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California Elections Code, Section 9050-9054: Ballot titles

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Section 9050-9054 of the California Elections Code that is part of the laws governing the initiative process in California concerns ballot titles.

Section 9050

The Attorney General shall provide and return to the Secretary of State a ballot title for each measure submitted to the voters of the whole state.

Section 9051

Any person who is interested in any proposed measure may at any time, prior to 150 days before the election at which the measure is to be voted upon, file a copy of it with the Secretary of State, together with a request that a ballot title be prepared for it. This request shall be accompanied by the address of the person or association of persons proposing the measure. The Secretary of State shall immediately transmit a copy of the measure to the Attorney General. Within 10 days after it is filed, the Attorney General shall provide and return to the Secretary of State a ballot title for the measure. The ballot title may differ from the legislative or other title of the measure and shall express in not exceeding 100 words the purpose of the measure. In providing the ballot title, the Attorney General shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure in such language that the ballot title shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.

Section 9052

Immediately upon receipt of the ballot title prepared by the Attorney General, the Secretary of State shall mail to all persons who may have requested the preparation of that ballot title, a notice addressed to them at the address accompanying the request, stating that the Attorney General has made and returned the ballot title. The notice shall also contain a copy of the ballot title prepared by the Attorney General.

Section 9053

Each measure shall be designated on the ballot by the ballot title certified to the Secretary of State by the Attorney General.

Section 9054

(a) Whenever a city, county, or city and county is required by Section 203 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1973aa-1a) or Section 4(f)(4) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1973b(f)(4)) of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 to provide a translation of ballot materials in a language other than English, the Secretary of State shall provide a translation of the ballot title prepared pursuant to Section 9050 and of the condensed statement of the ballot title prepared pursuant to Section 13247 in that language to the city, county, or city and county for each state measure submitted to the voters in a statewide election not later than 68 days prior to that election.

(b) When preparing a translation in a language other than English pursuant to subdivision (a), the Secretary of State shall consult with an advisory body consisting of language experts and nonpartisan organizations that advocate on behalf of, or provide services to, individuals that speak language.

(c) All translations prepared pursuant to this section shall be made available for public examination in the same time and manner as the ballot pamphlet is made available for public examination in accordance with Section 88006 of the Government Code and Section 9092 of this code.

(d) The local elections official shall use that translation of the condensed statement of the ballot title on the sample ballot and the official ballot and may not select or contract with another person to provide translations of the same text.

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