The Calif. Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee today approved SB 505 authored by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia). The bill will ensure that California’s Voter Bill of Rights and other election materials are provided to voters in plain, accessible and easily understandable language. The bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. “Citizens deserve clear communications during elections because it is vital that voters understand their eligibility to vote and how they can receive help with polling place problems,” said Senator Tony Mendoza. “Improving election materials by using plain language techniques is common sense,” added Mendoza.
“Studies have shown that voters are confounded by the legalese in California’s voter pamphlet, on the outside of the absentee ballot envelope and on election materials. SB 505 will strengthen our democracy and protect voting rights by requiring that all elections materials be provided in clear, easily understandable plain language,” said Senator Mendoza.
“If everyone, not just attorneys, can understand their voting rights, then we have gone a long way in enhancing and protecting our democracy,” said Mendoza.
“The time has come for California to translate the legalese on our ballot pamphlet and voting materials. It should not be necessary to be an attorney or employ an attorney to understand what is written on the state’s ballot materials and at polling places,” added Senator Mendoza.