June 15, 2007
Dear Attorney General Brown:
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9005, we have reviewed the proposed statutory initiative related to presidential electors (A.G. File No. 07‑0016, Amendment. #1-NS).
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. The electors of the political party who receive the highest number of votes statewide are certified as the state's presidential electors.
Current Law. Under existing law, each political party selects its slate of presidential electors in accordance with procedures that differ by party. Existing law provides that electors be given $10 as compensation for their services and 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 repeals existing procedures for selection of presidential electors, and instead requires that political parties nominate an elector in each congressional district and two electors on a statewide basis. Each political party could set its own rules for determining how to choose the electors, subject to a number of requirements in the measure. The requirements include that an elector sign a pledge that he or she shall cast his or her ballot for the candidates for President and Vice-President who receive the plurality of votes in the congressional district in which the elector is nominated (or who receive the plurality of votes in the state in the case of an elector selected on a statewide basis). This initiative also eliminates the authorization for compensation to electors or reimbursement of their travel expenses.
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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