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This Code shall be known as the Los Angeles City Election Code.
Substantial compliance with the provisions of this Code shall be sufficient for the holding of any election hereunder, and for the approval or rejection of any ordinance, resolution, or measure submitted to a vote of the electors of the City.
If any provision of this Code, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Code, and the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.
(a) It is the duty of the City Clerk to superintend all elections, as provided for in Section 281(e) of the Charter and this Code, and the City Clerk may prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct of City elections in addition to those in this Code which are not in conflict with this Code and applicable Charter, State or Federal laws.
(b) The City Clerk shall employ and supervise the duties of all election clerks.
(c) Wherever in this Code any statement is made to the effect that the City Clerk shall perform any clerical work in connection with the conduct of an election, the detail work may be delegated to one of the City Clerk’s deputies, or those persons specially employed by the City Clerk during the election period to assist in the conduct of the election.
(d) The City Clerk shall ensure in all City elections conducted by the City Clerk that the vote shall be by Official Ballot and the election shall be so guarded and conducted as to detect fraud and preserve the purity and secrecy of the ballot in accordance with this Code and other applicable law. All City elections conducted by the City Clerk shall be held and conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, this Code and applicable provisions of State or Federal law, including the use of a voting system certified by the California Secretary of State.
(a) Elections held in the City are the Primary Nominating Election, the General Municipal Election and Special Elections.
(b) Primary Nominating Elections for City offices and the Board of Education shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March in every even-numbered year, and General Municipal Elections shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year.
(c) Pursuant to Charter Section 401(b), in the event the State changes the statewide primary or general election date, the Council may adopt an ordinance specifying different dates for the Primary Nominating and General Municipal Elections so that they may be held on the same dates as the statewide primary and general elections.
(d) Special Elections shall be held on the dates established by the ordinances calling those elections and shall otherwise be held and conducted, and the returns shall be canvassed, announced and declared, in the same manner as other elections and pursuant to the applicable laws and processes of the jurisdiction conducting the election.
(a) The City Council may consolidate City elections with each other, or with any County, State, District, Federal, or local election, and may allow elections of other jurisdictions to be consolidated with any City election.
(b) In order to consolidate a City election with a County, State or Federal election conducted by the County of Los Angeles, or consolidate a City election with another local jurisdiction, or hold a separate City election on the same day utilizing the polling places established by the County of Los Angeles or other local jurisdiction, the City Council must obtain permission from the Board of Supervisors or the applicable governing body.
(c) When any elections have been consolidated as provided in this section, they shall be held, conducted, the returns canvassed, and the results declared in all particulars as one election, and as provided in the ordinance calling the consolidated election and as generally provided for in the Charter. When a City election is consolidated with an election conducted by the County, the ordinance calling the consolidated election may specify the procedure for the consolidation and the relative responsibilities and authorities of the City Clerk and County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk and other election officials in administering the election.
(d) Whenever a City election is scheduled to be held on the same day as a County, State, District, Federal, or local election, but not consolidated with those elections, or consolidated but using separate ballots, the City Clerk shall have the authority to conduct the election in the same manner as provided for in this Code, with the following exceptions:
(1) Any of the members appointed as Precinct Board Members by the Board of Supervisors or the election official conducting the election may be designated as the members for the same precinct to conduct the City election, or the City Clerk may appoint other Precinct Board Members to conduct the City election.
(2) Any polling places used for County, State, District, Federal, or local elections may be designated as those polling places to be used for the City election.
(e) The City Council may by resolution request the County Board of Supervisors to direct the County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to render specified election services to the City Clerk relating to the conduct of an election. The governing body of any other jurisdiction may by resolution request the City Council to direct the City Clerk to render specified election services for the jurisdiction relating to the conduct of an election. Subject to the approval of the City Council and to conditions as it may impose, these election services shall be performed by the City Clerk.
(a) The City Council shall, by ordinance, order the holding of all elections. The ordinance ordering the election shall specify the object and time of holding the election and whether the election is to be conducted by the City Clerk or, alternatively, consolidated with another election or otherwise conducted by the County of Los Angeles. Except for an election held pursuant to Charter Sections 432, 452 and 462, the ordinance ordering the holding of an election shall be adopted by the City Council no later than 60 days before the date of the election.
(b) Upon enactment, a copy of each ordinance ordering the holding of an election shall be transmitted to the County Registrar/Recorder.
(c) All ordinances ordering the holding or consolidation of elections shall be published or posted in accordance with the Charter.
(d) The publication or posting of the ordinance calling an election shall constitute the notice of election.
(a) All territory lying outside of the City but within the Los Angeles Unified School District or that territory which may thereafter be included in the district, shall be deemed to be a part of the City for the purpose of voting for and electing members of the Board of Education, and will be referred to as the Los Angeles Unified School District.
(b) The Board of Education shall be composed of seven members to be elected at the same time and in the same manner as members of the City Council, for a term of four years. Each member shall be elected to an individual Office as a member of the Board of Education from Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
(a) In the event that any candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for an office at the Primary Nominating Election, that candidate shall be elected to the office.
(b) In the event no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for an office at the Primary Nominating Election, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for the office shall be the candidates, and the only candidates, for that office whose names shall appear on the ballots to be used at the General Municipal Election.
(c) In the event that two or more persons receive an equal number of votes as candidates for an office at the Primary Nominating Election, so that the result of the election does not determine which of the persons are entitled to be nominated as candidates, the City Council shall draw lots to determine which of the persons shall be the candidate or candidates for the office. The lots shall be drawn at the next regular City Council meeting occurring later than five days after the declaration of the result of the election, in the manner the City Council prescribes. However, if a recount of the ballots with respect to the office in question is timely requested, lots shall not be drawn until and unless the recount also fails to result in a determination of which persons are entitled to be nominated as candidates for the office.
(d) In the event that the two candidates in a General Municipal Election receive an equal number of votes, the City Council shall draw lots to determine which of the two candidates shall be declared elected. The lots shall be drawn at the next regular City Council meeting occurring later than five days after the declaration of the results of the election, in the manner the City Council prescribes. However, if a recount of the ballots with respect to the office in question is timely requested, lots shall not be drawn until and unless the recount also fails to result in a determination of which candidate was elected to the office.
Whenever any notice, report, statement, or record is required or authorized by this Code, it shall be made in writing in the English language unless it is expressly provided otherwise. This does not preclude providing election materials in other languages, in addition to the English language.
(a) To be eligible to vote at any of the elections held under the Charter, a person must be registered in the manner and have the qualifications required by the general laws of this state respecting the registration and qualification of voters for state and county elections.
(b) The City Clerk shall obtain from the County Registrar/Recorder or other officer of the County of Los Angeles the official list of registered voters to be utilized for the holding of a City election conducted by the City Clerk.
(a) All Declarations of Intention to become a candidate filed pursuant to Charter Section 421, shall be filed on any weekday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon, except City holidays. When the last day for filing falls on a Sunday or a City holiday, these documents shall be filed on the next business day within the hours above specified.
(b) All nominating petitions, filed pursuant to Charter Section 422, shall be filed on any weekday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except City holidays. When the last day for filing falls on a weekend or a City holiday, these documents shall be filed on the next business day within the hours above specified.
(c) All candidate filing documents pertaining to Write-In Candidates, filed pursuant to Election Code Section 312, shall be filed on any weekday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except City holidays. When the last day for filing falls on a weekend or a City holiday, these documents shall be filed on the next business day within the hours above specified.
(d) All other documents involving City elections permitted to be filed or submitted with the City Clerk under state or City law, including initiative, referenda and recall petitions, shall be filed on any weekday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., except City holidays. When the last day for filing falls on a weekend or a City holiday, these documents shall be filed on the next business day within the hours above specified.
(e) No document required to be filed pursuant to this Code shall be accepted by the City Clerk unless filed in accordance with the provisions set forth in this section.
(a) Any day on which any City election conducted by the City Clerk is held shall not be considered a holiday, but time off for voting shall be granted as follows:
(1) If a registered voter does not have sufficient time outside of the voter’s working hours within which to vote at any Primary, General, or Special Election held within the City or conducted by the City in the City, School District, or any district within the City, the voter may, without loss of pay, take off so much working time as will, when added to the voting time outside the voter’s working hours, enable the voter to vote.
(2) A registered voter may take off so much time as will enable the voter to vote, but not more than two hours of which shall be without loss of pay; provided, that the voter shall be allowed time off for voting only at the beginning or end of the voter’s regular working shift, whichever allows the voter the most free time for voting and the least time off from the voter’s regular working shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed.
(3) If the registered voter on the third working day prior to the day of the election knows or has reason to believe that the voter will need time off to enable the voter to vote on election day, the voter shall give the voter’s employer at least two working days notice that the voter desires time off in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(b) In order to encourage voting in all elections, the provisions of Paragraph (a) above relating to time off for voting shall apply to voters registered outside the limits of the City who are employed in the City and do not have sufficient time outside of their regular working hours within which to cast their vote at any election at which they may be entitled to vote.
Whenever reference is made to any portion of this Code, the Charter, or any State law, the reference applies to all amendments and additions now or later made.
(a) “Ballot” refers to a paper ballot, ballot card or the image of the ballot shown on the screen of an electronic voting system.
(b) Whenever the term “Charter” is mentioned in this Code, it means the “Charter of the City of Los Angeles.”
(c) All “days” are calendar days unless otherwise specified.
(d) Whenever the term “Election” is used in this Code, it refers to City elections held in the City for the offices of Mayor, Controller, or City Attorney, or of the City Council district or Board of Education district.
(e) “Elector” means anyone who qualifies to be a voter under Section 2 of Article II of the Constitution of this State.
(f) “Immediate Family” means a spouse or registered domestic partner, and children, parents, and siblings, whether by blood, marriage, or court order.
(g) “Measure” means any Charter amendment, initiative, referendum, question or proposition submitted to a popular vote at any election.
(h) “Oath” includes affirmation.
(i) Whenever the term “Qualified Elector” is used, it shall mean a person who is duly registered under the state laws governing registration of voters.
(j) “Shall” is mandatory and “May” is permissive.
(k) “Special Election” is an election, the specific time for the holding of which is not prescribed in the Charter or Election Code but which is established by ordinance and may be subject to time limits provided in the Charter, Election Code or state law.
(l) “Voter” means any elector who is registered under the provisions of the California Elections Code.
(m) The singular includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular.
(n) The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future, the present.
Counting of words, for the purposes of this Code, shall be as follows:
(a) Punctuation is not counted.
(b) Each word shall be counted as one word except as specified in this section.
(c) All geographical names shall be considered as one word; for example, “City of Los Angeles” shall be counted as one word.
(d) Each abbreviation for a word, phrase, or expression shall be counted as one word.
(e) Hyphenated words that appear in any generally available standard reference dictionary, published in the United States at any time within the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the election for which the words are counted, shall be considered as one word. Each part of all other hyphenated words shall be counted as a separate word.
(f) Dates shall be counted as one word.
(g) Any number consisting of a digit or digits shall be considered as one word. Any number which is spelled, such as “one”, shall be considered as a separate word or words. For example, “one” shall be counted as one word whereas “one hundred” shall be counted as two words. “100” shall be counted as one word.
(h) Telephone numbers shall be counted as one word.
(i) Internet web site addresses shall be counted as one word.
(j) This section shall not apply to counting words for ballot designations under Section 306, unless otherwise provided in that Section.
It shall be unlawful for anyone to violate any provision or to fail to comply with any of the requirements of this Code. Anyone violating any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of this Code shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the County Jail not to exceed six months or by both a fine and imprisonment.
All elections shall be conducted under the Charter and this Code. The City Clerk may rely on state elections law for guidance, if there is no controlling provision in the Charter or this Code.