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February 19, 2016

CONTACT: Sam Mahood

(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Vote by Mail Ballots. Electronic Submission. All-Mailed Ballot Elections. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures yesterday.  

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

VOTE BY MAIL BALLOTS. ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION. ALL-MAILED BALLOT ELECTIONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Repeals prohibitions against voting systems connecting to Internet or using wireless communications. Establishes Election Data Security Commission, composed of Secretary of State and six subject matter experts, to develop standards, software, and procedures for secure electronic submission of vote by mail ballots. Directs Commission to conduct electronic submission pilot programs for military voters by November 2022; requires statewide use if Commission certifies security of system. Exempts Commission from conflict of interest laws, as specified; requires disclosure of financial interests in companies Commission contracts with. Expands county authority to conduct all-mailed ballot elections. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: One-time state costs—likely many tens of millions of dollars and possibly exceeding $100 million—to implement a new information technology system. Ongoing state costs to maintain system—possibly millions of dollars each year. Ongoing savings to counties for administering elections—possibly in the range of tens of millions of dollars for a statewide general election. (15-0117.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1776 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 15-0117. 

The proponent of the measure, Lance H. Olson, must collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the November 2016 ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by August 16, 2016.  The proponent can be reached at (916) 442-2952.