Ballot Printing

California Code of Regulations

Title 2. Administration

Division 7. Secretary of State

Chapter 4. Ballot Printing

  • Article 1. General
  • Article 2. Definitions
  • Article 3. Certification of Ballot Printers
  • Article 4. Request for and Release, Accounting of Ballot Cards and Unfinished Ballot Cards
  • Article 5. Shipment of Ballot Cards and Unfinished Ballot Cards
  • Article 6. Physical Security
  • Article 7. Certification of Ballot on Demand Systems
  • Article 8. Jurisdiction Approval for Use of a Ballot on Demand System
  • Article 9. Tint and Watermark Assignment

Article 1.   General

20200.   Applicability of This Chapter.

The procedures specified in this chapter shall govern the manufacture, finishing, quality standards, distribution and inventory control of ballot cards for use in California elections. The provisions of this chapter also govern certification of ballot printers, ballot on demand systems, ballot on demand jurisdictions and the biennial inspection of ballot printing and storage facilities for ballot cards. All ballot printers and ballot on demand systems that have received Secretary of State Certification prior to the adoption of these regulations shall maintain their status as certified until two years from the date of their last successful biennial inspection. Prior to the expiration, each ballot printer and ballot on demand system vendor shall submit a new application. If the Secretary of State does not receive an application from a ballot printer or ballot on demand vendor before the expiration of the biennial inspection, it will become decertified effective immediately.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004, 13005 and 13006, Elections Code.

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Article 2.   Definitions

20201.   Ballot Card.

Ballot card means ballot paper processed to final form for use by voters to punch, slot, or mark their choices in California elections.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20202.   Ballot Card Dimension.

Ballot card dimension means the length and width of the ballot card in inches.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20203.   Ballot Content.

Ballot content means the printed information for a specific election required by California Elections Code, Division 13.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Division 13, Elections Code.

20204. Ballot on Demand System.

Ballot on demand system means a self-contained system that allows users to manufacture and finish ballot paper or to finish unfinished ballot cards into ballot cards on an as needed basis.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20205.   Ballot Paper.

Ballot paper means blank paper either in rolls or sheets cut to size that contain no election specific information including tint and watermark.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20206.   Ballot Printer.

Ballot printer means any company or jurisdiction that manufactures, finishes, or sells ballot cards, including test ballots, for use in an election conducted pursuant to California Elections Code.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20207.   Ballot Style.

Ballot style means the specification for the unfinished ballot card or ballot card. Ballot styles are the combination of the ballot card dimension, format, and ballot type (e.g poll ballot or VBM ballots).

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20208.   Batch Printing.

Batch printing means the process of printing more than one ballot style on a ballot on demand system from a file that was originally generated from another file system (e.g. sending a print queue for the daily VBM applications). Batch printing does not include printing a quantity of ballots for a single ballot style.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20209.   Facility.

Facility means the building or location where a ballot printer manufactures or finishes ballots to be used for California elections.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 13004 and 13005, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004, 13005 and 13006, Elections Code..

20210.   Finish.

Finish means the process of creating ballot cards to be used in California elections from unfinished ballot cards by adding the ballot content including tint and watermark.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20211.   Format.

Format means the pattern of voting locations of unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards (e.g. three column left oval, two column right arrows, etc.) and includes the number of punch positions (e.g. 26, 52, 312, etc.) for hole style punch cards, including those that are marked instead of punched.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20212.   Jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction means any local election district, county, municipal, or special district, that conducts elections pursuant to the California Elections Code.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20213.   Manufacture.

Manufacture means a process used to create unfinished ballot cards from ballot paper to be used in California elections.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20214.   Test Ballots.

Test ballots means ballots created specifically for the testing of the ballot tabulation equipment as prescribed by Elections Code section 15000. Test ballots shall contain the identical ballot content as the ballot cards that will be used in the election for which the tabulation equipment is being tested and shall only be discernible by markings that make the ballot clearly distinguishable as a test ballot (e.g. “TEST BALLOT”). Further, test ballots must be manufactured and/or finished using the identical make/model and brand of the ballot paper, ink, and manufacturing and finishing equipment as the ballot cards that will be used in the election for which the tabulation equipment is being tested.

Note: Authority cited: Section 15000, Elections Code. Reference: Section 15000, Elections Code.

20215.   Tint.

Tint means a color assigned pursuant to Elections Code section 13002 that is printed on ballot paper for ballots to be used in California elections.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13002, Elections Code.

20216.   Unfinished Ballot Card.

Unfinished ballot card means ballot paper, tinted and watermarked for use in California elections. Unfinished ballot cards may be in the form of rolls or sheets.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20217.   Warehouse.

Warehouse means any storage facility, including a building or portion of a building, used for the storage of unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 13004 and 13005, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004, 13005 and 13006, Elections Code.

20218.   Watermark.

Watermark means an image assigned pursuant to Election Code section 13002 that is printed on ballot paper for ballots to be used in California elections.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13002, Elections Code.

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Article 3.   Certification of Ballot Printers

20220.   Ballot Printer Certification Required.

As either a principal or subcontractor, no ballot printer shall manufacture or finish ballot cards or unfinished ballot cards for use in California elections, and no ballot printer shall accept or solicit orders for ballot cards or unfinished ballot cards prior to certification as a ballot printer by the Secretary of State.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20221.   Form of Application for Ballot Printer Certification.

Applications for ballot printer certification shall be made in writing to the Secretary of State and contain the following documentation:

  1. Name and address of the facility requesting certification.
  2. A contact person's telephone number, fax number and email.
  3. Whether the facility will be used to manufacture and/or finish unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards.
  4. The type of ballots, including the voting system vendor, voting system and/or component name, for which the certification is being sought.
  5. Documentation detailing how the user intends to comply with the requirements detailed in these regulations.
  6. Make and model of printing equipment.
  7. Type of printing press (e.g lithographic, xerographic, inkjet, etc.).
  8. Type of ink or toner used (pigment-based, dye-based, waterproof, solid, etc.).
  9. All other equipment, chemicals, or substances used for drying or adhering the toner or ink to the unfinished ballot card or ballot card.
  10. Vendor, brand, and specifications for ballot paper being used.
  11. Disclosure of any known flaw or defect in its ballot card manufacturing or finishing process that could adversely affect the future casting or tallying of votes.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20222.   Ballot Printer Certification Testing.

Within 90 days after a completed application is accepted by the Secretary of State, testing shall be completed by either:

  1. A State-approved testing agency (S-ATA), pursuant to Elections Code section 19220, that confirms the ballot cards produced by the ballot printer meet the ballot requirements set forth in the voting system's Technical Data Package for the voting system for which certification is being sought; or
  2. A test conducted by the voting system vendor that confirms the ballot cards produced by the ballot printer meet the ballot requirements set forth in the voting system's Technical Data Package for the voting system for which certification is being sought.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20223.   Ballot Printer Testing Criteria.

The testing pursuant to section 20222 shall include the following:

  1. The ballot printer must print 5,000 ballots cards for each ballot style for each voting system for which it seeks certification.
  2. The ballot cards shall be tabulated with the following accuracy and reject criteria as it relates to the acceptance by each component of the voting system for which certification is being sought:
    1. The accuracy error rate shall be zero; and
    2. The rejection rate shall not exceed two percent.
  3. The ballot cards produced shall be tested by being scanned in all orientations applicable to each voting system component for which certification is being sought.
  4. The ballot cards shall meet the voting system's ballot printing specifications, as certified by the Secretary of State as part of the voting system's Technical Data Package.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20224.   Costs of Ballot Printer Certification Testing.

  1. The ballot printer seeking certification shall be responsible for all direct costs associated with the certification testing, as prescribed in section 20222 of these regulations. If testing is conducted pursuant to section 20222(a), the applicant shall deposit the funds for testing, as estimated by the Secretary of State, into an Agency Trust Account required to guarantee and reimburse the cost of any expenditures associated with the testing.
  2. If the initial deposit is not sufficient to reimburse the cost of all expenditures associated with the certification testing, the Secretary of State's office will require an additional deposit of funds into the Agency Trust Account. If the Secretary of State does not receive such additional deposit of funds as directed, the Secretary of State may suspend the certification process.
  3. After all expenditures have been paid, the Secretary of State shall notify the applicant of any amount in excess of those expenditures. The applicant may request that the amount in excess of those expenditures be refunded or held in the Agency Trust Account for future testing and certification.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20225.   Inspections of Ballot Printer Facilities Prior to Certification.

Prior to certifying a ballot printer, or to certifying a change in equipment or procedures for ballot printing, the Secretary of State may make inspections, with or without prior notice, of such facilities, records, equipment, and process of such ballot printer as the Secretary of State deems necessary.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20226.   Certifying a Ballot Printer.

The Secretary of State will certify in writing any applicant whom the Secretary of State determines to be capable of manufacturing or finishing ballot cards or unfinished ballot cards pursuant to California Elections Code, these regulations, and the ballot printing specifications certified with each respective voting system.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20227.   Subcontracting of Ballot Printing.

If any part of any authorized order for ballot printing is to be subcontracted, then:

  1. The subcontractor shall be certified by the Secretary of State prior to performing any ballot printing.
  2. The principal ballot printer shall notify the Secretary of State in writing of the subcontract, including the name of the jurisdiction(s) for which the subcontractor is manufacturing or finishing, and shall state the quantity of ballot cards, unfinished ballot cards, or test ballots to be manufactured or finished under the subcontract.
  3. Subcontractors shall be governed under these regulations in the same manner as principal contractors.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13005, Elections Code.

20228.   Subcontracting of Folding, Stuffing, or Packaging for Shipment of Ballot Cards.

If any part of the folding, stuffing, or packaging for shipment of ballot cards is to be subcontracted, then:

  1. The principal ballot printer shall notify the Secretary of State in writing and shall state the quantity of ballot cards to be folded, stuffed, or packaged for shipment by the subcontractor.
  2. The principal ballot printer shall provide the Secretary of State with the name, address, contact information (e.g. phone, fax, email, etc.) of the subcontractor and facility being used to fulfill the order, if different.
  3. The principal ballot printer shall also notify the jurisdiction(s) in writing that the subcontract affects.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20229.   Publish List of Certified Ballot Printers.

The Secretary of State shall publish a list of certified ballot printers no later than January 1 of each year and within ten days of any changes to the list.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20230.   Change in Ballot Printing Certification.

No change in any information contained within the application at the time of certification, excluding contact information (e.g. phone, fax, email, etc.), shall be made without the prior express written certification of the Secretary of State. Applications for such certification shall be in writing and shall show substantially the same information as the initial application for certification of the ballot printer.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20231.   Inspections of Ballot Printing Facilities; Enforcement of Regulations.

To ensure compliance with these regulations, the Secretary of State may make biennial inspections, with or without prior notice, of each warehouse and of the facilities of each certified ballot printer, and of the records, equipment, and process of the ballot printer as the Secretary of State deems necessary.

The Secretary of State reserves the right to make additional inspections. If the Secretary of State finds that any ballot printer not in compliance with these regulations, the Secretary of State shall require corrective action necessary to ensure compliance. The action may include, for warehouses found to be not in compliance with these regulations, requiring the withdrawal of ballot cards unfinished ballot cards or test ballots from such warehouse, and the transfer of such ballot materials to warehouses which are in compliance with these regulations or order the destruction of such ballot materials. This action may also include, but is not limited to, the withdrawal of certification of the ballot printer.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20232.   Revocation of Ballot Printer Certification.

Ballot printer certifications are valid until revoked by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will revoke a certification at any time upon determining that the ballot printer is no longer capable of manufacturing or finishing ballot cards or unfinished ballot cards or has failed to comply with these regulations without good cause which is acceptable to the Secretary of State.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

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Article 4.   Request for and Release, Accounting of Ballot Cards and Unfinished Ballot Cards.

20233.   Request for Ballot Card Release Required

  1. Any jurisdiction wishing to purchase ballot cards directly from a ballot printer or wishing to have unfinished ballot cards removed from a warehouse for finishing, shall request in writing a release from the Secretary of State.
  2. No ballot cards or unfinished ballot cards shall be manufactured, and no unfinished ballot cards shall be removed from the warehouse for finishing, prior to issuance of a specific release from the Secretary of State for manufacturing or finishing. No ballot cards shall be manufactured or finished except in the format, sheet dimension, tint, watermark, and quantity specified in the applicable release.
  3. No tinted card stock shall be used for any purpose other than manufacturing ballot cards for use in California elections.
  4. Manufacturers wishing to tint rolls in anticipation of receiving releases shall request in writing authorization from the Secretary of State to tint a sufficient number of rolls to meet expected orders. Such requests shall be substantially in the form of a request for release.
  5. Requiring a written request for a release shall not prevent any user from making a request to obtain a release by telephone from the Secretary of State when time is of the essence. Such telephoned request shall be confirmed by the requestor as soon as practicable in writing.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13005 and 13006, Elections Code.

20234.   Form of Request.

Each written request shall contain the following information.

  1. Name and date of election.
  2. Name of ballot card manufacturer and finisher(s) if different.
  3. Sheet dimension, watermark and tint of card stock.
  4. Quantity for each sheet dimension, watermark and tint.
  5. Name, address, and phone number of requestor.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13005 and 13006, Elections Code.

20235.   Ballot Card Accounting Record.

Unfinished ballot cards and ballot cards shall not be used for any purpose other than for voting in an election being conducted pursuant to California Elections Code. Any ballot printer that places a Secretary of State provided tint or watermark on ballot stock shall maintain a Ballot Card Accounting Record. The Ballot Card Accounting Record shall be submitted to the Secretary of State within thirty (30) calendar days after the date of the election, except for ballot cards purchased after election day for the purpose of duplication, in which case, the Ballot Card Accounting Record shall be submitted to the Secretary of State within thirty (30) calendar days after shipment to the jurisdiction. A release must still be obtained from the Secretary of State as prescribed in Elections Code section 13005.

  1. Each Ballot Card Accounting Record shall contain the following information:
    1. Name of the ballot printer;
    2. Name of the election;
    3. Date of the election;
    4. Tint and watermark assignment for the election;
    5. Name of the jurisdiction for which the unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards are being printed;
    6. The process being used to produce the ballots;
    7. Contract and/or purchase order number;
    8. Ballot card dimension;
    9. Format;
    10. Ballot type (e.g. permanent vote by mail, precinct, accessibility, daily vote by mail updates, duplicates, or ballot on demand);
    11. Quantity in the contract or purchase order;
    12. Quantity produced (e.g. manufactured and/or finished);
    13. Quantity shipped;
    14. Quantity scrapped or destructed; and
    15. Quantity placed in the warehouse for storage.
  2. For a ballot printer who only finishes the unfinished ballot cards received from a manufacturer, the Ballot Card Accounting Record shall also contain the following information:
    1. Name of the manufacturer who produced the unfinished ballot cards; and
    2. Quantity of unfinished ballot cards received from the manufacturer.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13005 and 13006, Elections Code.

20236.   Warehouse Inventory Control Record.

  1. Ballot printers shall maintain a Warehouse Inventory Control Record of all unfinished ballot cards in its warehouse. The Warehouse Inventory Control Record shall contain the following information:
    1. Ballot printer name;
    2. Tint and watermark;
    3. Ballot card dimension;
    4. Format;
    5. Quantity placed in warehouse;
    6. Quantity removed;
    7. Balance on hand;
    8. Date of activity (e.g. placed in or removed from warehouse); and
    9. Name of employee responsible for the activity.
  2. A copy of the Warehouse Inventory Control Record shall be submitted to the Secretary of State on January 15th and August 15th of each calendar year.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13005 and 13006, Elections Code.

20237.   Ballot Images Encrypted, Secured, and Transmitted.

 

  1. Any ballot printer using electronic ballot images to produce ballot cards must encrypt the files. Any employee who requires access to these files must have a unique log in ID and password and their user activity must be logged. These logs must be maintained for no less than ninety (90) days after the date of an election.
  2. A log shall be maintained each time the electronic ballot images are deleted or destroyed.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20238.   Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report.

  1. During the ballot printing process, all scrap shall be cut or otherwise rendered unusable as ballot cards daily. A Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report shall be prepared at the time of destruction and maintained for the retention period set forth in California Elections Code. The Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report shall contain the following information:
    1. Name of the ballot printer;
    2. Name of the election;
    3. Date of the election;
    4. Tint and watermark assignment for the election;
    5. Name of the jurisdiction for which the unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards are being printed;
    6. Contract and/or purchase order number;
    7. Ballot card dimension;
    8. Format;
    9. Ballot type (e.g. permanent vote by mail, precinct, accessibility, daily vote by mail updates, duplicates, or ballot on demand);
    10. Quantity scrapped;
    11. Method of destruction (e.g. cut, ripped/torn, shredded, incinerated, etc.);
    12. Date of destruction; and
    13. Name of the employee responsible for the destruction.
  2. Unused unfinished ballot cards shall either be returned to the warehouse and logged in the Warehouse Inventory Control Record or destroyed and logged on the Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report.
  3. Unused ballot cards shall either:
    1. Be stored in the warehouse and logged in the Warehouse Inventory Control Record until the jurisdiction for which the ballot card was produced has completed its Official Canvass of the Votes Cast at which point the unused ballot cards shall be rendered unusable as ballot cards and logged on the Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report, or
    2. Be immediately rendered unusable as ballot cards and logged on the Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report.
  4. Any unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards that were placed in the warehouse and later removed for purpose of scrap and destruction shall be logged on the Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report.
  5. The Ballot Scrap and Destruction Report shall be submitted to the Secretary of State within (30) calendar days after the date of the election or within seven (7) calendar days after unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards have been removed from the warehouse for purpose of scrap and destruction.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13006, Elections Code.

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Article 5.   Shipment of Ballot Cards and Unfinished Ballot Cards

20240.   Shipment of Unfinished Ballot Cards or Ballot Cards.

  1. All unfinished ballot cards and ballot cards shall be packaged as instructed by the jurisdiction. At a minimum, each order shall contain documentation stating the number of unfinished ballot cards and/or ballot cards contained within the shipment.
  2. The unfinished ballot cards being shipped to a finisher to be finished shall be packaged with documentation that contains the following information:
    1. Format;
    2. Ballot card dimension;
    3. Tint;
    4. Watermark;
    5. Contract or purchase order number;
    6. Number of unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards in each case or physically contained package; and
    7. Ballot type.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20241.   Transportation Methods.

Unfinished ballot cards and ballot cards shall be shipped by covered motor freight, train, or air. Covered motor freight shall not include pickups, flat-beds, or stake-side vehicles whether or not covered by a tarpaulin.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20242.   Shipment Responsibility.

The company shipping the unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards is charged with full responsibility for the security of all ballot cards or unfinished ballot cards until acceptance of delivery at destination.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

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Article 6.   Physical Security

20250.   Storage and Security.

All unfinished ballot cards not shipped from the ballot printer's facility shall remain in a secured area of the ballot printer's facility until converted to ballot cards, shipped, or placed in a warehouse. All unfinished ballot cards that are to be finished by the ballot printer will be placed in a warehouse unless finishing will take place within the same business day, except where the facility is running and is staffed and secured 24-hours a day, in which case the ballot printer can maintain the unfinished ballot cards in a secured area of the ballot printer's facility until the finishing is complete. Finishers shall store in a warehouse all unfinished ballot cards they receive from a manufacturer until they are ready to finish them.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20251.   Warehouse Security.

At all times unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards are maintained within a warehouse, the warehouse shall be secured with a method to determine each person that has accessed the warehouse. Any unauthorized access to this warehouse must be detectable.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20252.   Authorization for Access.

  1. Each certified ballot printer facility shall maintain a log of employees that have access to any of the print equipment, ballot paper, unfinished ballot cards, or ballot cards. This log can either be an electronic log (e.g. key card access) or a physical log (e.g. Employee Access Log). Each log, whether electronic or physical, shall contain the following information:
    1. List of employees;
    2. Areas of the facility to which each employee has access; and
    3. A log of when each employee gains physical access to any of the items listed in subsection (a) of this section.
  2. A letter listing those persons authorized to access to each warehouse shall be maintained and physically kept within the confines of the warehouse, along with the Warehouse Access Log. Access to the warehouse shall be limited to those persons named therein.
  3. Secretary of State personnel are authorized for access, when visiting a warehouse site, to have temporary access during the visit.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20253.   Warehouse Access Log.

A Warehouse Access Log shall be maintained within the area of the warehouse where the unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards are stored. This log shall be maintained for every entry and exit of the warehouse at all times that unfinished ballot cards or ballot cards are being stored in the warehouse. This log shall record:

  1. The name of each person entering the warehouse.
  2. The seal number destroyed in entering.
  3. The seal number resealing the warehouse.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

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Article 7.   Certification of Ballot on Demand Systems

20260.   Ballot on Demand System Certification Required.

  1. A jurisdiction shall not purchase, lease or contract for a ballot on demand system unless it has been certified by the Secretary of State.
  2. No vendor, company, or person shall sell, lease, or contract with a jurisdiction for the use of a ballot on demand system unless it has been certified by the Secretary of State.
  3. Nothing in this section precludes a jurisdiction from conducting research and development of a ballot on demand system.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20261.   Ballot on Demand System Application Form.

Any person, company, or public agency owning or having an interest in the sale or acquisition of a ballot on demand system may apply to the Secretary of State for certification of that system. The application shall be in writing and shall include the following information:

  1. Information about the applicant, including name, address, telephone number, and business address, if applicable;
  2. Information about the ballot on demand system including, but not limited to, software and firmware version numbers;
  3. System architecture, configurations, option settings and parameters for all software, firmware and hardware (including COTS), as applicable;
  4. A directory listing of program, data, and support files required to install, configure, operate, and/or provide supplemental support for the ballot on demand system;
  5. All the documentation necessary for the identification of the full system configuration submitted for evaluation and for the development of an appropriate test plan for conducting system certification testing, collectively referred to as the Technical Data Package (TDP);
  6. A list of ballot styles and the respective voting system for which certification is sought;
  7. Photographs of the ballot on demand system; and
  8. A list of jurisdictions that use the ballot on demand system.
  9. If the ballot on demand system is to be used for batch printing, it shall be notated on the application and the necessary documentation shall be provided with the application.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20262.   Ballot on Demand System Certification Testing.

Within 90 days after a completed application is accepted by the Secretary of State, testing shall be completed by either:

  1. A State-approved testing agency (S-ATA), pursuant to Elections Code section 19220, that confirms the ballot cards produced by the ballot on demand system meet the ballot requirements set forth in the voting system's Technical Data Package for the voting system for which certification is being sought; or
  2. A test conducted by the voting system vendor that confirms the ballot cards produced by the ballot on demand system meet the ballot requirements set forth in the voting system's Technical Data Package for the voting system for which certification is being sought.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20263.   Ballot on Demand System Certification Testing Criteria.

 

  1. The ballot shall be able to be tabulated with the following accuracy and reject criteria as it relates to the acceptance by each component of the voting system for which certification is being sought:
    1. The accuracy error rate shall be zero; and
    2. The ballot rejection rate shall not exceed two percent per ballot style per voting system for which the ballot printer is seeking certification.
  2. The ballots produced shall be tested by being scanned in all orientations applicable to each voting system component for which certification is being sought.
  3. If the ballot on demand system is seeking certification to be used in conjunction with an election management system and/or for printing batches, ballot cards shall be generated utilizing the applicable components.
  4. The ballot on demand system shall be able to accept the ballot style and ballot type data produced by the voting system for which certification is being sought.
  5. The ballot on demand system shall have restrictions allowing and disallowing users to access the ballot data based on the setting and configuration parameters placed on the system.
  6. Any electronic communication to or from the ballot on demand system shall be tested for accuracy and security.
  7. Any component, whether internal or external to the ballot on demand system, that communicates directly to the ballot on demand system to generate the voter's ballot style and ballot type information may be tested as part of the ballot on demand system. This includes, but is not limited, to voter registration systems, election management systems, electronic poll books.
  8. Any component, whether internal or external to the ballot on demand system, that duplicates and/or remakes a ballot, inclusive of the ballot marks, but does not save or export any ballot content data for tabulation may be tested as part of the ballot on demand system.
  9. Any component, whether internal or external to the ballot on demand system, that duplicates and/or remakes a ballot, inclusive of the ballot marks, and saves or exports any ballot content data for tabulation may be tested as part of the voting system.
  10. The system shall be able to produce a report of the following information:
    1. Quantity of ballot cards produced.
    2. Quantity of ballot cards produced by style.
    3. Quantity of ballot cards produced accurately.
    4. Quantity of ballot cards misprinted and the associated ballot style and ballot type for the misprinted ballot card.
    5. Quantity of ballot cards produced by user.
    6. Audit log for activity by user, including but not limited to the deletion, modification, and addition of ballot definition files on the system.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20264.   Costs of Ballot on Demand Certification Testing.

  1. The ballot on demand system applicant seeking certification shall be responsible for all costs associated with the certification testing, as prescribed in section 20262 of these regulations. If testing is conducted pursuant to section 20262(a), the applicant shall deposit the funds for testing, as estimated by the Secretary of State, into an Agency Trust Account required to guarantee and reimburse the cost of any expenditures associated with the testing.
  2. If the initial deposit is not sufficient to reimburse the cost of all expenditures associated with the certification testing, the Secretary of State's office will require an additional deposit of funds into the Agency Trust Account. If the Secretary of State does not receive such additional deposit of funds as directed, the Secretary of State may suspend the certification process.
  3. After all expenditures have been paid, the Secretary of State shall notify the applicant of any amount in excess of those expenditures. The applicant may request that the amount in excess of those expenditures be refunded or held in the Agency Trust Account for future testing and certification

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20265.   Certifying a Ballot on Demand System.

  1. The Secretary of State will certify in writing any ballot on demand system that the Secretary of State determines to be capable of manufacturing or finishing ballot cards pursuant to California Elections Code, these regulations, and the ballot printing specifications certified with each respective voting system.
  2. The Secretary of State may impose security measures for the ballot on demand system if the system is to be connected to a network in order to ensure system integrity.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20266.   Publish List of Certified Ballot on Demand Systems.

The Secretary of State shall publish a list of certified ballot on demand systems no later than January 1 of each year and within ten days of any changes to the list.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20267.   Change in Ballot on Demand System Certification.

No change in the equipment or procedures used by the ballot on demand system to place tint, watermark, or ballot images on ballot cards or to the ballot audit system provided for in section 20277, as applicable, shall be made without the prior express written certification of the Secretary of State. Applications for such certification shall be in writing and shall show substantially the same information as the initial application for certification of the ballot on demand system.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

20268.   Revocation of Ballot on Demand System Certification.

Certifications are valid until revoked by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will revoke a certification at any time upon determining that the ballot on demand system is no longer capable of manufacturing or finishing ballot cards or has failed to comply with these regulations without good cause which is acceptable to the Secretary of State.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004 and 13004.5, Elections Code.

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Article 8.   Jurisdiction Approval for Use of a Ballot on Demand System

20270.   Jurisdiction Request for Approval for Use.

A jurisdiction shall not use a ballot on demand system to manufacture or finish ballot cards for use in California elections unless the ballot on demand system has been certified pursuant to section 20260 of these regulations and the jurisdiction has been approved by the Secretary of State, as described herein.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20271.   Jurisdiction Application for Approval for Use.

Any jurisdiction seeking approval to use a certified ballot on demand system shall submit an application to the Secretary of State that includes:

  1. The ballot on demand system the jurisdiction requests approval to use.
  2. The voting system for which the ballot on demand system will produce ballot cards.
  3. The process used to create ballot cards (e.g. manufacturing and finishing or finishing).
  4. The planned configuration for using the system (e.g. manual, over-the-counter single ballot production, batch printing, or both).
  5. If there will be connectivity to the election management system, electronic pollbook, or any other network, the application shall state which system(s) the ballot on demand system will connect.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20272.   Jurisdiction Procedures for Use.

Any jurisdiction seeking approval to use a certified ballot on demand system shall submit procedures for use that include:

  1. Procedures for securing the ballot images and ballot data, including but not limited to encrypted transmission of the files.
  2. Procedures for user login and passwords. At a minimum each user must have a unique login and password.
  3. Procedures for locking the ballot on demand server and/or client(s) in a secure enclosure, which may include, but not be limited to, a locked cabinet, secured laptop case or secured room. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring the server to be placed in a warehouse, as defined by these regulations.
  4. Procedures for securing the ballot paper, unfinished ballot cards, and/or ballot cards, respectively, while unattended and/or not in use.
  5. Procedures for daily ballot accounting. At a minimum the user shall log the following:
    1. Name of the jurisdiction;
    2. Name of the election;
    3. Date of the election;
    4. Tint and watermark assignment for said election;
    5. Ballot card dimension;
    6. Format;
    7. Ballot type (e.g. permanent vote by mail, precinct, accessibility, daily vote by mail updates, duplicates, or ballot on demand);
    8. Quantity of ballot paper or unfinished ballot cards taken from inventory, respectively;
    9. Quantity of ballot cards produced, including a method for accounting for each ballot card activity (e.g. ballot submitted to voter, duplicate ballot card, Test Ballot, etc.);
    10. Date of activity; and
    11. Initial or name of employee responsible.
  6. Procedures for implementing chain of custody (e.g. two person rules) when producing ballot cards.
  7. Procedures for verification of the ballot style and ballot type printed on the ballot card against the voter registration record.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20273.   Approving a Jurisdiction Application for Use.

  1. The Secretary of State shall approve the application for the jurisdiction to use the ballot on demand system if the Secretary of State determines the jurisdiction's proposed procedures for use meet all the requirements set forth in California Elections Code and these regulations.
  2. The approval for use is for the jurisdiction in its entirety and not for a specific location, so long as the procedures for use cover all implementations of the ballot on demand system.
  3. A jurisdiction may submit a separate application for approval for a ballot on demand system that will be used solely at the central location for manual and/or batch printing and a separate application for a ballot on demand system that will be used off-site in an early voting or vote center.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20274.   Change in Process and Procedures of Use.

A jurisdiction shall submit an updated application and updated procedures for use any time that any of the approved procedures for use are modified or changed. The Secretary of State will approve the modification(s) and/or change(s) for the jurisdiction to use the ballot on demand system if the Secretary of State determines the jurisdiction's proposed procedures for use meet all the requirements set forth in California Elections Code and these regulations.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20275.   Revocation of Approval for Use.

Approval to use the ballot on demand system is valid until revoked by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will revoke an approval at any time upon determining that the jurisdiction has failed to comply with the approved procedures for use and/or these regulations without good cause as determined by the Secretary of State.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20276.   Inspection of Jurisdiction Approved for Use.

To ensure compliance with these regulations, the Secretary of State may inspect, with or without prior notice, the procedures, logs, and equipment, as specified in the approved application, of each approved jurisdiction as the Secretary of State deems necessary.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20277.   Ballot on Demand Audit Requirements.

Any ballot on demand system to be used for the batch printing of ballots shall contain a ballot audit system. The ballot audit system shall have a mechanism to perform a verification check of content, including precinct, ballot style and ballot type on the ballot card against content being submitted through the ballot on demand and/or election management system to validate that the correct ballot card was printed as submitted by the ballot on demand system.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20278.   Ballot Images Encrypted, Secured, and Transmitted.

Electronic ballot images utilized by the ballot on demand system must be encrypted.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

20279.   Testing Ballot Cards Produced by Ballot on Demand System.

During the testing of ballot tabulating devices pursuant to Elections Code section 15000, jurisdictions approved to use a ballot on demand system shall produce test ballots printed from its ballot on demand system to establish that the ballot on demand system is configured, calibrated, and performing as intended. Those test ballots printed from the ballot on demand system shall be scanned, tabulated, and the accuracy verified on each type of voting system component to be used in the specific election.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Section 13004, Elections Code.

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Article 9.   Tint and Watermark Assignment

20280.   Requesting a Tint and Watermark Assignment.

  1. Any jurisdiction holding an election, shall request ballot tint and watermark from the Secretary of State in accordance with section 13002 of the Elections Code. The request must be made in writing to the Secretary of State and contain the following information:
    1. The name of the jurisdiction conducting the election.
    2. The date of the election;
    3. The title of the election;
    4. The date of the close of candidate filing for the election, if applicable; and
    5. The date on which the ballot order designation will be determined by a randomized alphabet drawing for the election, if applicable.
  2. Unless otherwise authorized by the Secretary of State, the tint and watermark shall be issued to a jurisdiction within three days from the jurisdiction determining the ballot order as provided in sections 13112 through 13114 of the Elections Code.

Note: Authority cited: Section 13004, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 13004, 13112 and 13114, Elections Code.