Chapter 1. General Provisions of California Elections Code >> Division 16. >> Chapter 1.

The general election contest provisions of this division, exclusive of Article 1 (commencing with Section 16700) of Chapter 8, Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 16800), and Article 1 (commencing with Section 16900) of Chapter 10, shall also apply to the recount of votes cast on a ballot measure, insofar as they can be made applicable.
When used in this division, "contestant" means any person initiating an election contest. "Defendant" means that person whose election or nomination is contested or those persons receiving an equal and highest number of votes, other than the contestant, where, in other than primary elections, the body canvassing the returns declares that no one person has received the highest number of votes for the contested office.
In a contest of the election of presidential electors the action or appeal shall have priority over all other civil matters. Final determination and judgment shall be rendered at least six days before the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.