Chapter 2.42
MAILED BALLOT ELECTIONS

Sections:

2.42.010    Special municipal election—Conducting as all-mail ballot election.

2.42.020    Scope of mailed ballot elections.

2.42.030    Conduct of mailed ballot elections.

2.42.040    Dates for special municipal elections.

2.42.050    Drop-off centers.

2.42.060    Provision of ballot materials.

2.42.070    Return of ballots.

2.42.080    Official ballot drop-off centers.

2.42.090    Absent voter.

2.42.100    Provisional ballots.

2.42.110    Processing of ballots.

2.42.010 Special municipal election—Conducting as all-mail ballot election.

Any special municipal election may be conducted as an all-mail ballot election in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1559, 2011)

2.42.020 Scope of mailed ballot elections.

Any special municipal election specified herein may be held as a mailed ballot election for any purpose. (Ord. 1559 § 1, 2011)

2.42.030 Conduct of mailed ballot elections.

Any mailed ballot election may be conducted, and the votes thereof canvassed, and the returns thereof made, and the result thereof ascertained and determined, as herein provided; and in all particulars not prescribed by this chapter, said elections shall be held as provided by the general laws of the state of California for the holding of municipal elections in the city. The elections official is hereby authorized and directed to take all actions necessary to conduct said special elections as provided herein and as required by law. (Ord. 1559 § 2, 2011)

2.42.040 Dates for special municipal elections.

The date for any mailed ballot special municipal election shall either be on a date set by the California Elections Code Sections 1000, 1001, or 1500, or on any other date set by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 1559 § 3, 2011)

2.42.050 Drop-off centers.

The elections official, or his or her designee (hereinafter “elections official”), shall establish the official ballot drop-off centers. At least one of the official drop-off centers shall be open during normal business hours twenty-nine days before Election Day on weekdays (excluding holidays). The elections official may establish such additional official drop-off centers as he or she may deem necessary. All official drop-off centers shall be open on Election Day from seven a.m. to eight p.m. and at that time shall be closed. (Ord. 1563 § 1, 2011: Ord. 1559 § 4, 2011)

2.42.060 Provision of ballot materials.

The elections official shall provide to each registered voter appropriate supplies necessary for the use and return of the ballot by mail.

A. Each ballot mailed by the elections official shall be accompanied by a ballot pamphlet and instructions for return of the ballot, including the location of the official ballot drop-off centers for the special election, and the date and time by which such ballot must be received at the official ballot drop-off centers to be counted for the election.

B. Each ballot mailed by the elections official shall be accompanied by an official return envelope.

C. The form of the return envelope shall be as set forth in the provisions of the California Elections Code governing the form of vote-by-mail voter identification envelopes.

D. The elections official shall not commence to mail the ballot and election materials prior to the twenty-ninth day before the election, and shall complete the mailing no later than the tenth day prior to the election, except as otherwise permitted or required by the California Elections Code.

E. The failure of any registered voter to receive an official ballot shall not invalidate any election conducted pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 1563 § 2, 2011; Ord. 1559 § 5, 2011)

2.42.070 Return of ballots.

A. Ballots may be returned by regular, certified or registered United States mail, overnight commercial carrier, in person, or in any other manner authorized by the California Elections Code. Ballots returned in person may be returned to the official drop-off centers and shall be deemed received by the registrar of voters on the date and at the time of return to an official drop-off center. The elections official may include a notice to voters specifying the permitted means by which to return the voted ballot.

B. All ballots shall be delivered in a manner authorized by the California Elections Code by the voter or other authorized person to the official ballot drop-off centers no later than eight p.m. on the date of the special election. Any ballot received by the elections official by mail or at the official ballot drop-off centers after eight p.m. on the date of the special election shall not be accepted or counted. However, if at the time of the announcement that the poll is closed there are any voters inside the official ballot drop-off centers who have not been able to deposit their official ballot envelope with the election officials there, the election officials shall continue to accept envelopes from such voters until all have had the opportunity to deliver their ballots.

C. Any ballot returned in person shall be returned by the voter who was authorized to cast the ballot or by a person designated and authorized by the voter, in accordance with the California Elections Code, in the appropriate place provided by the elections official on the outside of the return envelope.

D. The elections official shall establish appropriate procedures for verifying the signature and residence address of each voter casting a mailed ballot. Upon receipt at the elections official’s office, the elections official or a deputy elections official shall compare the signature on each envelope with that appearing on the affidavit of registration of such voter and, if determined to be the same, deposit the ballot, still in the official return envelope, in a ballot container in the elections official’s office. If the ballot is rejected on the basis of such comparison, the envelope shall not be opened and the ballot shall not be counted, and the cause of rejection shall be noted on the face of the envelope. A variance between the signatures caused by the substitution of initials for the first or middle name, or both, shall not invalidate the ballot. No ballot shall be removed from its envelope until the time for processing. No ballot shall be rejected on the basis of this subsection after the envelope has been opened. (Ord. 1563 § 3, 2011; Ord. 1559 § 6, 2011)

2.42.080 Official ballot drop-off centers.

The elections official shall establish the appropriate procedures and furnish the necessary staffing to ensure the secrecy and adequate security of ballots returned to the officially designated ballot drop-off centers. (Ord. 1559 § 7, 2011)

2.42.090 Absent voter.

A. No application need be made by any voter for an absentee ballot for this special election conducted entirely by mail and, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the provisions of Chapter 1 (except Sections 3011, 3014, 3017, and 3021 to the extent not inconsistent with this chapter) and Chapter 3 of Division 3 (Section 3000 et seq.) of the Elections Code of the State of California shall not apply to special elections hereunder; provided, however, that any voter who has qualified as a permanent absentee voter under the Elections Code shall receive and return a ballot in the manner provided herein for all other voters. The return of the mailed ballot in the manner authorized and conforming in all particulars to the requirements of this chapter shall be accepted as an absentee ballot on behalf of any voter who is absent from the city on the date of the election.

B.    Any registered voter who will be absent from the city prior to the mail-ballot election to and including the date of the election may file a written application with the elections official to receive an absentee mailed ballot at an address other than the voter’s residence. The application shall be filed following the adoption of the resolution calling the mailed ballot election and on or before the seventh day prior to the election. The application shall show the voter’s place of residence and the address to which the ballot should be mailed, and state that the voter will be unable to receive and return the mailed ballot by the election date, and shall be signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury. No voter who requests an absentee mail ballot shall be required to return or surrender a duplicate mailed ballot sent to the voter’s residence. (Ord. 1563 § 4, 2011: Ord. 1559 § 8, 2011)

2.42.100 Provisional ballots.

Any registered voter who has not already cast his or her vote may obtain a ballot at the official drop-off centers. The drop-off centers shall provide the necessary materials to enable voters to cast their votes in person, in accordance with the provisional ballot provisions of the Elections Code. (Ord. 1559 § 9, 2011)

2.42.110 Processing of ballots.

Notwithstanding any provision in the California Elections Code, the elections official may commence processing the ballots no earlier than the seventh working day prior to the election. However, the elections official shall not release any results until eight p.m. on the day of the special election. (Ord. 1559 § 10, 2011)