MapLight Partners with California Secretary of State for New Guide to Statewide Ballot Measures

'Quick Guide to Props’ Offers Snapshot of Funding, Top Contributions,
and Descriptions of 17 Statewide Ballot Measures 

BERKELEY, CA - The California Secretary of State and MapLight unveiled a new resource for Californians today ahead of next month’s election. The “Quick Guide to Props” provides brief summaries, top campaign contributions during the election cycle, funding totals, and condensed “pro” and “con” arguments for each measure on the statewide ballot.

Californians looking for an easy way to see key information on the 17 statewide ballot measures can now review contribution totals and the ten largest contributions during the election cycle to both “Yes” and “No” campaigns, alongside condensed information designed to provide an overview of each measure. Voters will be asked to weigh in on a wide variety of issues this November, including the death penalty, prescription drug pricing, income taxes, tobacco taxes, marijuana legalization and condoms in pornographic films, among others.

See the guide here:

“With 17 statewide propositions on the November ballot, every voter is a lawmaker. California voters have some big decisions to make in the weeks ahead. This new tool can help,” Secretary of State Padilla said. “This is an example of how technology can help us share more information with voters,” Padilla added.

“Voters are barraged with an overwhelming amount of contrasting messages from campaigns during election season,” said Daniel G. Newman, Co-Founder and President of MapLight. “The Quick Guide to Props provides clear and concise information to help Californians cut through the noise.”

While the Quick Guide to Props provides quick access to important information, users looking for the full details can follow links to the wealth of information provided by the Secretary of State, down to the full text of ballot measures or a list of every contribution provided to any ballot measure committee.

MapLight and the California Secretary of State partnered previously to create tools that allow citizens and journalists to swiftly and easily review the source, recipient and amount of state-level campaign contributions to candidates and independent expenditures from 2001 to the present. The open-source tools, known collectively as Power Search, provide the foundation for the data available on the Quick Guide to Props, which is also open-source and includes recent information from the Political Reform Division analysis.  Information on the Quick Guide to Props will be updated daily until the election on November 8.  

The project's development was funded with a grant from The James Irvine Foundation with the goal of improving political transparency in California.

Additional detail on the ballot measures is available through California’s official voter information guide as well as Voter’s Edge California, a nonpartisan online voter guide produced by MapLight and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (LWVCEF).

“Who is funding ballot measure campaigns is an important factor for voters to consider on election day,” added Newman. “We are excited that all Californians now have access to this information through a user-friendly tool, and we commend the Secretary of State for championing innovative ways to put useful information in voters’ hands.”

Click here for photos and screenshots of the Quick Guide to Props.

About MapLight:
MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that tracks money in politics. More information about MapLight can be found here.

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