Governor Signs Bill to Crack Down on Efforts to Mislead Voters

Monday, October 16, 2017

SACRAMENTO – On Sunday night, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) to curb deceptive signature-gathering practices. Assembly Bill 1367 extends criminal penalties to any individual, company, or organization that directs or allows a signature gatherer to misrepresent an initiative, referenda, or recall petition.

“There is an enormous loophole in existing law that allows companies and organizations to pass the buck to their signature gatherers and avoid taking responsibility for misleading information and outright lies told to gain someone’s signature,” said Berman. “Holding employers accountable will help put an end to dishonest signature-gathering tactics, which erode public trust and undermine the initiative process.”

Under existing law, a signature gatherer may be punished by a fine and/or imprisonment, even in cases when a signature gatherer misled or misinformed voters at the direction of a supervisor or employer. AB 1367 brings parity to the industry by ensuring that consequences for bad actors may be equitably applied.

AB 1367 enjoyed bipartisan support in the Legislature.

 

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024