Assembly Member Santiago Pushes Ballot DISCLOSE Act
(Sacramento, CA) – Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), along with Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles), introduced AB 1416, the Ballot DISCLOSE Act, to bring greater transparency to ballot measure campaigns in California. This bill would require a voter’s ballot to include the supporters and opponents of each ballot measure.
“Election after election, we have seen ballot measure campaigns flood the media with advertisements intended to sway voters,” said Assembly Member Santiago. “At the same time, we know ballot measures can contain language that voters may find confusing. This bill will ensure voters have critical information on who supports and opposes the measure right at their fingertips when casting their vote.”
“This bill won’t fix the power of money in politics but it will make voting on ballot initiatives less confusing. Who supports and opposes a particular initiative is one of the best data points a voter can have to make informed choices at the ballot box,” said Senator Stern.
“Wealthy special interests have a huge unfair advantage on ballot measures, spending tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars on deceptive ads that often mislead voters about who really supports and opposes propositions,” said Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, sponsor of AB 1416 and SB 90. “That's why we're thrilled that Assembly Member Santiago is moving a parallel version of the Ballot DISCLOSE Act to Senator Stern’s SB 90 so voters know the truth when they vote.”
AB 1416 will ensure voters have the key information needed to make informed decisions on ballot measures. Voters can easily, and often, look to a candidate’s occupation or political party on their ballot when casting their vote. However, voters do not have that same availability of information for ballot measures. This bill would require a ballot to include a short list of supporters and opponents of each ballot measure. Only those who signed the ballot arguments in the voter information guide sent to voters prior to an election will be able to be listed on the ballot. Each list shall be no more than 15 words to keep the ballot easily digestible for voters.
AB 1416 is expected to be heard in the Assembly Elections Committee in April.
Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.