Article 4. Issuing Ballots And Voting of California Elections Code >> Division 14. >> Chapter 3. >> Article 4.
The procedure at the polls where voting is conducted
pursuant to this division shall be the same as at other polling
places, except as provided in this article.
After the opening of the polls, the precinct board shall not
allow any voter to enter the voting booth until it ascertains that
he or she is entitled to vote.
Before each voter enters the voting booth, the precinct
board shall inform him or her how to operate the voting device. If a
marking or punching device is used, the voter shall be instructed to
use only that device. The voter shall also be instructed how to fold
the ballot and place it in the envelope. If any voter, after entering
the booth, asks for information regarding the operation of the
machine or device, the precinct board shall give him or her the
The device for marking the ballot may be handed to the voter
with his or her ballot before the voter goes into the voting booth,
and shall be returned to the precinct board after he or she has
finished marking his or her ballot.
In any election where ballots are to be counted both
manually and by electromechanical tabulating devices, the marking
device used for marking ballots to be counted electromechanically may
be used for marking ballots to be counted manually.
Before leaving the voting booth or compartment, the voter
shall fold or place the ballot card in the envelope so that the
ballot markings of the voter will not be exposed, and the ballot stub
will be outside of the envelope or other container, to be removed by
the precinct board.
After his or her ballot is marked, a voter shall not show it
to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents.
The voter shall hand the folded ballot or the envelope
containing the ballot to a precinct board member, who shall remove
the ballot stub, hand it to the voter, and deposit the ballot in the
ballot container. If the ballot is to be transferred from the
envelope to the ballot container, care shall be taken not to disclose
the markings of the voter on the ballot.
The precinct board shall give each voter only one ballot, as
provided in Section 13102.
Unless otherwise provided by law, no person shall apply for
or receive any ballot at any precinct other than that in which the
voter is entitled to vote.
Unless otherwise provided by law, a voter shall not receive
a ballot from any person other than one of the precinct officers. No
person other than a precinct officer or officer authorized by law
shall deliver a ballot to any voter.
On receiving a ballot, the voter shall forthwith retire
alone to one of the booths or compartments provided, and mark the
ballot, unless Section 14222 or 14224 is applicable.
(a) When a voter declares under oath, administered by any
member of the precinct board at the time the voter appears at the
polling place to vote, that the voter is then unable to mark a
ballot, the voter shall receive the assistance of not more than two
persons selected by the voter, other than the voter's employer, an
agent of the voter's employer, or an officer or agent of the union of
which the voter is a member.
(b) No person assisting a voter shall divulge any information
regarding the marking of the ballot.
(c) In those polling places that are inaccessible under the
guidelines promulgated by the Secretary of State for accessibility by
the physically handicapped, a physically handicapped person may
appear outside the polling place and vote a regular ballot. The
person may vote the ballot in a place that is as near as possible to
the polling place and that is accessible to the physically
handicapped. A precinct board member shall take a regular ballot to
that person, qualify that person to vote, and return the voted ballot
to the polling place. In those precincts in which it is impractical
to vote a regular ballot outside the polling place, vote by mail
ballots shall be provided in sufficient numbers to accommodate
physically handicapped persons who present themselves on election
day. The vote by mail ballot shall be presented to and voted by a
physically handicapped person in the same manner as a regular ballot
may be voted by that person outside the polling place.
The precinct officers shall keep a list of the voters who
have been assisted in marking their ballots. The list of assisted
voters shall be returned to the elections official and preserved with
other election materials and records.
(a) All ballots, except vote by mail voter ballots, shall be
marked only with the marking device provided by law.
(b) To prevent voters from marking their ballots with a pen or
pencil, at the time of delivering a ballot to a voter, the precinct
officer shall distinctly state that the voter shall mark the ballot
with the device provided by law or the ballot will not be counted.
Where two or more candidates for the same office are to be
elected, and the voter desires to vote for candidates for that
office, the voter shall, by using the provided marking device, place
a mark in the voting square, rectangle, or other specific voting
space following the names of the candidates for that office for whom
the voter intends to vote, not exceeding, however, the number of
candidates to be elected.
When a measure is submitted to the voters, the voter shall
place a mark on the ballot in the appropriate space opposite the
answer the voter desires to give as to that measure. The voter, in
marking the ballot, shall use the marking device provided.
No voter shall place personal information upon a ballot that
identifies the voter. "Personal information" includes all of the
(a) The signature of the voter.
(b) The initials, name, or address of the voter.
(c) A voter identification number.
(d) A social security number.
(e) A driver's license number.
If a voter spoils or defaces a ballot, the voter shall at
once return it to the ballot clerk and receive another ballot. A
voter shall not receive more than a total of three ballots, including
his or her original ballot, in this manner.
The precinct board shall immediately cancel, without
unfolding them, all the spoiled ballots returned. The board shall
write the word "spoiled" on the back of each spoiled ballot in ink or
indelible pencil and return the spoiled ballots with the unused
After the ballot is marked, a voter shall not show it to any
person in such a way as to reveal its contents.
Before leaving the voting booth or compartment, the voter
shall fold the ballot according to the instructions on it, so that
the marks on its face are not visible and only the number on the
ballot and the top margin are exposed.
Having folded the ballot, the voter shall deliver it folded
to a member of the precinct board, who shall then separate the slip
containing the number from the ballot, hand the slip to the voter,
and deposit the ballot in the ballot box in the presence of the
At all elections, a member of the precinct board shall mark,
on one of the copies of the index posted at or near the polling
place, the name of each person who has voted, by drawing a line
through the name of the voter, with a pen or indelible pencil. The
board member shall mark off the names at least once each hour, to and
including 6 p.m. In all counties not using the index roster, the
board member shall draw a line under the last name signed in the
roster at 6 p.m. or at the time of discontinuation of this procedure,
whichever occurs last.
No voter shall deliver to any member of the precinct board
any ballot other than the one received from the board member.
Any voter who does not vote the ballot he or she has
received, shall, before leaving the polling place, return it to the
board member having charge of the ballots, who shall immediately
cancel it. All canceled ballots shall be returned to the ballot clerk
in the same manner as spoiled ballots.
No later than the time at which the voter delivers the voted
ballot, a precinct board member in charge of the index shall write
in the space opposite the name of the voter the line number
designating the position of the name on the roster. In those counties
using the combined index roster, the voter's name shall be crossed
off of the index in lieu of numbering.
(a) The precinct board shall maintain the copies of the
index posted during the whole time of voting. These copies shall not
be marked in any manner except by a member of the precinct board
acting pursuant to Section 14294.
(b) A member of the precinct board shall post a notice on each
index which reads as follows: "This index shall not be marked in any
manner except by a member of the precinct board acting pursuant to
Section 14294. Any person who removes, tears, marks, or otherwise
defaces this index with the intent to falsify or prevent others from
readily ascertaining the name, address, or political affiliation of
any voter, or the fact that a voter has or has not voted, is guilty
of a misdemeanor."
(a) If a precinct board is unable to furnish a ballot to a
qualified voter because there is an insufficient number of ballots at
the precinct, the elections official shall deliver to the precinct
additional ballots to ensure that all eligible voters can cast their
ballots within two hours.
(b) While awaiting the delivery of additional ballots, the
precinct board shall provide each voter with the option of casting
his or her vote immediately using an alternative procedure
established prior to the election or waiting for the delivery of the
(c) The alternative procedure required by this section shall be
subject to approval by the Secretary of State. The elections official
shall submit the alternative procedure to the Secretary of State for
approval by a date to be determined by the Secretary of State.
(a) In the case of an election for a state or federal
office, each polling place using a direct recording electronic voting
system, as defined by Section 19271, the elections official shall
provide paper ballots equivalent to the following percentages:
(1) For a statewide general election, no less than 10 percent of
the registered voters in the polling place.
(2) For a statewide direct primary election, for each partisan
ballot form for which at least 10 percent of the registered voters in
the polling place are eligible to request, no less than 5 percent of
the registered voters in the precinct eligible to request that
ballot form at the polling place. For nonpartisan voters, the total
number of paper ballots among all ballot forms that they are eligible
to request shall be no less than 5 percent of registered nonpartisan
voters at the polling place.
(3) For any other state or federal election contest, no less than
5 percent of registered voters at the polling place.
(4) For purposes of this section, the number of registered voters
shall be based on the registration on the 88th day prior to the day
of the election.
(b) The elections official shall establish procedures for the use
of the paper ballots described in this section in the event the
direct recording electronic voting system becomes nonfunctional.
(c) Upon request, the precinct board shall provide a paper ballot
to a voter, regardless of the availability of the direct recording
electronic voting system, as long as supplies remain available.
(d) The paper ballots described in this section may consist of
(e) Any vote cast on a provisional ballot subject to this section
by an otherwise qualified voter shall be counted as a regular ballot
and shall not be subject to the requirements of Section 14310.