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This Chapter shall be liberally construed in favor of the voter voting by mail. This Chapter shall apply only to elections conducted by the City Clerk.
The City Clerk may provide that voting by mail shall be by paper ballot, or some other ballot form that has been created to allow the ballot to be counted on a voting system certified by the Secretary of State.
Vote-By-Mail Ballots shall be available to any registered voter, as follows:
(a) those that request it through the application process as provided in this Code,
(b) any “Military or Overseas Voter” as provided for in the California Elections Code,
(c) any registered voter who resides within a precinct which is wholly on federally owned or controlled land,
(d) any voter designated by the County as a permanent Vote-By-Mail voter, and
(e) any voter residing in a precinct that has been designated to be a Vote-By-Mail precinct for that election.
A voter granted confidentiality pursuant to Section 2166 and 2166.5 of the California Elections Code shall be considered a Vote-By-Mailvoter and the process used for permanent Vote-By-Mail voters will be utilized for a confidential voter.
Vote-By-Mail Applications and Vote-By-Mail Ballots shall be kept confidential and not be disseminated by the City Clerk before the City Clerk has certified the results of the election involved except to the extent necessary to determine voter eligibility lists for Precinct Board Member purposes and permit public observation of Vote-By-Mail Ballot verification, processing and counting as described in Chapter XII.
(a) An application for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot shall be made in writing to the City Clerk between the 29th and the 7th day before the election. An application for a Vote-By- Mail Ballot can also be faxed to the City Clerk between the 29th and the 7th day before the election. The application must be received by the City Clerk by postal or private carrier or fax no later than the 7th day prior to the election by 5:00 p.m. The application shall be signed by the applicant and shall show the place of residence. Any applications received by the City Clerk prior to the 29th day before an election shall be kept and processed between the 29th and 7th day prior to the election.
(b) An application does not need to be made to the City Clerk by any voter that is shown on the Registrar’s records as a permanent Vote-By-Mailvoter, a confidential voter, a “Military or Overseas Voter,” or a voter that resides in a precinct designated by the City Clerk to be a Vote-By-Mail precinct. In these instances the City Clerk shall provide Vote- By-Mail Ballots to these voters without requiring an application.
(c) The City Clerk shall preserve all applications for Vote-By-Mail Ballots for a period of six months from the date of the election.
Whenever there are 250 or less voters registered to vote in any voting precinct, the City Clerk may furnish each voter with a Vote-By-Mail Ballot along with a statement that there will be no polling place for the election within the precinct. The City Clerk shall also notify each voter of the location of the two nearest polling places in the event the voter chooses to return the ballot on election day. The voter shall not be required to file an application for the Vote-By-MailBallot.
(a) Any printed application distributed to voters requesting Vote-By-Mail Ballots shall contain spaces for the following:
(1) The printed name and residence address of the voter as it appears on the current voter registration record.
(2) The address to which the ballot is to be mailed, if different from the residence.
(3) The Statement that the voter has not and will not apply for a Vote-By- MailBallot by any other means.
(4) The voter’s signature.
(5) The name and date of the election for which the request is made.
(6) The date and time on or before which the application must be received by the City Clerk.
(7) The name, address and telephone number of the organization distributing the application, in point size no larger than eight-point, beginning at the bottom left margin and continuing across the bottom of the application.
(8) Any application that contains preprinted voter information shall contain a conspicuously printed statement, as follows: “Only the voter has the legal right to mail or deliver this application directly to the City Clerk.”
(9) The information required by Subsections (a)(1), (3), (5), (6), (7), and (8) may be preprinted on the application. The information required by Subsections (2) and (4) shall be personally affixed by the voter.
(b) When an application is submitted not on a printed form, the application shall contain the information listed in Subsections (a)(1), (2), (4) and (5) of this section.
(a) The City Clerk shall make the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Application available on the Election Division Website, in the office and include it with the Official Sample Ballot.
(b) No person or persons other than the voter shall be involved with or participate in any way in the handling of completed Vote-By-Mail Ballot Applications, except for initial distribution. This section does not prohibit a person or persons from helping the voter complete a Vote-By-Mail Ballot Application.
(a) Upon receipt of a Vote-By-MailBallot Application signed by the voter that arrives within the proper time, and if the City Clerk is able to determine that the applicant is entitled to receive a Vote-By-MailBallot, the City Clerk shall deliver or mail a Vote- By-Mail Ballot to the applicant.
(b) If written proof is presented that the applicant is confined to the applicant’s own home, or to a hospital, sanitarium or nursing home, by reason of illness, injury or disability, the applicant may also designate in writing an agent to receive a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, deliver the same to the applicant and return the same to the City Clerk after the applicant has marked the ballot.
If the applicant’s registration records cannot be found, the applicant shall,if time permits, be so notified before the election.
(a) The City Clerk shall send a replacement Vote-By-Mail Ballot to any voter for the following reasons:
(1) The voter requests a replacement ballot and provides a statement to the City Clerk under penalty of perjury that the voter has failed to receive, has lost, or has destroyed his or her original ballot, unless the records show that the voter’s original Vote-By-Mail ballot was returned to and received by the City Clerk.
(2) The voter has registered or has had a correction made to the voter’s registered name or address after which time the original Vote-By-Mail Ballot was mailed to the voter, but prior to registration deadlines for that election.
(b) The City Clerk has the discretion to issue a replacement ballot to voters who claim fraud as a reason for requesting a replacement ballot.
(c) Prior to counting any replacement ballot, the City Clerk shall verify that the voter has not attempted to vote more than once.
(a) A voter may apply in person for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot in the City Clerk’s office no earlier than the 29th day and no later than 5:00 p.m. the day prior to election day. A Vote-By-Mail voter may vote the ballot in the office of the City Clerk prior to 5:00 p.m. the day before election day.
(b) Any ballot that is voted in this manner after the Vote-By-Mail voter roster list has been created and issued, shall be held until after election day to ensure that the voter has not voted another ballot by any other means. If it is determined that the voter has voted another ballot, the in-person Vote-By-Mail Ballot shall be challenged and not counted.
The Vote-By-MailBallot Return Envelope shall contain the following:
(a) A declaration, under penalty of perjury, stating that the voter resides within the precinct in which the voter is voting, and is the voter whose name appears on the envelope;
(b) the signature of the voter;
(c) the residence of the voter as shown on the current voter registration record;
(d) the date the voter signed the envelope;
(e) a notice that the envelope contains an Official Ballot and is to be opened only by the canvassing board;
(f) a warning plainly stamped or printed on the envelope that voting more than once constitutes a crime;
(g) a warning plainly stamped or printed on the envelope that the voter must sign the envelope in the voter’s handwriting in order for the ballot to be counted; and
(h) if the voter designates another person to return the voter's ballot, the name of the person authorized by the voter to return the Vote-By-Mail Ballot pursuant to Section 1009, 1014 or 1018, the relationship to the voter of the person authorized to return the Vote-By-Mail Ballot, and the signature of the person authorized by the voter to return the Vote-By-Mail Ballot.
(a) After marking the ballot, the Vote-By-Mail voter may return it to the City Clerk by mail or in person or by an agent designated in writing for such purposes, or may return it to any Precinct Board Member at any polling place within the election jurisdiction in person or by an agent designated in writing for such purposes. The ballot must, however, be received by either the City Clerk or the Precinct Board prior to the close of the polling places on election day.
(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), any Vote-By-Mail Ballot shall be timely cast if it is received by the City Clerk via the United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than three days after election day and either of the following is satisfied:
(1) The ballot is postmarked on or before election day or is time stamped or date stamped by a bona fide private mail delivery company on or before election day.
(2) If the ballot has no postmark, a postmark with no date, or an illegible postmark, the Vote-By-Mail ballot identification envelope is date stamped by the City Clerk upon receipt of the Vote-By-Mail Ballot from the United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company, and is signed and dated pursuant to Section 1013 on or before election day.
(c) Except for the prohibitions contained in this paragraph, a voter may designate another person to return the voter's Vote-By-Mail Ballot by complying with Section 1013(h) above.
(d) No individual, person, group, or organization shall willfully interfere with or cause interference with the return of a Vote-By-Mail Ballot. A person designated to return a Vote-By-Mail Ballot shall not receive any form of compensation based on the number of ballots that the person has returned and no individual, group, or organization shall provide compensation on this basis. For purposes of this subsection, "compensation" means any form of monetary payment, goods, services, benefits, promises or offers of employment, or any other form of consideration offered to another person in exchange for returning another voter's Vote-By-Mail Ballot. Any person in charge of a Vote-By-Mail Ballot and who knowingly and willingly engages in criminal acts related to that ballot as described in the State Elections Code, including, but not limited to, fraud, bribery, intimidation, and tampering with or failing to deliver the ballot in a timely fashion, is subject to the appropriate punishment specified in the State Elections Code.
(e) The City Clerk shall establish procedures to assure the secrecy of any voted Vote-By-Mail Ballot.
(a) After marking the ballot, the Military or Overseas voter may return it to the City Clerk by mail or in person, to any Precinct Board Member at any polling place within the election jurisdiction, or, if a Military or Overseas voter is temporarily living outside of the territorial limits of the United States or the District of Columbia, or is called for military service within the United States on or after the final date to make an application for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, the voter may return the ballot by facsimile transmission. To be counted, the ballot returned by facsimile transmission must be received by the City Clerk no later than the closing of the polling places on election day and must be accompanied by the identification information and the oath specified in this Section as follows:
OATH OF VOTER
I, _______________, acknowledge that by returning my voted ballot by facsimile transmission, I have waived my right to have my ballot kept secret from election officials during its initial processing period. Nevertheless, I understand that, as with any Vote-By-Mail voter, my signature, whether on this oath or voter form or my identification envelope, will be permanently separated from my voted ballot to maintain its secrecy at the outset of the counting process and thereafter.
My residence address is
__________________________________________________________________ (Street Address) (City) (Zip Code)
My E-mail address is . (Optional) My facsimile transmission number is ___________________.
I am a resident of Los Angeles County, State of California, and I have not applied, nor intend to apply, for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot from any other jurisdiction for the same election.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Dated this ____ day of ______, 20___.
Voter (power of attorney cannot be accepted)
(b) Notwithstanding the voter’s waiver of the right to a secret ballot, the City Clerk shall adopt appropriate procedures to protect the secrecy of Vote-By-Mail Ballots returned by facsimile transmission.
(c) Upon receipt of a Vote-By-Mail Ballot returned by facsimile transmission, the City Clerk shall determine the voter’s eligibility to vote by comparing the signature on the return information with the signature on the voter’s current voter registration record. The ballot shall be duplicated and all materials preserved according to procedures set forth in this Code.
(d) Notwithstanding the Military or Overseas Voter’s ability to utilize facsimile transmission of a voted ballot, the Military or Overseas Voter is encouraged to return the ballot by mail or in person if possible. A Military or Overseas Voter should return a ballot by facsimile transmission only if doing so is necessary for the ballot to be received before the close of the polling places on election day.
(a) Upon receipt of a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, the City Clerk shall compare information on the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return Envelope against the information appearing on the voter's current voter registration record to confirm the voter's eligibility to vote in the election. If the City Clerk determines that the voter is eligible to vote in the election, the ballot shall be kept unopened in a safe place until the time for canvassing. If the voter fails to complete the date and/or address fields provided, or provides information other than what is represented in the current voter registration record, this discrepancy may not necessarily invalidate the ballot, provided that the voter's eligibility to vote can be confirmed based on the voter registration record. If the City Clerk determines that there is not sufficient means by which to verify the voter's identity or confirm the voter's eligibility to vote in the election, the ballot return envelope shall be marked as "challenged" and the reason for the challenge shall be written on the face of the envelope.
(b) If the City Clerk determines that a voter has failed to sign the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return Envelope, the City Clerk shall not reject the Vote-By-Mail ballot if the voter does either of the following:
(1) Signs the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return Envelope at the office of the City Clerk during regular business hours before 5:00 p.m. on the eighth day after the election; or
(2) Submits a signed statement including the voter's address, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the eighth day after the election, attesting that he or she returned an unsigned Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return Envelope and that he or she did not and will not vote more than one ballot in this election. The voter may submit the statement at a polling place before the close of polls on election day.
(c) If the ballot is challenged, delivered by an unauthorized agent, or otherwise not delivered in compliance with the Code, the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return Envelope shall not be opened and the ballot shall not be counted.
If an applicant for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot is unable to write the appropriate name because of illness or other incapacitation, a voter's mark may be used instead. Following the voter's mark, the person witnessing the writing of the mark shall also print and sign. This procedure may also be used by incapacitated voters for signing the Vote-By-Mail Ballot Return Envelope prior to returning the voted ballot. No change shall be made by any person witnessing the signature of a Vote-By-Mail voter.
(a) After the close of the period for voters to apply for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, any voter unable to go to the polling place may apply for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot for the following reasons:
(1) Because of illness or disability resulting in the voter’s confinement in a hospital, sanitarium, nursing home or place of residence; or
(2) Because of a physical disability which prevents the voter from gaining access to the polling place or voting booths or voting devices.
(b) The application shall be made to the City Clerk in writing, containing the reason for the request and the designation of a person authorized to receive the ballot from the City Clerk and return the voted ballot to the City Clerk, to be signed under penalty of perjury.
(c) Before delivering the ballot, the City Clerk shall follow the same procedures for regular Vote-By-Mail Applications outlined in this Chapter.
(d) The voter shall mark the ballot, place it in the Ballot Return Envelope, complete and sign the envelope and return the ballot through the authorized representative to either the City Clerk or any polling place in accordance with Section 1014.
(e) These ballots shall be processed and counted in the same manner as other Vote-By-MailBallots.
The City Clerk shall maintain a record of all the voters who have been issued a Vote-By-Mail Ballot. Before the election, the City Clerk shall send to the Inspector of each precinct in the election jurisdiction the names of the voters in that precinct who were sent Vote-By-Mail Ballots under the provisions of this Chapter. The Inspector shall indicate the names of the Vote-By-Mail voters on the Roster of Registered Voters supplied to each polling place.
(a) A Vote-By-Mail voter who goes to the voter’s home precinct on election day may vote a regular ballot at the voter’s polling place if the voter surrenders to the Precinct Board the voter’s unused Vote-By-Mail Ballot in the envelope in which it was delivered.
(b) The City Clerk shall include with each Vote-By-Mail Ballot a statement of this requirement of surrender of Vote-By-Mail Ballot. Any unused Vote-By-Mail Ballots shall be returned to the City Clerk with any other unused ballots.
Any voter who has received a Vote-By-Mail Ballot and desires to a regular vote at his or her polling place, but is unable to surrender the unused Vote-By-Mail Ballot shall be issued a Provisional Ballot in accordance with Chapter IX.
(a) No individual, person, group, or organization shall knowingly distribute any application for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot which does not conform to the provisions of Section 1007. The conformance requires that the application contain only, and nothing in addition to, the provisions of the section and the name, address and telephone number of the individual, group or organization distributing the applications. However, other information may be placed on the back of the application, as long as it does not interfere with the mailing of the application.
(b) No individual, person, group, or organization shall willfully interfere with or cause interference with the return of a completed Vote-By-Mail Ballot Application or Ballot.
(c) No individual, person, group, or organization shall apply for, vote, or attempt to vote another person’s Vote-By-Mail Ballot by fraudulently signing the name of a fictitious person, or that of another person who is a regularly qualified voter of the election jurisdiction or who is not qualified to vote.