Section 1 of the bill expands the definition of "eligible elector", as used in reference of persons voting in special district elections, to include a natural person who owns, or whose spouse or civil union partner owns, taxable real or personal property situated within the boundaries of the special district or the area to be included in the special district and who has satisfied all other requirements in the bill for registering to vote in an election of a special district but who is not a resident of the state.
Section 2 prohibits a person from voting in a special district election unless that person is an eligible elector as defined by the bill. The section also requires any natural person desiring to vote at any election as an eligible elector to sign a self-affirmation that the person is an elector of the special district. The bill specifies the form the affirmation must take.
Section 3 specifies procedures by which the eligible elector who is an eligible elector in another state becomes registered to be able to vote in the special district election. This section also contains an affirmation to be executed by the voter upon completing his or her application for registration. The oath or affirmation must be notarized by the elector.
Section 3 also permits any special district organized under the laws of the state, upon passage of a resolution by the board of the district (board), to allow an elector whose eligibility has been established through the procedures specified in the bill to vote for candidates for the board of directors of the special district. The bill makes clear that no person who is designated as an eligible elector is permitted to cast a ballot at any special district election without first having been registered within the time and in the manner required by the bill.
The bill only applies to a special district whose:
- Board, by resolution, permits an eligible elector who is not a resident of the state to vote in elections of the special district; and
- Regular special district election is not conducted as part of a general, primary, or coordinated election.
A county clerk and recorder is not required to either contract with a special district that permits the registration of noneligible resident electors in connection with the provision of any services or to administer any regular special district election conducted by the special district.
A person who is designated as an eligible elector in accordance with the bill is only permitted to vote in an election of the special district with which the person has registered and for a candidate for the board of directors of the special district who is listed on the ballot of the special district with which the elector is registered. A person who is designated as an eligible elector in accordance with the bill is only permitted to vote for candidates for the board and is not authorized to vote for any other candidates or ballot issues or ballot questions that may appear on the regular ballot of the special district.
The bill describes procedures by which an eligible elector who is a resident of another state registers to vote with the special district.
The form used to register an eligible elector under the bill must contain a question asking the elector to confirm that he or she desires to receive a ballot from the special district. Unless the elector has executed the form to indicate that he or she desires to receive a ballot from the special district, the designated election official is not required to send a ballot to the elector. The special district is solely responsible for maintaining the list of nonresident owners of property within the special district who are eligible to vote in an election of the special district.
Section 4 contains procedures for verifying the signature of a ballot returned by a nonresident eligible elector with the signature of the elector on the notarized registration form required by the bill.
Section 5 authorizes each special district board to select, in an exercise of its own discretion and by majority vote of the board's voting members, one or more additional board members, each of whom shall serve as a nonvoting member of the board. A member of the board appointed for this purpose must be a person who is a nonresident of the state but is otherwise eligible to cast a ballot in elections of the special district in accordance with the bill. A board with 3 members may appoint no more than one nonvoting member of the board. A board with 5 members may appoint no more than 2 nonvoting members of the board. The term of such board members is 4 years subject to renewal of one or more additional 4-year terms in the discretion of a majority of the voting members of the board. Any board member appointed for this purpose may be removed for cause at any time by a majority of the voting members of the board.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)