Chapter 1. Nomination Of Candidates For Legislative And Congressional Offices At Special Elections of California Elections Code >> Division 10. >> Part 6. >> Chapter 1.
The Governor shall call all statewide special elections by
issuing a proclamation pursuant to Section 12000. Except as provided
by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10730), in the case of a
vacancy in a congressional or legislative office the Governor shall
issue a proclamation, within 14 calendar days of the occurrence of
the vacancy, calling a special election in accordance with Section
10703. A copy of the proclamation shall be sent to the board of
supervisors of each affected county.
(a) When a vacancy occurs in a congressional office after
the close of the nomination period in the final year of the term of
office, the Governor may decline to issue an election proclamation at
(b) When a vacancy occurs in a legislative office after the close
of the nomination period in the final year of the term of office, no
special election shall be held.
Except as provided by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section
10730), this chapter provides the procedures for nomination and
election of candidates at any special election to fill a vacancy in
the office of Representative in Congress, State Senator, or Member of
(a) A special election to fill a vacancy in the office of
Representative in Congress, State Senator, or Member of the Assembly
shall be conducted on a Tuesday at least 126 days, but not more than
140 days, following the issuance of an election proclamation by the
Governor pursuant to Section 1773 of the Government Code, except that
the special election may be conducted within 180 days following the
proclamation in order that the election or the primary election may
be consolidated with the next regularly scheduled statewide election
or local election occurring wholly or partially within the same
territory in which the vacancy exists, provided that the voters
eligible to vote in the local election comprise at least 50 percent
of all the voters eligible to vote on the vacancy.
(b) Except as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section
10730), a special election or a primary election may not be conducted
on the day after a state holiday.
(c) (1) A special election described in this section may be
conducted as an all-mailed ballot election pursuant to Section
(2) This subdivision shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a special primary
election shall be held in the district in which the vacancy occurred
on the 9th Tuesday or, if the 9th Tuesday is the day of or the day
following a state holiday, the 10th Tuesday preceding the day of the
special general election at which the vacancy is to be filled.
Candidates at the primary election shall be nominated in the manner
set forth in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 8000) of Part 1 of
Division 8, except that nomination papers shall not be circulated
more than 73 days before the primary election, shall be left with the
county elections official for examination not less than 53 days
before the primary election, and shall be filed with the Secretary of
State not less than 53 days before the primary election.
(b) A special primary election shall be held in the district in
which the vacancy occurred on the 10th Tuesday preceding the day of
the special general election at which the vacancy is to be filled if
both of the following conditions apply:
(1) The 10th Tuesday preceding the day of the special general
election is an established election date pursuant to Section 1000.
(2) A statewide or local election occurring wholly or partially
within the same territory in which the vacancy exists is scheduled
for the 10th Tuesday preceding the day of the special general
(c) An application for a vote by mail ballot for a special
election shall be made and processed in the manner required by
(d) The sample ballot for a special election shall contain a
written explanation of the election procedure for voter-nominated
office as specified in subdivision (b) of Section 9083.5. Immediately
after the explanation shall be printed the following: "If one
candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast at the special
primary election, he or she will be elected to fill the vacancy and
no special general election will be held."
(e) On the ballot for a special election, immediately below the
instructions to voters, there shall be a box not less than one-half
inch high enclosed by a heavy-ruled line the same as the borderline.
This box shall be as long as there are columns for the ballot and
shall be set directly above these columns. Within the box shall be
printed the words "Voter-Nominated Office." Immediately below that
phrase within the same box shall be printed the following:
"All voters, regardless of the party preference they disclosed
upon registration, or refusal to disclose a party preference, may
vote for any candidate for a voter-nominated office. The party
preference, if any, designated by a candidate is selected by the
candidate and is shown for the information of the voters only. It
does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the
party or that the party approves of the candidate."
(a) All candidates shall be listed on one ballot and, except
as provided in subdivision (b), if any candidate receives a majority
of all votes cast, he or she shall be declared elected, and no
special general election shall be held.
(b) If only one candidate qualifies to have his or her name
printed on the special general election ballot, that candidate shall
be declared elected, and no special general election shall be held.
If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast, the names
of the candidates who receive the highest or second highest number
of votes cast at the special primary election shall be placed on the
special general election ballot. In the case of a tie vote,
subdivision (b) of Section 8142 shall apply.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, whenever
a special general election, or a special primary election, to fill a
vacancy in Congress or the State Legislature is consolidated with a
statewide election, the candidates to fill the vacancy shall appear
on the consolidated ballot immediately preceding the candidates for
that same seat in Congress or the seat in the Legislature that most
nearly encompasses the same geographical area at the statewide
election, or the elections official at his or her option may print a
separate and distinct ballot.