SB 450: Vote by Mail & Vote Centers

The text of the bill is here:


  • This is county optional
  • County must do all of it, or none
  • Available 2018 for 14 counties. Available 2020 for all counties – with special rules for LA county (Sec. 4007)
  • All voters will get a Vote by Mail ballot
  • There will be vote centers open at least 10 days before the election (starts on a Saturday)
    • Days 10 thru 4, before EDay, 1 vote center/50,000 registered voters.
    • Starting 3 days before EDay, and on EDay vote center/10,000 voters
  • At the vote center, voter can update their registration
  • Anybody may deliver a voted a vote by mail ballot, to the county, including political operatives (Sec 3017)
  • County to hold public meetings at least every 4 years to discuss plans for the election

We are suggesting amendments on this page:

For discussion and further election legislation alerts, please join the VRTF discussion group by emailing us at voting-rights-subscribe at yahoogroups dot com

Democracy advocates in the SF Bay Area can receive alerts about VRTF meetings at

Section 3017

Allows ANYBODY to deliver a vote by mail ballot.

Section 4005

  • (a) The following counties may conduct any election as an all-mailed ballot election
    • starting January 1, 2018 – Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, and Tuolumne
    • starting January 1, 2020 – any county (with restrictions on LA county [Sec 4007])

    if all of the following apply:

    • (1) Dropoff locations
      • 1 location per 15,000 registered voters
      • minimum 2 per county
      • 28 days before the data of the election, and on EDay
      • shall comply with the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 3025
    • (2) At the Vote Center
      • (A) the voter may:
        • (i) return, or vote and return, their vote by mail ballot.
        • (ii) register to vote vote, update his or her voter registration, and vote pursuant to Section 2170.
        • (iii) receive and vote a provisional ballot pursuant to Section 3016 or Article 5 (commencing with Section 14310) of Chapter 3 of Division 14.
        • (iv) receive a replacement ballot upon verification that a ballot for the same election has not been received from the voter by the county elections official. If the county elections official is unable to determine if a ballot for the same election has been received from the voter, the county elections official may issue a provisional ballot.
        • (v) vote a regular, provisional, or replacement ballot using accessible voting equipment that provides for a private and independent voting experience.
      • (B) Each vote center shall have at least three voting machines that are accessible to voters with disabilities
    • (3) On EDay, and 3 days prior [starting Saturday]
      • 1 vote center per every 10,000 registered voters
      • at least 2 vote centers per county
      • Open at least 8 hours, 7 AM to 8 PM on E Day
    • (4) Starting 10 days before the election
      • (A) 1 vote center per every 50,000 registered voters
      • (B) at least 2 vote centers per county
      • (C) accessibility requirements …
      • (D) equitably distributed across the county so as to afford maximally convenient options for voters … as near as possible to established public transportation routes
      • (E)
        • (i) electronic pollbooks for immediate access to voter registration data
        • (ii) shall not be connected in any way to a voting system.
    • (5)
      • Voter can request and deliver a blank VbM ballot; replacement ballot if necessary
    • (6) Language requirements
    • (7) Starting 10 days before the election, the county shall maintain information about if the voter
      • (i) registered to vote or updated his or her voter registration
      • (ii) received and voted a provisional ballot or replacement ballot
      • (iii) voted a ballot using equipment at the vote center
    • (8) Vote by mail ballots
      • mailed to each voter 29 days before EDay
      • voter may cast a vote by mail ballot in person at a vote center
    • (9) Citizen accessibility and minority language advisory committees
    • (10)
      • (A) Draft plan for the administration of elections
        • (i) & (ii) Public meetings, with 10 days notice
      • (B) Content of the plan…
      • (C) Public review period 14 days before hearing
      • (D) Public meeting(s)
      • (G) Revisions every 4 years [should be every 2 years]
      • (H) Timing of plan amendments
      • (I) Plan shall include …
        • voter outreach
        • vote center and dropoff locations
        • toll-free voter assistance hotline
        • public service announcements
  • (b) Special election as an all-mailed ballot election
    • Previously mentioned counties may conduct special elections
      • (1) county elections official has done either of the following …
      • (2) gives a listing of how to conduct the election, allowing for fewer vote centers and dropoff locations
  • (e) The return of voted vote by mail ballots is subject to Sections 3017 and 3020.
  • (f) For the sole purpose of reporting the results of an election conducted pursuant to this section, upon completion of the ballot count, the county elections official shall divide the jurisdiction into precincts pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 12220) of Chapter 3 of Division 12 and shall prepare a statement of the results of the election in accordance with Sections 15373 and 15374.
  • (g)
    • (1)
      • (A) SoS report to Legislature
        • (i) Costs
        • (ii) Voter registration
        • (iii) Ballot rejection rates
        • (v) Provisional ballot use
        • (vi) The number of votes cast at each vote center
        • (vii) The number of ballots returned at ballot dropoff locations
        • (viii) The number of ballots returned by mail
        • (ix) The number of persons who registered to vote at a vote center
        • (x) Instances of voter fraud
        • (xi) Any other problems that became known to the county elections official or the Secretary of State during the election or canvass
      • (B) Report posted on the SoS Internet Web site
      • (C) Counties to provide SoS with information needed

Section 4006

For any election conducted pursuant to Section 4005, the county elections official shall make a reasonable effort to inform a voter of either of the following:

  • (a) If the voter’s vote by mail ballot envelope is missing a signature.
  • (b) How the voter can correct the missing signature.

Section 4007


Section 4008

Estabilshement of a task force

Section 15320

Vote by mail ballots and mail ballot precinct ballots returned to the elections office and to the polls on election day that are not included in the semifinal official canvass phase of the election election, including any ballots returned to another jurisdiction in the state and forwarded to the elections official who issued the ballot pursuant to Section 3017, shall be processed and counted during the official canvass in the manner prescribed by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 15100) and pursuant to the requirements of Section 3019.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: