California Elections Code, Section 9080-9096: Ballot pamphlet
The provisions of Sections 9084 to 9093, inclusive, are a restatement of, and shall be construed in conformity with, Sections 88001 to 88007, inclusive, of the Government Code.
There shall be a state ballot pamphlet, that the Secretary of State shall prepare.
The Secretary of State shall cause to be printed as many ballot pamphlets as needed to comply with this code.
The ballot pamphlets shall be printed in the Office of State Printing unless the Director of General Services determines that the printing of the pamphlets in the Office of State Printing cannot be done adequately, competently, or satisfactorily, in which case the Secretary of State, subject to the approval of the Director of General Services, shall contract with a private printing concern for the printing of all or a part of the pamphlets.
Copy for preparation of the ballot pamphlets shall be furnished to the Office of State Printing at least 40 days prior to the date for required delivery to the elections officials as provided in Section 9094.
The Secretary of State shall cause to be produced an audiocassette recorded version of the state ballot pamphlet. This recorded cassette version shall be made available in quantities to be determined by the Secretary of State and shall contain an impartial summary, arguments for and against, rebuttal arguments, and other information concerning each measure that the Secretary of State determines will make the cassette recorded version of the state ballot pamphlet easier to understand or more useful to the average voter.
The Secretary of State shall disseminate the complete state ballot pamphlet over the Internet.
If the ballot contains a question as to the confirmation of a justice of the Supreme Court or a court of appeal, the Secretary of State shall include in the state ballot pamphlet a written explanation of the electoral procedure for justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal. The explanation shall state the following:
- "Under the California Constitution, justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal are subject to confirmation by the voters. The public votes "yes" or "no" on whether to retain each justice.
- "These judicial offices are nonpartisan.
- "Before a person can become an appellate justice, the Governor must submit the candidate's name to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, which is comprised of public members and lawyers. The commission conducts a thorough review of the candidate's background and qualifications, with community input, and then forwards its evaluation of the candidate to the Governor.
- "The Governor then reviews the commission's evaluation and officially nominates the candidate, whose qualifications are subject to public comment before examination and review by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That commission consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General of California, and a senior Presiding Justice of the Courts of Appeal. The Commission on Judicial Appointments must then confirm or reject the nomination. Only if confirmed does the nominee become a justice.
- "Following confirmation, the justice is sworn into office and is subject to voter approval at the next gubernatorial election, and thereafter at the conclusion of each term. The term prescribed by the California Constitution for justices of the Supreme Court and courts of appeal is 12 years. Justices are confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments only until the next gubernatorial election, at which time they run for retention of the remainder of the term, if any, of their predecessor, which will be either four or eight years."
The ballot pamphlet shall contain all of the following:
(a) A complete copy of each state measure.
(b) A copy of the specific constitutional or statutory provision, if any, that each state measure would repeal or revise.
(c) A copy of the arguments and rebuttals for and against each state measure.
(d) A copy of the analysis of each state measure.
(e) Tables of contents, indexes, art work, graphics, and other materials that the Secretary of State determines will make the ballot pamphlet easier to understand or more useful for the average voter.
(f) A notice, conspicuously printed on the cover of the ballot pamphlet, indicating that additional copies of the ballot pamphlet will be mailed by the county elections official upon request.
(g) A written explanation of the judicial retention procedure as required by Section 9083.
(h) The Voter Bill of Rights pursuant to Section 2300.
(i) If the ballot contains an election for the office of United States Senator, information on candidates for United States Senator. A candidate for United States Senator may purchase the space to place a statement in the state ballot pamphlet that does not exceed 250 words. The statement may not make any reference to any opponent of the candidate. The statement shall be submitted in accordance with timeframes and procedures set forth by the Secretary of State for the preparation of the state ballot pamphlet.
(j) If the ballot contains a question on the confirmation or retention of a justice of the Supreme Court, information on justices of the Supreme Court who are subject to confirmation or retention.
(k) If the ballot contains an election for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, a notice that refers voters to the Secretary of State's Internet Web site for information about candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.
(a) The ballot pamphlet shall also contain a section, located near the front of the pamphlet, that provides a concise summary of the general meaning and effect of "yes" and "no" votes on each state measure. (b) The summary statements required by this section shall be prepared by the Legislative Analyst. These statements are not intended to provide comprehensive information on each measure. The Legislative Analyst shall be solely responsible for determining the contents of these statements. The statements shall be available for public examination and amendment pursuant to Section 9092.
The ballot pamphlet shall contain as to each state measure to be voted upon, the following, in the order set forth in this section:
(a) Upon the top portion of the first page, and not exceeding one-third of the page, shall appear:
- (1) Identification of the measure by number and title.
- (2) The official summary prepared by the Attorney General.
- (3) The total number of votes cast for and against the measure in both the State Senate and Assembly, if the measure was passed by the Legislature.
(b) Beginning at the top of the right page shall appear the analysis prepared by the Legislative Analyst, provided that the analysis fits on a single page. If it does not fit on a single page, the analysis shall begin on the lower portion of the first left page and shall continue on subsequent pages until it is completed.
(c) Arguments for and against the measure shall be placed on the next left and right pages, respectively, following the final page of the analysis of the Legislative Analyst. The rebuttals shall be placed immediately below the arguments.
(d) If no argument against the measure has been submitted, the argument for the measure shall appear on the right page facing the analysis.
(e) The complete text of each measure shall appear at the back of the pamphlet. The text of the measure shall contain the provisions of the proposed measure and the existing provisions of law repealed or revised by the measure. The provisions of the proposed measure differing from the existing provisions of law affected shall be distinguished in print, so as to facilitate comparison.
(f) The following statement shall be printed at the bottom of each page where arguments appear: "Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors, and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency."
The Legislative Analyst shall prepare an impartial analysis of the measure describing the measure and including a fiscal analysis of the measure showing the amount of any increase or decrease in revenue or cost to state or local government. Any estimate of increased cost to local governments shall be set out in boldface print in the ballot pamphlet. The analysis shall be written in clear and concise terms, so as to be easily understood by the average voter, and shall avoid the use of technical terms wherever possible. The analysis may contain background information, including the effect of the measure on existing law and the effect of enacted legislation which will become effective if the measure is adopted, and shall generally set forth in an impartial manner the information the average voter needs to adequately understand the measure. The Legislative Analyst may contract with professional writers, educational specialists or other persons for assistance in writing an analysis that fulfills the requirements of this section, including the requirement that the analysis be written so that it will be easily understood by the average voter. The Legislative Analyst may also request the assistance of any state department, agency, or official in preparing his or her analysis. Prior to submitting the analysis to the Secretary of State, the Legislative Analyst shall submit the analysis to a committee of five persons, appointed by the Legislative Analyst, for the purpose of reviewing the analysis to confirm its clarity and easy comprehension to the average voter. The committee shall be drawn from the public at large, and one member shall be a specialist in education, one shall be bilingual, and one shall be a professional writer. Members of the committee shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties. Within five days of the submission of the analysis to the committee, the committee shall make such recommendations to the Legislative Analyst as it deems appropriate to guarantee that the analysis can be easily understood by the average voter. The Legislative Analyst shall consider the committee's recommendations, and he or she shall incorporate in the analysis those changes recommended by the committee that he or she deems to be appropriate. The Legislative Analyst is solely responsible for determining the content of the analysis required by this section. The title of the measure that appears on the ballot shall be amended to contain a summary of the Legislative Analyst's estimate of the net state and local government financial impact.
(a) At each statewide election at which state bond measures will be submitted to the voters for their approval or rejection, the ballot pamphlet for that election shall include a discussion, prepared by the Legislative Analyst, of the state's current bonded indebtedness situation.
(b) This discussion shall include information as to the dollar amount of the state's current authorized and outstanding bonded indebtedness, the approximate percentage of the state's General Fund revenues which are required to service this indebtedness, and the expected impact of the issuance of the bonds to be approved at the election on the items specified in this subdivision. In cases where a bond measure allocates funds for programs, the discussion shall also include, to the extent practicable, the proportionate share of funds for each major program funded by the measure.
(c) The discussion required by this section shall appear on a separate page in the ballot pamphlet immediately following the rebuttal to the argument against the last ballot measure included in the ballot pamphlet.
Measures shall be printed in the ballot pamphlet, so far as possible, in the same order, manner and form in which they are designated upon the ballot.
The ballot pamphlet shall be printed according to the following specifications:
- (a) The pamphlet shall be printed in clear readable type, no less than 10-point, except that the text of any measure may be set forth in eight-point type.
- (b) The pamphlet shall be of a size and printed on a quality and weight of paper which, in the judgment of the Secretary of State, best serves the voters.
- (c) The pamphlet shall contain a certificate of correctness by the Secretary of State.
The Legislative Counsel shall prepare and proofread the texts of all measures and the provisions which are repealed or revised.
Not less than 20 days before he or she submits the copy for the ballot pamphlet to the State Printer, the Secretary of State shall make the copy available for public examination. Any elector may seek a writ of mandate requiring any copy to be amended or deleted from the ballot pamphlet. A peremptory writ of mandate shall issue only upon clear and convincing proof that the copy in question is false, misleading, or inconsistent with the requirements of this code or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 88000) of Title 9 of the Government Code, and that issuance of the writ will not substantially interfere with the printing and distribution of the ballot pamphlet as required by law. Venue for a proceeding under this section shall be exclusively in Sacramento County. The Secretary of State shall be named as the respondent and the State Printer and the person or official who authored the copy in question shall be named as real parties in interest. If the proceeding is initiated by the Secretary of State, the State Printer shall be named as the respondent.
Notwithstanding Section 81012 of the Government Code, the Legislature may without restriction amend this article to add to the ballot pamphlet information regarding candidates or any other information.
(a) The Secretary of State shall mail ballot pamphlets to voters, in those instances in which the county elections official uses data processing equipment to store the information set forth in the affidavits of registration, before the election at which measures contained in the ballot pamphlet are to be voted on unless a voter has registered fewer than 29 days before the election. The mailing shall commence not less than 40 days before the election and shall be completed no later than 21 days before the election for those voters who registered on or before the 60th day before the election. The Secretary of State shall mail one copy of the ballot pamphlet to each registered voter at the postal address stated on the voter's affidavit of registration, or the Secretary of State may mail only one ballot pamphlet to two or more registered voters having the same postal address.
(b) In those instances in which the county elections official does not utilize data processing equipment to store the information set forth in the affidavits of registration, the Secretary of State shall furnish ballot pamphlets to the county elections official not less than 45 days before the election at which measures contained in the ballot pamphlet are to be voted on and the county elections official shall mail ballot pamphlets to voters, on the same dates and in the same manner provided by subdivision (a).
(c) The Secretary of State shall provide for the mailing of ballot pamphlets to voters registering after the 60th day before the election and before the 28th day before the election, by either:
- (1) mailing in the manner as provided in subdivision (a), or
- (2) requiring the county elections official to mail ballot pamphlets to those voters registering in the county after the 60th day before the election and before the 28th day before the election pursuant to the provisions of this section. The second mailing of ballot pamphlets shall be completed no later than 10 days before the election. The county elections official shall mail a ballot pamphlet to any person requesting a ballot pamphlet. Three copies, to be supplied by the Secretary of State, shall be kept at every polling place, while an election is in progress, so that they may be freely consulted by the voters.
Any costs incurred by a county for mailing the ballot pamphlets pursuant to the provisions of subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 9094 shall be reimbursed to the county by the Secretary of State.
(a) As soon as copies of the ballot pamphlet are available, the Secretary of State shall immediately mail the following number of copies to the listed persons and places:
- (1) Five copies to each county elections official or registrar of voters.
- (2) Six copies to each city elections official.
- (3) Five copies to each Member of the Legislature.
- (4) Five copies to the proponents of each ballot measure.
(b) The Secretary of State shall also mail:
- (1) Two copies to each public library and branch thereof.
- (2) Twelve copies to each public high school or other public school teaching at least the 11th and 12th grades, and 25 copies to each public institution of higher learning. Upon request, and in the discretion of the Secretary of State, additional copies may be furnished to these persons and institutions.