Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, is introducing a comprehensive election reform package as part of his 2018 State of the State agenda. The “Democracy Agenda” calls for significant changes regarding transparency for online political advertising as well as measures the governor said will eliminate unnecessary voting barriers. The first proposal would add paid internet and digital advertisements to the state’s definition of political communication, which currently encompasses television, print and radio. The updated definition would require all online advertisers to include disclosures about who is responsible for the communication.
The plan would also require digital platforms to maintain a public file of political ads in order to make sure fact-checkers have access to them and make reasonable efforts to ensure foreign entities aren’t purchasing the ads. Cuomo said by changing the definition of political communication, digital buyers would have to register as independent expenditure committees, which foreign entities would be prohibited from doing.
The governor cited Russian messaging on Facebook and Twitter in 2016 as an example of why the new rules are necessary.
“What we saw during the last election was a systematic effort to undermine and manipulate our very democracy, Cuomo said. “With these new safeguards, New York — in the strongest terms possible — will combat unscrupulous and shadowy threats to our electoral process.”
Full Article: Cuomo Introduces Comprehensive Election Reform Proposal.