Article 3. Challenging A Voter of California Elections Code >> Division 14. >> Chapter 3. >> Article 3.
(a) A person offering to vote may be orally challenged
within the polling place only by a member of the precinct board upon
any or all of the following grounds:
(1) That the voter is not the person whose name appears on the
(2) That the voter is not a resident of the precinct.
(3) That the voter is not a citizen of the United States.
(4) That the voter has voted that day.
(5) That the voter is presently on parole for the conviction of a
(b) On the day of the election no person, other than a member of a
precinct board or other official responsible for the conduct of the
election, shall challenge or question any voter concerning the voter'
s qualifications to vote.
(c) If any member of a precinct board receives, by mail or
otherwise, any document or list concerning the residence or other
voting qualifications of any person or persons, with the express or
implied suggestion, request, or demand that the person or persons be
challenged, the board member shall first determine whether the
document or list contains or is accompanied by evidence constituting
probable cause to justify or substantiate a challenge. In any case,
before making any use whatever of such a list or document, the member
of the precinct board shall immediately contact the elections
official, charged with the duty of conducting the election, and
describe the contents of the document or list and the evidence, if
any, received bearing on voting qualifications. The elections
official shall advise the members of the precinct board as to the
sufficiency of probable cause for instituting and substantiating the
challenge and as to the law as herein provided, relating to hearings
and procedures for challenges by members of the precinct board and
determination thereof by a precinct board. The elections official
may, if necessary, designate a deputy to receive and answer inquiries
from precinct board members as herein provided.
A piece of mailed matter returned undelivered by the post
office shall not be accepted or used as evidence upon which to
initiate a challenge as to residency by any member of the precinct
board unless other evidence or testimony is also presented, nor shall
the mailed matter, standing alone without other evidence or
testimony, be accepted as evidence by the precinct board in
determining a challenge.
The ground for challenge set forth in paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a) of Section 14240 shall not apply to any person duly
registered as a voter in any precinct in California and moving from
that precinct within 14 days prior to an election.
If the challenge is on the ground that the person seeking to
vote is not the person whose name appears on the index, a member of
the precinct board shall tender the following oath: "You do swear (or
affirm) that you are the person whose name is entered on the index."
If the challenge is on the ground that the person seeking to
vote is not a resident of the precinct, the person challenged shall
be sworn to answer questions, and after having been sworn, a member
of the precinct board shall ask that person: "Are you a resident of
this precinct?" If the answer to the question is "Yes," without
significant qualification, no other questions shall be asked.
If the challenge is on the ground that the person challenged
has already cast a ballot for this election, a member of the
precinct board shall tender to the person challenged this oath:
"You do swear (or affirm) that you have not previously voted in
this election, either by vote by mail ballot or at a polling place."
If the challenge is on the ground either that the person
challenged is not the person whose name appears on the index, or that
he or she has voted that day, the challenge shall be determined in
favor of the person challenged if that person takes the oath as set
forth either in Section 14243 or 14245.
Challenges of voters that they are not residents of the
precinct or citizens of the United States shall be tried and
determined by the precinct board at the time of the challenge. The
precinct board may, at its discretion, also request any other person,
present in the polling place to be sworn and answer questions, whom
the board believes may have knowledge or information concerning the
facts of the challenge.
Before administering an oath to a person regarding his or
her place of residence, a member of the precinct board shall read to
the person challenged, the rules prescribed by Section 14249 and
Article 2 (commencing with Section 2020) of Chapter 1 of Division 2.
If any person challenged refuses to take the oaths tendered,
or refuses to be sworn and to answer the questions concerning the
matter of residence, that person shall not be allowed to vote.
The precinct board, in determining the place of residence of
any person, shall be governed by the rules set forth in Article 2
(commencing with Section 2020) of Chapter 1 of Division 2.
Any doubt in the interpretation of the law shall be resolved
in favor of the challenged voter.
The precinct board shall compile a list showing all of the
(a) The name and address of each person challenged.
(b) The name, address, and any other identification as a voter, of
each person offering information concerning any person's
qualifications to vote, or testifying pursuant to Section 14247,
together with the name and address and any other identification of
the person about whom the information or testimony is given.
(c) The grounds of each challenge.
(d) The determination of the board upon the challenge, together
with any written evidence pertaining thereto.
(e) If evidence has been presented to the board requesting
challenges, the evidence shall be returned to the elections official
responsible for the conduct of the election.
In the event that the precinct board determines that
persistent challenging of voters is resulting in a delay of voting
sufficient to cause voters to forego voting because of insufficient
time or for fear of unwarranted intimidation, the board shall
discontinue all challenges, and so note on the roster.