Monday, June 29, 2015

No consensus yet on “vote center”/registered voter ratio, deadline is July 2nd

The SB 450 Working Group (WG) contains representatives from the offices of California Secretary Alex Padilla, state legislators, county election officials, and public advocacy organizations.  It met last Friday (by phone) to discuss various matters related to SB 450, a bill authored by California State Senator Ben Allen that would replace the present neighborhood polling place-based elections system with one based on an all-mail ballot, supplemented by “ballot dropoff locations” and “vote centers,” where voters could avail themselves of on-site voting options, including using disabled-compliant/accessible voting systems.

An unresolved issue among WG members has been the ratio of required vote centers to the number of registered voters in the county.  According to Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill Levine, who is also the legislative lead of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) and a member of the WG, “we’re still discussing that piece.”

Asked how the WG was proceeding, she enthusiastically told Etopia News, “We’re still working.  It’s a very good working group.”  She said that the group’s last conference call would take place this Thursday, July 2nd.  After that, the group’s recommendations would be transmitted to the Legislative Council and the author, Ben Allen, who will have the final say on the content of the bill as it is presented, heard, discussed, possibly amended, and voted on in the California State Assembly Elections and Reapportionment Committee.  The date of that committee hearing will be changed, Levine said, from the July 1st date now posted on the official agenda page of the committee and will be re-scheduled for July 15th.

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