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Source:  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=elec&group=02001-03000&file=3000-3025
ELECTIONS CODE
SECTION 3000-3025




3000.  This division shall be liberally construed in favor of the
vote by mail voter.



3001.  Except as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section
3200) and Sections 3007.5, 3007.7, and 3007.8, application for a vote
by mail voter's ballot shall be made in writing to the elections
official having jurisdiction over the election between the 29th and
the 7th day prior to the election. The application shall be signed by
the applicant and shall show his or her place of residence. Any
applications received by the elections official prior to the 29th day
shall be kept and processed during the application period.



3002.  (a) Notwithstanding Section 3001, a person granted
confidentiality pursuant to Section 2166 shall be considered a vote
by mail voter.
   (b) The provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 3200)
relating to permanent vote by mail voters shall apply so far as they
may be consistent with this section and Section 2166.
   (c) All persons granted confidentiality pursuant to Section 2166
shall (1) be required to vote by mail ballot, and (2) in addition to
the required residence address, provide a valid mailing address to
the county elections official to be used in place of the residence
address.


3003.  The vote by mail ballot shall be available to any registered
voter.


3004.  A county elections official shall place a notice in an office
within the county where applications are taken for federal passports
or where military enlistments are received to inform potential
military or overseas voters of their right to a vote by mail voter's
ballot and where to obtain registration materials and application
forms.



3005.  Whenever, on the 88th day before the election, there are 250
or less persons registered to vote in any precinct, the elections
official may furnish each voter with a vote by mail ballot along with
a statement that there will be no polling place for the election.
The elections official 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 mail ballot and the ballot shall
be sent as soon as the ballots are available.
   No precinct shall be divided in order to conform to this section.




3006.  (a) A printed application that is to be distributed to a
voter for requesting a vote by mail voter's ballot shall inform the
voter that the application for the vote by mail voter's ballot must
be received by the elections official not later than seven days prior
to the date of the election and shall contain spaces for the
following:
   (1) The printed name and residence address of the voter as it
appears on the affidavit of registration.
   (2) The address to which the ballot is to be mailed.
   (3) The voter's signature.
   (4) The name and date of the election for which the request is to
be made.
   (b) (1) The information required by paragraphs (1) and (4) of
subdivision (a) may be preprinted on the application. The information
required by paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) shall be
personally affixed by the voter.
   (2) An address, as required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (a),
may not be the address of a political party, a political campaign
headquarters, or a candidate's residence. However, a candidate, his
or her spouse, immediate family members, and any other voter who
shares the same residence address as the candidate may request that a
vote by mail ballot be mailed to the candidate's residence address.
   (3) An application that contains preprinted information shall
contain a conspicuously printed statement substantially similar to
the following: "You have the legal right to mail or deliver this
application directly to the local elections official of the county
where you reside."
   (4) A printed vote by mail application that allows a voter to
submit the application by mail shall inform the voter of the address
for the elections official and specify that address as the only
appropriate destination address for mailing the application. Nothing
in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit an individual,
organization, or group that distributes applications for vote by mail
voter ballots from collecting or receiving applications from voters,
as described in Section 3008, by means other than having the
applications mailed directly to the address of the distributing
individual, organization, or group.
   (c) The application shall inform the voter that if he or she has
declined to disclose a preference for a political party, the voter
may request a vote by mail ballot for a particular political party
for the partisan primary election, if that political party has
adopted a party rule, duly noticed to the Secretary of State,
authorizing that vote. The application shall contain a toll-free
telephone number, established by the Secretary of State, that the
voter may call to access information regarding which political
parties have adopted such a rule. The application shall contain a
checkoff box with a conspicuously printed statement that reads
substantially similar to the following: "I have declined to disclose
a preference for a qualified political party. However, for this
primary election only, I request a vote by mail ballot for the
_________ Party." The name of the political party shall be personally
affixed by the voter.
   (d) The application shall provide the voter with information
concerning the procedure for establishing permanent vote by mail
voter status, and the basis upon which permanent vote by mail voter
status is claimed.
   (e) The application shall be attested to by the voter as to the
truth and correctness of its content, and shall be signed under
penalty of perjury.



3007.  The Secretary of State shall prepare and distribute to
appropriate elections officials a uniform application format for a
vote by mail voter's ballot that conforms to this chapter. This
format shall be followed by all individuals, organizations, and
groups who distribute applications for a vote by mail voter's ballot.
The uniform format need not be utilized by elections officials in
preparing a vote by mail voter's ballot application to be included
with the sample ballot.



3007.5.  (a) The Secretary of State shall prepare and distribute to
appropriate elections officials a uniform electronic application
format for a vote by mail voter's ballot that conforms to this
section.
   (b) The uniform electronic application shall inform the voter that
the application for the vote by mail voter's ballot must be received
by the elections official not later than seven days prior to the
date of the election and shall contain spaces for at least the
following information:
   (1) The name and residence address of the registered voter as it
appears on the affidavit of registration.
   (2) The address to which the ballot is to be mailed.
   (3) The name and date of the election for which the request is
made.
   (4) The date of birth of the registered voter.
   (c) The uniform electronic application shall inform the voter that
if he or she has declined to disclose a preference for a political
party, the voter may request a vote by mail ballot for a particular
political party for the partisan primary election, if that political
party has adopted a party rule, duly noticed to the Secretary of
State, authorizing that vote. The application shall contain a
toll-free telephone number, established by the Secretary of State,
that the voter may call to access information regarding which
political parties have adopted such a rule. The application shall
list the parties that have notified the Secretary of State of the
adoption of such a rule. The application shall contain a checkoff box
with a conspicuously printed statement that reads substantially
similar to the following: "I have declined to disclose a preference
for a qualified political party. However, for this primary election
only, I request a vote by mail ballot for the ____ Party." The name
of the political party shall be personally affixed by the voter.
   (d) The uniform electronic application shall contain a
conspicuously printed statement substantially similar to the
following: "Only the registered voter himself or herself may apply
for a vote by mail ballot. An application for a vote by mail ballot
made by a person other than the registered voter is a criminal
offense."
   (e) The uniform electronic application shall include a statement
substantially similar to the following: "A ballot will not be sent to
you if this application is incomplete or inaccurate."
   (f) The uniform electronic application format shall not permit the
form to be electronically submitted unless all of the information
required to complete the application is contained in the appropriate
fields.



3007.7.  (a) The local elections official may offer a voter the
ability to electronically apply for a vote by mail voter's ballot. If
the local elections official offers the uniform electronic
application, the electronic application shall be in an interactive
Internet format to be completed through the local elections official'
s secure Internet Web site and may not be a downloadable form. The
nondownloadable form shall be of a format that would allow the
registered voter making an application for a vote by mail voter's
ballot to enter the required information and submit the single form
directly to the elections official's secure Internet Web site. The
local elections official shall make every effort to ensure the
security of the submitted information.
   (b) Upon receiving an electronic vote by mail ballot application
that contains the required information within the proper time, the
elections official shall check the information provided against the
voter's information on file. If the elections official deems the
applicant entitled to a vote by mail voter's ballot, the elections
official shall deliver the appropriate vote by mail voter's ballot by
mail or in person.
   (c) If the elections official determines that an electronic vote
by mail ballot application does not contain all of the required
information, or for any other reason is defective, and the elections
official is able to ascertain the voter's address, the elections
official may not mail the voter a vote by mail voter's ballot, but
shall mail the voter a notice of defect. The notice of defect shall
do both of the following:
   (1) Specifically inform the voter of the information that is
required or the reason for the defect in the application.
   (2) State the procedure necessary to remedy the defective
application.
   (d) An address, as required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of
Section 3007.5, may not be the address of any political party, a
political campaign headquarters, or a candidate's residence. However,
a candidate, his or her spouse, immediate family members, and any
other voter who shares the same residence address as the candidate
may request that a vote by mail ballot be mailed to the candidate's
residence address.
   (e) Except as provided in Section 3007.5 and this section, all
other sections of this code pertaining to vote by mail voter
applications, submissions, deadlines, and canvassing shall apply to
electronic vote by mail ballot applications and applicants.




3007.8.  (a) A local elections official may offer a voter the
ability to apply for a vote by mail voter's ballot by telephone.
   (b) To apply by telephone, the applicant shall provide to the
elections official personal identifying information that matches the
information contained on the applicant's affidavit of registration,
including first and last name, home address, and date of birth. The
applicant's signature shall not be required.
   (c) A person shall not apply for a vote by mail voter's ballot
pursuant to this section using the name of, or on behalf of, another
person.
   (d) Prior to being asked for personal identifying information, an
applicant applying for a vote by mail voter's ballot pursuant to this
section shall be advised as follows:
   "Only the registered voter himself or herself may apply for a vote
by mail ballot. An application for a vote by mail ballot that is
made by any person other than the registered voter is a criminal
offense."
   (e) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all provisions
of this code governing written applications for vote by mail voters'
ballots shall apply to applications made by telephone.



3008.  (a) Any individual, organization, or group that distributes
applications for vote by mail voter ballots and receives completed
application forms shall return the forms to the appropriate elections
official within 72 hours of receiving the completed forms, or before
the deadline for application, whichever is sooner. The name,
address, and telephone number of any organization that authorizes the
distribution of the applications shall be included on the
application.
   (b) Any application for a vote by mail voter's ballot that is sent
by an individual, group, or organization to a voter shall be
nonforwardable. Any vote by mail voter's ballot that is returned to
an elections official as undeliverable shall not be forwarded by the
elections official.
   (c) A person may not submit a vote by mail ballot application
electronically for another registered voter.



3009.  (a) Upon receipt of any vote by mail ballot application
signed by the voter that arrives within the proper time, the
elections official should determine if the signature and residence
address on the ballot application appear to be the same as that on
the original affidavit of registration. The elections official may
make this signature check upon receiving the voted ballot, but the
signature must be compared before the vote by mail voter ballot is
canvassed.
   (b) If the elections official deems the applicant entitled to a
vote by mail voter's ballot he or she shall deliver by mail or in
person the appropriate ballot. The ballot may be delivered to the
applicant, his or her spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild,
or sibling, or a person residing in the same household as the vote
by mail voter, except that in no case shall the ballot be delivered
to an individual under 16 years of age. The elections official shall
deliver the vote by mail ballot to the applicant's spouse, child,
parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, or a person residing in
the same household as the vote by mail voter only if that person
signs a statement attested to under penalty of perjury that provides
the name of the applicant and his or her relationship to the
applicant, and affirms that he or she is 16 years of age or older,
and is authorized by the applicant to deliver the vote by mail
ballot.
   (c) If the elections official determines that an application does
not contain all of the information prescribed in Section 3001 or
3006, or for any other reason is defective, and the elections
official is able to ascertain the voter's address, the elections
official shall, within one working day of receiving the application,
mail the voter a vote by mail voter's ballot together with a notice.
The notice shall inform the voter that the voter's vote by mail voter'
s ballot shall not be counted unless the applicant provides the
elections official with the missing information or corrects the
defects prior to, or at the time of, receipt of the voter's executed
vote by mail voter's ballot. The notice shall specifically inform the
voter of the information that is required or the reason for the
defects in the application, and shall state the procedure necessary
to remedy the defective application.
   If the voter substantially complies with the requirements
contained in the elections official's notice, the voter's ballot
shall be counted.
   In determining from the records of registration if the signature
and residence address on the application appear to be the same as
that on the original affidavit of registration, the elections
official or registrar of voters may use the duplicate file of
affidavits of registered voters or the facsimiles of voter's
signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the
facsimiles complies with law.


3009.  (a) Upon receipt of any vote by mail ballot application
signed by the voter that arrives within the proper time, the
elections official should determine if the signature and residence
address on the ballot application appear to be the same as that on
the original affidavit of registration. The elections official may
make this signature check upon receiving the voted ballot, but the
signature must be compared before the vote by mail voter ballot is
canvassed.
   (b) If the elections official deems the applicant entitled to a
vote by mail voter's ballot he or she shall deliver by mail or in
person the appropriate ballot. The ballot may be delivered to the
applicant, his or her spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild,
or sibling, or a person residing in the same household as the vote
by mail voter, except that in no case shall the ballot be delivered
to an individual under 16 years of age. The elections official shall
deliver the vote by mail ballot to the applicant's spouse, child,
parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling, or a person residing in
the same household as the vote by mail voter only if that person
signs a statement attested to under penalty of perjury that provides
the name of the applicant and his or her relationship to the
applicant, and affirms that he or she is 16 years of age or older,
and is authorized by the applicant to deliver the vote by mail
ballot.
   (c) If the elections official determines that an application does
not contain all of the information prescribed in Section 3001 or
3006, or for any other reason is defective, and the elections
official is able to ascertain the voter's address, the elections
official shall, within one working day of receiving the application,
mail the voter a vote by mail voter's ballot together with a notice.
The notice shall inform the voter that the voter's vote by mail voter'
s ballot shall not be counted unless the applicant provides the
elections official with the missing information or corrects the
defects prior to, or at the time of, receipt of the voter's executed
vote by mail voter's ballot. The notice shall specifically inform the
voter of the information that is required or the reason for the
defects in the application, and shall state the procedure necessary
to remedy the defective application.
   If the voter substantially complies with the requirements
contained in the elections official's notice, the voter's ballot
shall be counted.
   In determining from the records of registration if the signature
and residence address on the application appear to be the same as
that on the original affidavit of registration, the elections
official or registrar of voters may use facsimiles of voters'
signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the
facsimiles complies with law.



3010.  The elections official shall deliver to each qualified
applicant:
   (a) The ballot for the precinct in which he or she resides. In
primary elections this shall also be accompanied by the ballot for
the central committee of the party with which the voter is
affiliated, if any.
   (b) All supplies necessary for the use and return of the ballot.
   No officer of this state may make any charge for services rendered
to any voter under this chapter.



3010.  The elections official shall deliver to each qualified
applicant:
   (a) The ballot for the precinct in which he or she resides. In
primary elections this shall also be accompanied by the ballot for
the central committee of the party for which the voter has disclosed
a preference, if any.
   (b) All supplies necessary for the use and return of the ballot.
   No officer of this state may make any charge for services rendered
to any voter under this chapter.


3011.  (a) The identification envelope shall contain all of the
following:
   (1) A declaration, under penalty of perjury, stating that the
voter resides within the precinct in which he or she is voting and is
the person whose name appears on the envelope.
   (2) The signature of the voter.
   (3) The residence address of the voter as shown on the affidavit
of registration.
   (4) The date of signing.
   (5) A notice that the envelope contains an official ballot and is
to be opened only by the canvassing board.
   (6) A warning plainly stamped or printed on it that voting twice
constitutes a crime.
   (7) A warning plainly stamped or printed on it that the voter must
sign the envelope in his or her own handwriting in order for the
ballot to be counted.
   (8) A statement that the voter has neither applied, nor intends to
apply, for a vote by mail voter's ballot from any other jurisdiction
for the same election.
   (9) The name of the person authorized by the voter to return the
vote by mail ballot pursuant to Section 3017.
   (10) The relationship to the voter of the person authorized to
return the vote by mail ballot.
   (11) The signature of the person authorized to return the vote by
mail ballot.
   (b) Except at a primary election for partisan office, and
notwithstanding any other provision of law, the vote by mail voter's
party affiliation may not be stamped or printed on the identification
envelope.


3011.  (a) The identification envelope shall contain all of the
following:
   (1) A declaration, under penalty of perjury, stating that the
voter resides within the precinct in which he or she is voting and is
the person whose name appears on the envelope.
   (2) The signature of the voter.
   (3) The residence address of the voter as shown on the affidavit
of registration.
   (4) The date of signing.
   (5) A notice that the envelope contains an official ballot and is
to be opened only by the canvassing board.
   (6) A warning plainly stamped or printed on it that voting twice
constitutes a crime.
   (7) A warning plainly stamped or printed on it that the voter must
sign the envelope in his or her own handwriting in order for the
ballot to be counted.
   (8) A statement that the voter has neither applied, nor intends to
apply, for a vote by mail voter's ballot from any other jurisdiction
for the same election.
   (9) The name of the person authorized by the voter to return the
vote by mail ballot pursuant to Section 3017.
   (10) The relationship to the voter of the person authorized to
return the vote by mail ballot.
   (11) The signature of the person authorized to return the vote by
mail ballot.
   (b) Except at a primary election for partisan office, and
notwithstanding any other provision of law, the vote by mail voter's
party preference may not be stamped or printed on the identification
envelope.


3012.  Whenever the elections official is required to mail a vote by
mail voter's ballot to any elector and the address to which the
ballot is to be mailed is a point outside the territorial limits of
the United States, the elections official shall mail the vote by mail
voter's ballot to the elector by airmail and, if under any law of
the United States official election ballots may be mailed without the
payment of postage, the elections official shall so mail them.



3013.  Upon delivering or mailing a vote by mail voter's ballot, the
elections official shall enter on the application of the vote by
mail voter, or on the affidavit of registration, the type of ballot
and the date of delivering or mailing. Before the election the
elections official shall send to the inspector of each precinct in
his or her county or city a list of the voters in that precinct
applying for and receiving ballots under the provisions of this
chapter.


3014.  The elections official shall send a second vote by mail voter
ballot to any voter upon receipt of a statement under penalty of
perjury that the voter has failed to receive, lost, or destroyed his
or her original ballot.
   The elections official shall keep a record of each vote by mail
voter ballot sent to and received from a voter and shall verify,
prior to counting any duplicate ballot, that the voter has not
attempted to vote twice. If it is determined that a voter has
attempted to vote twice, both ballots shall be void.



3015.  Vote by mail voters who return to their home precincts on
election day may vote only if they surrender their vote by mail voter
ballots to the inspector of the precinct board.
   The precinct board shall return the unused vote by mail voters'
ballots to the elections official in an envelope designated for this
purpose.



3016.  Any vote by mail voter who is unable to surrender his or her
vote by mail voter's ballot within the meaning of Section 3015 shall
be issued a provisional ballot in accordance with Section 14310.



3017.  (a) All vote by mail ballots cast under this division shall
be voted on or before the day of the election. After marking the
ballot, the vote by mail voter shall do any of the following: (1)
return the ballot by mail or in person to the elections official from
whom it came, (2) return the ballot in person to a member of a
precinct board at a polling place within the jurisdiction, or (3)
return the ballot to the elections official from whom it came at a
vote by mail ballot drop-off location, if provided pursuant to
Section 3025. However, a vote by mail voter who is unable to return
the ballot may designate his or her spouse, child, parent,
grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, or a person residing in the
same household as the vote by mail voter to return the ballot to the
elections official from whom it came or to the precinct board at a
polling place within the jurisdiction. The ballot must, however, be
received by either the elections official from whom it came or the
precinct board before the close of the polls on election day.
   (b) The elections official shall establish procedures to ensure
the secrecy of a ballot returned to a precinct polling place and the
security, confidentiality, and integrity of any personal information
collected, stored, or otherwise used pursuant to this section.
   (c) On or before March 1, 2008, the elections official shall
establish procedures to track and confirm the receipt of voted vote
by mail ballots and to make this information available by means of
online access using the county's elections division Internet Web
site. If the county does not have an elections division Internet Web
site, the elections official shall establish a toll-free telephone
number that may be used to confirm the date a voted vote by mail
ballot was received.
   (d) The provisions of this section are mandatory, not directory,
and a ballot shall not be counted if it is not delivered in
compliance with this section.
   (e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a vote by mail voter's ballot
shall not be returned by a paid or volunteer worker of a general
purpose committee, controlled committee, independent expenditure
committee, political party, candidate's campaign committee, or any
other group or organization at whose behest the individual designated
to return the ballot is performing a service. However, this
subdivision does not apply to a candidate or a candidate's spouse.



3018.  (a) Any voter using a vote by mail ballot may, prior to the
close of the polls on election day, vote the ballot at the office of
the elections official. The voter shall vote the ballot in the
presence of an officer of the elections official or in a voting
booth, at the discretion of the elections official, but in no case
may his or her vote be observed. Where direct recording electronic
voting systems, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 19271, are
used the elections official shall provide sufficient direct recording
electronic voting systems to include all ballot types in the
election.
   (b) For purposes of this section, the office of an elections
official may include satellite locations. Notice of the satellite
locations shall be made by the elections official by the issuance of
a general news release, issued not later than 14 days prior to voting
at the satellite location, except that in a county with a declared
emergency or disaster, notice shall be made not later than 48 hours
prior to voting at the satellite location. The news release shall set
forth the following information:
   (1) The satellite location or locations.
   (2) The dates and hours the satellite location or locations will
be open.
   (3) A telephone number that voters may use to obtain information
regarding vote by mail ballots and the satellite locations.
   (c) Vote by mail ballots voted at a satellite location pursuant to
this section shall be placed in a vote by mail voter identification
envelope to be completed by the voter pursuant to Section 3011.
However, if the elections official provides sufficient direct
recording electronic voting systems such that all ballot types in the
election may be cast, the vote by mail ballot may be cast on a
direct recording electronic voting system.



3019.  (a) Upon receipt of a vote by mail ballot, the elections
official shall compare the signature on the identification envelope
with either of the following to determine if the signatures compare:
   (1) The signature appearing on the voter's affidavit of
registration or any previous affidavit of registration of the voter.
   (2) The signature appearing on a form issued by an elections
official that contains the voter's signature and that is part of the
voter's registration record.
   (b) In comparing signatures pursuant to subdivision (a), the
elections official may use facsimiles of voters' signatures, provided
that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies
with the law.
   (c) (1) If upon conducting the comparison of signatures pursuant
to subdivision (a) the elections official determines that the
signatures compare, he or she shall deposit the ballot, still in the
identification envelope, in a ballot container in his or her office.
   (2) If upon conducting the comparison of signatures pursuant to
subdivision (a) the elections official determines that the signatures
do not compare, the identification envelope shall not be opened and
the ballot shall not be counted. The cause of the rejection shall be
written on the face of the identification envelope.
   (d) The variation of a signature caused by the substitution of
initials for the first or middle name, or both, shall not be grounds
for the elections official to determine that the signatures do not
compare.
   (e) In comparing signatures pursuant to this section, an elections
official may use signature verification technology. If signature
verification technology determines the signatures do not compare, the
elections official shall not reject the ballot unless he or she
visually examines the signatures and verifies that the signatures do
not compare.
   (f) (1) (A) Notwithstanding any other law, if an elections
official determines that a voter has failed to sign the
identification envelope, the elections official shall not reject the
vote by mail ballot if the voter does any of the following:
   (i) Signs the identification envelope at the office of the
elections official during regular business hours before 5 p.m. on the
eighth day after the election.
   (ii) Before 5 p.m. on the eighth day after the election, completes
and submits an unsigned ballot statement in substantially the
following form:

              "UNSIGNED BALLOT STATEMENT
  I,___, am a registered voter of __________ County,
  State of California. I do solemnly swear (or
  affirm) that I requested and returned a vote by
  mail ballot and that I have not and will not vote
  more than one ballot in this election. I
  understand that if I commit or attempt any fraud
  in connection with voting, or if I aid or abet
  fraud or attempt to aid or abet fraud in
  connection with voting, I may be convicted of a
  felony punishable by imprisonment for 16 months
  or two or three years. I understand that my
  failure to sign this statement means that my vote
  by mail ballot will be invalidated.
  ______________________
   Voter's Signature
  __________________
   Address"

   (iii) Before the close of the polls on election day, completes and
submits an unsigned ballot statement, in the form described in
clause (ii), to a polling place within the county or a ballot dropoff
box.
   (B) If timely submitted, the elections official shall accept any
completed unsigned ballot statement. Upon receipt of the unsigned
ballot statement, the elections official shall compare the voter's
signature on the statement in the manner provided by this section.
   (i) If the elections official determines that the signatures
compare, he or she shall attach the unsigned ballot statement to the
identification envelope and deposit the ballot, still in the
identification envelope, in a ballot container in his or her office.
   (ii) If the elections official determines that the signatures do
not compare, the identification envelope shall not be opened and the
ballot shall not be counted.
   (C) An elections official may use methods other than those
described in subparagraph (A) to obtain a voter's signature on an
unsigned identification envelope.
   (2) Instructions shall accompany the unsigned ballot statement in
substantially the following form:

       "READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE
   COMPLETING THE STATEMENT. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE
   INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR BALLOT NOT TO COUNT.
  1. In order to ensure that your vote by mail
  ballot will be counted, your statement should be
  completed and returned as soon as possible so
  that it can reach the elections official of the
  county in which your precinct is located no later
  than 5 p.m. on the eighth day after the election.
  2. You must sign your name on the line above
  (Voter's Signature).
  3.Place the statement into a mailing envelope
  addressed to your local elections official. Mail,
  deliver, or have delivered the completed
  statement to the elections official. Be sure
  there is sufficient       postage if mailed and
  that the address of the elections official is
  correct.
  4. Alternatively, you may submit your completed
  statement by facsimile transmission to your local
  elections official, or submit your completed
  statement to a polling place within the county or
  a ballot dropoff box before the close of the
  polls on election day.

   (3) An elections official shall include the unsigned ballot
statement and instructions described in this subdivision on his or
her Internet Web site, and shall provide the elections official's
mailing address and facsimile transmission number on the Internet Web
page containing the statement and instructions.
   (g) A ballot shall not be removed from its identification envelope
until the time for processing ballots. A ballot shall not be
rejected for cause after the identification envelope has been opened.



3019.5.  (a) A county elections official shall establish a free
access system that allows a vote by mail voter to learn if his or her
vote by mail ballot was counted and, if not, the reason why the
ballot was not counted. For each election, the elections official
shall make the free access system available to a vote by mail voter
upon completion of the official canvass and for 30 days after
completion of the official canvas.
   (b) For purposes of establishing the free access system for vote
by mail ballots required by subdivision (a), a county elections
official may use the free access system for provisional ballots
established by the county pursuant to Section 302 of the federal Help
America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 21082).
   (c) If a county elections official elects not to mail a sample
ballot to a voter pursuant to Section 13305, the elections official
shall use any savings achieved to offset the costs associated with
establishing the free access system for vote by mail ballots required
by subdivision (a).


3020.  (a) All vote by mail ballots cast under this division shall
be received by the elections official from whom they were obtained or
by the precinct board no later than the close of the polls on
election day.
   (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any vote by mail ballot cast
under this division shall be timely cast if it is received by the
voter's elections official 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 elections official 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 3011 on or before election day.



3021.  After the close of the period for requesting vote by mail
voter ballots by mail any voter unable to go to the polls because of
illness or disability resulting in his or her confinement in a
hospital, sanatorium, nursing home, or place of residence, or any
voter unable because of a physical handicap to go to his or her
polling place or because of that handicap is unable to vote at his or
her polling place due to existing architectural barriers at his or
her polling place denying him or her physical access to the polling
place, voting booth, or voting apparatus or machinery, or any voter
unable to go to his or her polling place because of conditions
resulting in his or her absence from the precinct on election day may
request in a written statement, signed under penalty of perjury that
a ballot be delivered to him or her. This written statement shall
not be required if the vote by mail ballot is voted in the office of
the elections official as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 3018,
at the time of the request. This ballot shall be delivered by the
elections official to any authorized representative of the voter who
presents this written statement to the elections official.
   Before delivering the ballot the elections official may compare
the signature on the request with the signature on the voter's
affidavit of registration, but in any event, the signature shall be
compared before the vote by mail ballot is canvassed.
   The voter shall mark the ballot, place it in the identification
envelope, fill out and sign the envelope and return the ballot,
personally or through the authorized representative, to either the
elections official or any polling place within the jurisdiction.
   These ballots shall be processed and counted in the same manner as
other vote by mail ballots.



3021.5.  (a) Upon the declaration of an out-of-state emergency by
the Governor and the issuance of an executive order authorizing an
out-of-state emergency worker to cast a ballot outside of his or her
home precinct, a county elections official shall, upon request of an
out-of-state emergency worker pursuant to this chapter, issue a vote
by mail ballot to the out-of-state emergency worker using a process
to be determined by that elections official. The process shall
include all of the following:
   (1) Authorization for an out-of-state emergency worker to request
a vote by mail ballot after the close of the vote by mail ballot
application period specified in Section 3001.
   (2) Authorization for a vote by mail ballot and accompanying
voting materials to be sent to an out-of-state emergency worker by
mail, facsimile transmission, or electronic transmission, as
requested by the out-of-state emergency worker. An elections official
may use reasonable facsimiles of the sample ballots sent to voters
as vote by mail ballots.
   (3) A requirement that an out-of-state emergency worker mark the
vote by mail ballot provided to him or her, place it in the vote by
mail ballot identification envelope, and return the vote by mail
ballot to the elections official from whom it was obtained. If no
identification envelope is provided, the envelope used to return the
vote by mail ballot to the elections official shall include the
information required by subdivision (a) of Section 3011 and a
statement signed under penalty of perjury that the voter is an
out-of-state emergency worker.
   (b) In order to be counted, a vote by mail ballot cast pursuant to
this section shall be received in compliance with Section 3020.
   (c) An elections official shall receive and canvass vote by mail
ballots cast pursuant to this section by the same procedure as for
all other vote by mail ballots cast pursuant to this chapter.




3022.  The elections official shall include with the sample ballot
an application for a vote by mail ballot.



3023.  Each ballot that is delivered pursuant to this chapter shall
be accompanied by a ballot pamphlet, unless the voter has already
been provided a ballot pamphlet.



3024.  The cost to administer vote by mail ballots where issues and
elective offices related to school districts, as defined by Section
17519 of the Government Code, are included on a ballot election with
noneducation issues and elective offices shall not be fully or
partially prorated to a school district. The Commission on State
Mandates shall delete school districts, county boards of education,
and community college districts from the list of eligible claimants
in the Parameters and Guidelines for the Absentee Ballot Mandates.



3025.  (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have
the following meanings:
   (1) "Vote by mail ballot drop box" means a secure receptacle
established by a county or city and county elections official whereby
a voted vote by mail ballot may be returned to the elections
official from whom it was obtained.
   (2) "Vote by mail ballot drop-off location" means a location
consisting of a secured vote by mail ballot drop box at which a voted
vote by mail ballot may be returned to the elections official from
whom it was obtained.
   (b) On or before January 1, 2017, the Secretary of State shall
promulgate regulations establishing guidelines based on best
practices for security measures and procedures, including, but not
limited to, chain of custody, pick-up times, proper labeling, and
security of the vote by mail ballot drop boxes, that a county
elections official may use if the county elections official
establishes one or more vote by mail ballot drop-off locations.