Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) had her first piece of legislation signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
The bill was signed by Brown on Aug. 16 and takes effect January 1, 2014.
“I am proud that the Governor has embraced the importance of election transparency by signing my first bill into law,” Melendez said. “The people of California now have one more tool to ensure our elections are carried out with the utmost integrity and that the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box always carries the day.”
Most county elections officials already make election results available on their websites -- 57 of 58 county elections officials have results posted on the Internet for the most recent election held in the county, and 52 of 58 county elections officials have results for at least some elections prior to the most recent election, according to Senate floor analyses of the bill.
While election results are available in HTML or PDF format in most counties, the data has not been available in a format that can easily be imported into a spreadsheet application, the Senate floor analyses showed.
The new law's requirement applies only to those counties with a computer system capable of compliance without undergoing any modification.
As a freshman legislator, AB 813 was Melendez’s first-ever bill sent before the Governor and now first to be signed into law.
The bill overwhelming passed both houses.
“In passing my legislation, Democrats and Republicans came together to adopt common-sense reforms to our elections laws, strengthening the right to vote that so many people throughout our nation’s history have fought and died to protect," Melendez said. “I am proud my first bill to become law protects the fundamental right of the people to govern ourselves, rather than being governed by an all-too-powerful state government.”
Under the language of the new law, certified results will be posted for a period of at least 10 years following the election.
Melendez represents the 67th assembly district, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lakeland Village, Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester.