopes and the processing and counting of vote by mail ballots to be open to the public. Existing law requires a recount to be conducted publicly. Existing law permits interested persons to participate in a public review and public hearing process for the certification or conditional approval of a ballot marking system.
This bill would allow an international election observer, as defined, to be provided uniform and nondiscriminatory access to all stages of the election process that are open to the public. This bill would prohibit an international election observer from interfering with a voter in the preparation or casting of the voter’s ballot, with a precinct board member of an elections official in the performance of his or her duties, or with the orderly conduct of an election.
SB 415: Voter participation. Passed and signed into law
Existing law generally requires all state, county, municipal, district, and school district elections be held on an established election date. Existing law also establishes certain dates for statewide elections. Existing law requires any state, county, municipal, district, and school district election held on a statewide election date to be consolidated with a statewide election, except as provided.
This bill, commencing January 1, 2018, would prohibit a political subdivision, as defined, from holding an election other than on a statewide election date if holding an election on a nonconcurrent date has previously resulted in voter turnout for a regularly scheduled election in that political subdivision being at least 25% less than the average voter turnout within the political subdivision for the previous 4 statewide general elections, except as specified.
This bill would require a court to implement appropriate remedies upon a violation of this prohibition. The bill would authorize a voter who resides in a political subdivision where a violation is alleged to file an action in superior court to enforce this prohibition, and it would allow a prevailing plaintiff other than the state or political subdivision to collect a reasonable attorney’s fee and litigation expenses, as provided.
AB 2071: Vote by mail ballots – added three days after election day to be delivered.
Existing law required that all vote by mail ballots cast be received by the elections official from whom they were obtained or by the precinct board no later than the close of the polls on election day or no later than 8 p.m. on election day, as specified.
Notwithstanding this requirement, existing law provides that a vote by mail ballot is considered timely cast if it is received by the voter’s election official via the United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than 3 days after election day if a specified requirement is met.
This bill would define “bona fide private mail delivery company” for purposes of the above-described exception for ballots delivered after election day.
AB 1461: California to register voters automatically at DMV
Existing law, the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993, requires a state to, among other things, establish procedures to register a person to vote by application made simultaneously with an application for a new or renewal of a motor vehicle driver’s license. The federal act requires the motor vehicle driver’s license application to serve as an application for voter registration with respect to an election for federal office, unless the applicant fails to sign the application, and requires the application to be considered as updating the applicant’s previous voter registration, if any. The federal act defines “motor vehicle driver’s license” to include any personal identification document issued by a state motor vehicle authority.
Under existing state law, a person may not be registered to vote except by affidavit of registration. Existing law requires a properly executed affidavit of registration to be deemed effective upon receipt of the affidavit by the county elections official if the affidavit is submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles on or before the 15th day before the election. Existing state law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Secretary of State to develop a process and the infrastructure to allow a person who is qualified to register to vote in the state to register to vote online.
Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses and state identification cards to applicants who meet specified criteria and provide the department with the required information. Existing law generally requires an applicant for an original driver’s license or state identification card to submit satisfactory proof to the department that the applicant’s presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.
This bill would require the Secretary of State and the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish the California New Motor Voter Program for the purpose of increasing opportunities for voter registration by any person who is qualified to be a voter. Under the program, after the Secretary of State certifies that certain enumerated conditions are satisfied, the Department of Motor Vehicles would be required to electronically provide to the Secretary of State the records of each person who is issued an original or renewal of a driver’s license or state identification card or who provides the department with a change of address, as specified. The person’s motor vehicle records would then constitute a completed affidavit of registration and the person would be registered to vote, unless the person affirmatively declined to be registered to vote during a transaction with the department, the department did not represent to the Secretary of State that the person attested that he or she meets all voter eligibility requirements, as specified, or the Secretary of State determines that the person is ineligible to vote. The bill would require the Secretary of State to adopt regulations to implement this program, as specified.
Under existing law, the willful, unauthorized disclosure of information from a Department of Motor Vehicles record to any person, or the use of any false representation to obtain information from a department record or any use of information obtained from any department record for a purpose other than the one stated in the request or the sale or other distribution of the information to a person or organization for purposes not disclosed in the request is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or both fine and imprisonment.
This bill would provide that disclosure of information contained in the records obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to the California New Motor Voter Program is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or both fine and imprisonment. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.