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General Provisions for Measures Submitted to Voters

Arguments may be withdrawn by their proponents at any time prior to the final date fixed for filing arguments

By Chris Micheli, February 3, 2022 3:01 pm

Division 9, Chapter 7 of the California Elections Code provides a number of general provisions. Section 9600 requires all arguments concerning measures filed to be accompanied by the following form statement, to be signed by each proponent and by each author, if different, of the argument:

The undersigned proponent(s) or author(s) of the

_____ (primary/rebuttal) _____

argument _____ (in favor of/against) _____

ballot proposition _____ (name or number) _____

at the _____ (title of election) _____

election for the _____ (jurisdiction) _____

to be held on _____ (date) _____ hereby state

that this argument is true and correct to the best of
(his/her/their)knowledge and belief.

Signed

Date

Section 9601 provides that, whenever any ballot arguments for or against any measure submitted to the voters for approval are authorized, these arguments may be withdrawn by their proponents at any time prior to and including the final date fixed for filing arguments.

Section 9602 specifies that a voter who has signed an initiative or referendum petition, and who subsequently wishes his or her name withdrawn, may do so by filing a written request for the withdrawal with the appropriate elections official that includes the voter’s name, residence address, and signature. This request must be filed in the elections official’s office prior to the date the petition is filed.

Section 9603 provides that each city, county, school district, community college district, county board of education, and special district may hold, at its discretion, an advisory election on any date on which that jurisdiction is currently permitted to hold a regular or special election for the purpose of allowing voters within the jurisdiction to voice their opinions on substantive issues, or to indicate to the local legislative body approval or disapproval of the ballot proposal.

Section 9604 allows any person to engage in good faith bargaining between competing interests to secure legislative approval of matters embraced in a statewide or local initiative or referendum measure, and the proponents may, as a result of these negotiations, withdraw the measure at any time before filing the petition with the appropriate elections official.

The proponents of a statewide initiative or referendum measure may withdraw the measure after filing the petition with the appropriate elections official at any time before the Secretary of State certifies that the measure has qualified for the ballot. Withdrawal of a statewide initiative or referendum measure is effective upon receipt by the Secretary of State of a written notice of withdrawal, signed by all proponents of the measure.

Section 9605 provides that, whenever a legislative body has ordered that a measure or proposal be submitted to the voters of any jurisdiction at a special election, the order of election cannot be amended or withdrawn after the 83rd day prior to the election.

Section 9606 specifies that a county elections official who is required to examine signatures on an initiative, referendum, recall, nomination, or other election petition, may employ temporary assistants to complete the necessary procedure.

Section 9607 requires the proponents of an initiative measure to ensure that any person, company, or other organization that is paid, or who volunteers, to solicit signatures to qualify the proposed measure for the ballot are to receive instruction on the requirements and prohibitions imposed by state law with respect to circulation of the petition and signature gathering, with an emphasis on the prohibition on the use of signatures on an initiative petition for a purpose other than qualification of the proposed measure for the ballot.

Section 9608 requires a proponent of an initiative to execute and submit, along with the request for a title and summary for the proposed measure, a signed statement that reads as follows:

I, ___, acknowledge that it is a misdemeanor under state law (Section 18650 of the Elections Code) to knowingly or willfully allow the signatures on an initiative petition to be used for any purpose other than qualification of the proposed measure for the ballot. I certify that I will not knowingly or willfully allow the signatures for this initiative to be used for any purpose other than qualification of the measure for the ballot.

(Signature of Proponent) _____

Dated this ________ day of __________, 20___

Section 9609 provides that, prior to allowing a person to circulate an initiative petition for signatures, the person, company official, or other organizational officer who is in charge of signature gathering is required to execute and submit to the proponents a signed statement that reads as follows:

I, ___, acknowledge that it is a misdemeanor under state law (Section 18650 of the Elections Code) to knowingly or willfully allow the signatures on an initiative petition to be used for any purpose other than qualification of the proposed measure for the ballot. I certify that I will not knowingly or willfully allow the signatures for this initiative to be used for any purpose other than qualification of the measure for the ballot.

(Signature of Official) _____

Dated this ________ day of __________, 20___

Section 9610 specifies that, prior to soliciting signatures on an initiative petition, a circulator is required to execute and submit to the person, company official, or other organizational officer who is in charge of signature gathering a signed statement that reads as follows:

I, ___, acknowledge that it is a misdemeanor under state law (Section 18650 of the Elections Code) to knowingly or willfully allow the signatures on an initiative petition to be used for any purpose other than qualification of the proposed measure for the ballot. I certify that I will not knowingly or willfully allow the signatures for this initiative to be used for any purpose other than qualification of the measure for the ballot.

(Signature of Circulator) _____

Dated this ________ day of __________, 20___

These certifications must be maintained for a specified amount of time. This section does not apply to unpaid circulators of state or local initiative petitions. Failure to comply with this section does not invalidate any signatures on a state or local initiative petition.

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