August 21, 2007

Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9005, we have reviewed the proposed statutory initiative related to presidential electors (A.G. File No. 07‑0032).

Major Provisions

Under the Electoral College system to select the U.S. President, each state is assigned a certain number of electors who determine the state’s presidential choice. California currently receives 55 electors.

Current Law. Under existing law, each political party selects its slate of presidential electors in accordance with procedures that differ by party. The electors of the political party who receive the highest number of votes statewide are certified as the state's presidential electors. Existing law also provides that electors be given $10 as compensation for their services and be reimbursed for mileage incurred from traveling between their home and the State Capitol at a rate of $0.05 per mile.

Proposed Law. This initiative alters existing procedures for selection of presidential electors by requiring that political parties nominate an elector in each congressional district and two electors on a statewide basis. The elector of the political party which receives the highest number of votes in each congressional district would be certified as the state's presidential elector of that district. Similarly, the two electors of the political party which receives the plurality of statewide votes would be certified as the statewide electors. This initiative also eliminates the authorization for compensation to electors or reimbursement of their travel expenses.

Fiscal Effect

This measure would eliminate state costs for compensation to electors and reimbursement of their travel expenses every four years. The amount of state savings would be less than $10,000.

Summary. This measure would have the following fiscal effect:

·        Reduced state expenses of less than $10,000 every four years.

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