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    Setting Brushfires of Freedom by Don Jans

    Laws Affecting Elections

    From Election Integrity Project CA, Effective 1/1/2023

    AB 759

    Aligns election of district attorney and sheriff with presidential primary. Provides 6-year term for any

    DA or sheriff elected in 2022.

    If no candidate gets a majority, the top two move to the General Election.

    Authorizes county Board of Supervisors to adopt an ordinance to hold elections for other county officers

    with the presidential primary.

    AB 745

    Existing law prohibits, within 60-days before Election Day, distribution with actual malice of materially

    deceptive audio or visual media regarding any candidate who will be on the ballot with the intent to injure the candidate’s reputation or deceive voters to vote for or against the candidate. Media may avoid restriction if accompanied by a disclaimer. This bill extends the repeal date to January 1, 2027.

    If it’s a good law, why sunset it at all?  Major question—who decides what is “actual

    malice” or “intent”?

    AB 1416

    Extends requirements of ballot label for statewide measures and, at the option of the county, to include

    a listing of the people and organizations officially opposing or supporting the measure.

    This law unnecessarily lengthens the ballot, even at times pushing it to 2 cards.

              It also may confuse voters with more to read, and slow the in-person voting process.

              The law also makes the process, already paperwork- and time- intensive, even more so,

    thus de-incentivizing volunteer and citizen activist groups from participating in the

    activities of self-governance.

              The exact same information is clearly delineated in the Voter Guide received by every

    voter.  There is no need to spend the money to pay for the human hours to lengthen the ballot label, to fund the extra paper and ink to print (and mail) millions of ballots, and to make voting more confusing and stressful for the voter.

    AB 1619

    Requires that both paper and electronic affidavit of registration inform the applicant that the signature

    appearing on the affidavit may be used for signature verification purposes when processing petitions or ballots.

    This is a good addition. Since more and more new and updated registrations are being

              done electronically, the only signature available for comparison is the one provided at the

    DMV.  This message needs to be made very clear to would-be and current voters.

    AB 1631

    Requires a list of the precincts to which officials fluent in a non-English language were appointed,

    specifying which languages are accommodated in each, be publicly available on the county elections

    official’s internet website at least 14 days before an election.

    The language should be tightened to clarify the parameters of the time frame. Does “before

    an election” mean “before election day”, which would be very short notice (3 days) for the

     precincts in Voters Choice Act, or does it mean “before the first day of precinct voting” in

    the county? The helpfulness of the information is diminished unless the language is


    AB 1925

    Existing law requires (with specified exceptions) that an individual must be a registered voter of the county or district in which the duties of the office are to be exercised at the time that nomination papers are issued to the person.  This law removes the prerogative of the county Board of Supervisors or any other legally constituted appointing authority to waive those requirements.

    It is good that a candidate be required to be a registered voter in the same district he or she

    will be representing. But the language should extend to mandate that once elected, the

    representative reside in the represented district throughout the elected term.

    AB 2037

    Removes the prohibition of using a place where the primary purpose of the establishment is the sale and

    dispensation of alcoholic beverages as a polling place. The language in the rest of the law implies that the business may not be in operation for that purpose during polling hours.

    AB 2582

    Requires that a recall election for a local officer include only whether the officer should be recalled and removed from office or not. The vacancy created as a result of a successful recall will be vacant until filled “according to law”, not elected concurrently with the recall election.

    Requires that recall ballots for state officers provide one blank line for the write-in vote.

    Petitions for recall of school board members must include an estimate of the cost of conducting a special election.

    This law discourages self-governance at the level closest to the people by making the

    recall process for local office a two-step process. The ramifications are (a) leaving the

    people without representation for a lengthy period of time if the recall is successful by

    separating the recall election from the subsequent election to fill the position; and

    (b) making local recalls twice as expensive for the taxpayer by requiring double the

    number of elections.

    AB 2584

    Increases the number of required signatures on a recall petition, assigned based on the office in question.  Establishes those numbers.

    By increasing the number pf signatures to qualify a recall, this law increases the

    difficulty of the people to self-govern, and could act as a discouragement for people to

    initiate any recall efforts

    Makes statement and answer in the notice for recall subject to civil or criminal action or penalty in the case of any false, slanderous or libelous material.

    Repeats a lot of the mandates of AB 2582

    AB 2815

    Requires county, in all statewide elections, to provide an additional vote by mail ballot drop-off location

    on the main campus of each Cal State University within the jurisdiction and, upon request, to do the

    same for each UC campus. Requires county to give preference to certain CA Community College

    campuses when considering location of other required drop boxes. Applies only when campuses are in

    session on day of the election.

    AB 2841

    Requires certain notifications of results of regarding hearings of mental competence with regard to


    Establishes as major qualification for voter registration in the case of individuals under conservatorship

    their ability to communicate, with or without reasonable accommodations, a desire to participate in the

    voting process. Specifies other liberal allowances for individuals in potentially questionable


    Sunsets section 2201 of Elections Code regarding canceling registrations due to death or relocation on

    January 1, 2024 and reinstates similar ones with extensive and redundant voter notification


    This law will significantly delay maintenance of voter rolls in the lead up to the

    2024 Presidential Primary and General Elections and is likely to result in incalculable

    number of illegitimate votes cast in those elections.

    It will also potentially open the door to large numbers of new and potentially questionable


    SB 1061

    Regarding any election to fill school district or community college district vacancy, requires request

    (petition) for election to include cost estimate on a per-pupil basis.

    Changes required timing for said elections.

    Proposed in 2023

    AB-13 Elections: Election Day holiday: voting by mail Support only with amendments: eliminate holiday; eliminate permanent VBM status Essayli
    AB-292 Primary elections: ballots. Requires ballot label to list supporters and opposers of initiatives Pellerin
    AB-453 District-based elections.  Requires governing body discussion of change from at large to district-based representation be held at the previously specified day and time, regardless of position on agenda Cervantes
    AB-544 Elections: Secretary of State. gut and amend bill—now bill to require Vote Centers to be set up in jails and detention centers Bryan
    AB-545 Elections: access for voters with disabilities. Removes handicapped oath that protects them from intimidation! Removes VBM in curbside voting. Pellerin
    AB-626 Voting: returning vote by mail ballots in person. Makes allowing use of VMB without envelope at vote centers mandatory in Vote Centers Pellerin
    AB-1004 Recall petitions: signatures:  Makes rules for verification of petition signatures the same as for ballot processing; sets up same rules for curing Ta
    AB-1206 Voter registration database: Electronic Registration Information Center. Requires SOS to apply for ERIC!!!
    AB-1219 Elections: ballots. Rewrites definition of “ballot”; substantially rewrites details of ballot layout and design; rewrites instructions to voter; instructs use of black or blue pen; removes ballot stub requirement—allows one; must use marking device provided by elections official or for VBMs as instructed.
    AB-1595 Elections: eligibility to vote. Enfranchises imprisoned felons; contingent upon vote approval of ACA 4 Bryan
    SB-409 Elections: candidate’s statement. Candidate statements must be physically written by the candidate in the county elections office; for statewide office, in place designated by SOS.  No reference to outside materials.  For video, no props or slogans. Blank wall background. Newman
    SB-858 Initiative and referendum measures: title and summary. Creates specifics for initiative petitions—requires transparency for endorsers, funders, etc. Elections officials not required to verify accuracy of information. Requires filing fee of $2,000, only refundable if measure qualifies. Sunrise and sunset provisions contingent on ACA TBD.
    Establishes public comment period. Creates pathway to amending initiative after public comment period.

    ACA 4—Voting age 18; incarcerated felons can vote

    SCA 1—If governor recalled, Lt Gov. takes the position for the remainder of the expired term. If the Governor is removed from office by recall before the close of the nomination period for the next statewide election during the first two years of the Governor’s term, a special election shall be called to replace the Governor and shall be consolidated with the statewide primary election and, if necessary, the subsequent statewide general election.

    SCA 2—Lowers voting age to 17.


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