E-Signature Legislation – California

SECTION 1. Section I 07 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 2 107. (a) No later than 180 days after this section takes effect, the Secretary of State shall develop a system that allows a voter to view initiative, referendum, and recall petitions on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site and do either of the following: (1) Provide necessary identifying information and electronically sign the petition directly on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site. (2) Download, print, and sign a document in portable document format (PDF) that contains a copy of the petition and space for the signer to provide necessary identifying information. (b) The system developed pursuant to subdivision (a) shall enable the Secretary of State to verify the authenticity of an electronic signature. SEC. 2. Section 9023 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9023. (a) An initiative or referendum petition that is cleared for circulation may be circulated pursuant to the system established under Section 107. (b) (1) If a proponent informs the Secretary of State that he or she elects to have a petition circulated pursuant to Section 107, the Secretary of State shall do all of the following: (A) Post the text of the petition on his or her Internet Web site. (B) Enable a voter to do either of the following: (i) Provide the information required by Section 9020 and electronically sign the petition directly on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site. 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 3 (ii) Download, print, and sign a document in portable document format (PDF) that contains a copy of the petition and space for the signer to provide the information required by Section 9020. (C) Provide on his or her Internet Web site an ongoing tally of the total number of signatures received pursuant to the methods described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1). (D) Invite the submission of arguments for and against the measure, and post any submitted arguments on his or her Internet Web site. (2) A document provided to a person pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) shall include instructions for returning it to the Secretary of State. (3) Notwithstanding Section 16.5 of the Government Code, an electronic signature submitted pursuant to this section may be used to sign an initiative or referendum petition. The signature and information obtained pursuant this subdivision shall be deemed to be personally affixed to the petition, and the signature shall be treated as a “signature” as defined in Section 354.5 of the Elections Code. SEC. 3. Section 9036 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9036. (a) Upon the close of the circulation period for a petition circulated pursuant to Section 9023, the Secretary ofState shall verify the signatures and determine the total number of valid signatures submitted by voters who did either of the following: (1) Electronically signed the petition. (2) Signed a copy of the petition in portable document format (PDF). (b) (1) If the total number of valid signatures is less than 100 percent of the number of qualified voters required to find the petition sufficient, the Secretary ofState 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 4 shall so notify the proponents, and he or she shall take no further action with regard to the petition. (2) If the total number of valid signatures is 100 percent or more of the number of qualified voters needed to declare the petition sufficient, the Secretary ofState shall certify pursuant to Section 9033 that the measure is qualified for the ballot. SEC. 4. Section 9107 .5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9107.5. (a) An initiative or referendum petition that is cleared for circulation may be circulated pursuant to the system established under Section 107. (b) (1) If a proponent informs the county elections official that he or she elects to have a petition circulated pursuant to Section 107, the county elections official shall notify the Secretary of State, who shall do all of the following: (A) Post the text of the petition on his or her Internet Web site. (B) Enable a voter to do either of the following: (i) Provide the information required by Section 9020 and electronically sign the petition directly on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site. (ii) Download, print, and sign a document in portable document format (PDF) that contains a copy of the petition and space for the signer to provide the information required by Section 9020. (C) Provide on his or her Internet Web site an ongoing tally of the total number of signatures received pursuant to the methods described in subparagraph (B). (D) Invite the submission of arguments for and against the measure, and post any submitted arguments on his or her Internet Web site. 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 5 (2) A document provided to a person pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall include instructions for returning it to the Secretary of State. (3) Notwithstanding Section 16.5 of the Government Code, an electronic signature submitted pursuant to this section may be used to sign an initiative or referendum petition. The signature and information obtained pursuant this subdivision shall be deemed to be personally affixed to the petition, and the signature shall be treated as a “signature” as defined in Section 354.5 of the Elections Code. SEC. 5. Section 9118.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9118.5. (a) Upon the close of the circulation period for a petition circulated pursuant to Section 9107.5, the county elections official shall do both of the following: (1) Request the electronic signature data and documents received in portable document format (PDF) from the Secretary of State. (2) Examine the signatures and determine the total number of valid signatures submitted by voters who did either of the following: (A) Electronically signed the petition. (B) Signed a copy ofthe petition in portable document format (PDF). (b) (1) If the county elections official finds the petition to be insufficient, the county elections official shall take no further action on the petition. (2) If the county elections official finds the petition to be sufficient, the county elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the board of supervisors at the next regular meeting of the board. SEC. 6. Section 9206.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 6 9206.5. (a) An initiative or referendum petition that is cleared for circulation may be circulated pursuant to the system established under Section 107. (b) (1) If a proponent informs the elections official that he or she elects to have a petition circulated pursuant to Section 107, the elections official shall notify the Secretary of State, who shall do all of the following: (A) Post the text of the petition on his or her Internet Web site. (B) Enable a voter to do either of the following: (i) Provide the information required by Section 9020 and electronically sign the petition directly on his or her Internet Web site. (ii) Download, print, and sign a document in portable document format (PDF) that contains a copy of the petition and space for the signer to provide the information required by Section 9020. (C) Provide on his or her Internet Web site an ongoing tally of the total number of signatures received pursuant to the methods described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1). (D) Invite the submission of arguments for and against the measure, and post any submitted arguments on his or her Internet Web site. (2) A document provided to a person pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) shall include instructions for returning it to the Secretary of State. (3) Notwithstanding Section 16.5 of the Government Code, an electronic signature submitted pursuant to this section may be used to sign an initiative or referendum petition. The signature and information obtained pursuant this subdivision shall be 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 7 deemed to be personally affixed to the petition, and the signature shall be treated as a “signature” as defined in Section 354.5 of the Elections Code. SEC. 7. Section 9215.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9215.5. Upon the close of the circulation period for a petition circulated pursuant to Section 9206.5, the elections official shall examine the petition in the same manner as county petitions are examined in accordance with Section 9118.5, except that for the purposes of this section, references to the board of supervisors shall be treated as references to the legislative body of the city. SEC. 8. Section 9304.7 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9304.7. (a) An initiative or referendum petition that is cleared for circulation may be circulated pursuant to the system established under Section 107. (b) (1) If a proponent informs the district elections official that he or she elects to have a petition circulated pursuant to Section 107, the district elections official shall notify the Secretary of State, who shall do all of the following: (A) Post the text of the petition on his or her Internet Web site. (B) Enable a voter to do either of the following: (i) Provide the information required by Section 9020 and electronically sign the petition directly on his or her Internet Web site. (ii) Download, print, and sign a document in portable document format (PDF) that contains a copy of the petition and space for the signer to provide the information required by Section 9020. 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 8 (C) Provide on his or her Internet Web site an ongoing tally of the total number of signatures received pursuant to the methods described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1). (D) Invite the submission of arguments for and against the measure, and post any submitted arguments on his or her Internet Web site. (2) A document provided to a person pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) shall include instructions for returning it to the Secretary of State. (3) Notwithstanding Section 16.5 of the Government Code, an electronic signature submitted pursuant to this section may be used to sign an initiative or referendum petition. The signature and information obtained pursuant this subdivision shall be deemed to be personally affixed to the petition, and the signature shall be treated as a “signature” as defined in Section 354.5 of the Elections Code. SEC. 9. Section 9311.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 9311.5. (a) Upon the close of the circulation period for a petition circulated pursuant to Section 9304.7, the district elections official shall do both of the following: (1) Request the electronic signature data and documents received in portable document format (PDF) from the Secretary of State. (2) Examine the signatures and determine the total number of valid signatures submitted by voters who did either of the following: (A) Electronically signed the petition. (B) Signed a copy of the petition in portable document format (PDF). (b) (1) If the district elections official finds the petition to be insufficient, the district elections official shall take no further action on the petition. 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 9 (2) If the district elections official finds the petition to be sufficient, the district elections official shall certify the results of the examination to the governing board of the district at the next regular meeting of the board. SEC. 10. Section 11024 of the Elections Code is amended to read: 11024. (a) The statement and answer are intended solely for the information of the voters. No in sufficiency (b) The Secretary of State shall post the statement and answer on his or her Internet Web site. (c) Insufficiency in the form or substance thereof of the statement or answer shall not affect the validity of the election proceedings. SEC. 11. Section 11042.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 11042.5. (a) A recall petition that satisfies the requirements of Section 11042 may be circulated pursuant to the system established under Section 107. (b) (1) If a proponent informs the Secretary of State that he or she elects to circulate a petition pursuant to Section 107, the Secretary of State shall do all of the following: (A) Post the text of the petition on his or her Internet Web site. (B) Enable a voter to do either of the following: (i) Provide the information required by Section 11043 and electronically sign the petition directly on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site. (ii) Download, print, and sign a document in portable document format (PDF) that contains a copy of the petition and space for the signer to provide the information required by Section 11043. 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 10 (C) Provide on his or her Internet Web site an ongoing tally of the total number of signatures received pursuant to the methods described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1). (2) A document provided pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) shall include instructions for returning it to the Secretary of State. (3) Notwithstanding Section 16.5 of the Government Code, an electronic signature submitted pursuant to this section may be used to sign an recall petition. The signature and information obtained pursuant to either this subdivision shall be deemed to be personally affixed to the petition, and the signature shall be treated as a “signature” as defined in Section 354.5 of the Elections Code. SEC. 12. Section 11108.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 11108.5. Immediately after the deadline for submission of all signatures for a recall petition circulated pursuant to Section 11042.5, the Secretary ofState shall verify the signatures and determine the total number of valid signatures submitted by voters who did either of the following: (1) Electronically signed the petition. (2) Signed a copy of the petition in portable document format (PDF). SEC. 13. Section 11228 is added to the Elections Code, to read: 11228. Immediately after the deadline for submission of all signatures for a recall petition circulated pursuant to Section 11042.5, the elections official shall do both of the following: (1) Request the electronic signature data and documents received in portable document format (PDF) from the Secretary of State. 02/01/16 01:07 PM RN 15 28659 PAGE 11 (2) Examine the signatures and determine the total number of valid signatures submitted by voters who did either of the following: (A) Electronically signed the petition. (B) Signed a copy of the petition in portable document format (PDF). (b) (1) If the elections official finds the petition to be insufficient, the elections official shall take no further action on the petition. (2) If the elections official finds the petition to be sufficient, the elections official shall submit his or her certificate as to the sufficiency of the petition to the governing body at its next regular meeting.