Tag Archives: California Secretary of State

What you can and can’t wear to the polls in California, Solano County

Deputy Registrar of Voters John Gardner specifies the rules

Make Racism Wrong Again Political Design" Mask by javierstabile | Redbubble
MAGA masks and Black Lives Matter masks are allowed, but masks with candidate’s names are not allowed.
Vallejo Times Herald, By Katy St. Clair, October 29, 2020 

California’s laws regarding electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place are pretty explicit: No signs or clothing with the name of a candidate, nor his or her likeness or logo.

So why is MAGA “Make America Great Again” attire acceptable?

Deputy Registrar of Voters John Gardner says MAGA is OK because it denotes a political idea, but “Ridin’ With Biden” is forbidden because it specifically denotes a candidate.

“It can’t have a candidate’s name on it,” he said. “But slogans are OK.”

In other words, “Build Back Better” will fly but not “Ridin’ With Biden.”

California’s Secretary of State came to the decision that slogans such as MAGA or Build Back Better are OK, but not all states agree, such as New York, which forbids MAGA merchandise near the polls.

Gardner pointed out that when Barack Obama was running for president, people were allowed to wear “Yes We Can” or “Change we can believe in” apparel.

And in 2016, “I’m With Her” for the Hillary Clinton campaign was fair game, too. Other political speech such as “Black Lives Matter” is also permitted.

However, you can forget “I Like Ike” because election officials don’t want to plant names in the heads of people who might walk into the polls not knowing who they are going to vote for, he said.

California bans what is known as “electioneering” within 100 feet of a voting booth. According to state law that means voters and others can’t make any “visible display or audible dissemination of information that advocates for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot.”

Banned stuff includes, but isn’t limited to, the following:

  • A display of a candidate’s name, likeness, or logo.
  • A display of a ballot measure’s number, title, subject or logo.
  • Buttons, hats, pencils, pens, shirts, signs or stickers containing electioneering information.

Consider some other things you can’t do within 100 feet of a California voting booth:

  • Solicit a vote or talk to a voter about how to mark his or her ballot.
  • Place a sign describing a voters’ qualifications or speak to a voter on the subject of his or her qualifications.
  • Take photos or video of voters entering or exiting a polling place.
  • Circulate an initiative, referendum, recall or nomination petition or any other petition.

More information on what is and is not permitted at polling places can be found by going to the Solano County Registrar of Voters website.

— Ryan Carter of Los Angeles News Group contributed to this story.

Oil Industry Spending Millions on California Lobbying

An email alert from California League of Conservation Voters (EcoVote.org)


From: Sarah Rose, Chief Executive Officer,  California League of Conservation Voters
Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2015 8:01 AM
Subject: BREAKING: In California, Oil Industry Spends Millions on State-Level Lobbying

Breaking news:

In a report just released by the California Secretary of State, we can see for the first time just how far the oil industry is willing to go to influence state lawmakers. Here what we know:

  • Oil industry lobbyists spent $6.2 million − in just the first six months of this year – to push their agenda on state-level issues in California.
  • Oil companies are spending more than $1 million per month to stop Californians like us from cleaning up the air we breathe, protecting our drinking water supplies, shifting to renewable energy, and preventing future oil spills.
  • They’re not slowing down. In fact, this week the oil industry’s main lobbying group WSPA (Western States Petroleum Association) launched an all-out attack on climate change bills in the statehouse right now. Under the mask of their front group “California Driver’s Alliance,” WSPA’s deceptive and manipulative ads are now running on television, internet, and radio in several key legislative districts throughout the state.
  • We can beat them, but we need your help. Right now, we’re fighting to pass a historic package of climate change laws that will thrust California back into the forefront of global climate leadership. Here at CLCV, we’ve faced off against WSPA in countless battles over our 40-year history. We’ve beat them enough times to know what works – and it’s you  (yes, you!) persistently contacting your lawmakers, speaking your mind, and personally insisting that your life and your family’s future are more important than the profit margins at Chevron and Shell. Take action and send your message to lawmakers right now. >>

Last year, the oil industry spent a record $20 million in lobbying to try to stop the full implementation of California’s first landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32 – but they failed, because we fought back. Thousands of us in the California League of Conservation Voters stood side-by-side with our allies and fought back against WSPA’s cynical propaganda. Together, we defeated their pro-pollution agenda, and now transportation fuels (which are responsible for 40% of carbon pollution and 80% of smog-causing pollution produced in CA) are included under the “cap” in cap-and-trade.

I’m proud of our victory last year, but the real story is we won that battle by the skin of our teeth. Things very easily could have gone the other way if we didn’t have so much help from voters like you. Now, the stakes are even higher, and the oil industry is on track to break last year’s spending record to lobby against us. We need your help today: Stand with us now. >>


Sarah Rose Chief Executive Officer California League of Conservation Voters

P.S. As they attempt to hide from public scrutiny, oil companies funnel most of their California lobbying cash through the industry lobbying group WSPA (Western States Petroleum Association). But one oil company − Chevron – went above and beyond. In addition to their WSPA contributions, Chevron spent $1.5 million lobbying for influence over California laws. That means two spots on California’s top-five list for big-spending lobbyists belong to Big Oil. We can’t let them win. Please, speak out about climate change right now: http://ecovote.org/ActOnClimate >>

Additional background: CLCV supports Senate Bill 32 (Pavley) and Senate Bill 350 (de León) to combat climate change, reduce pollution, create clean energy jobs, and ensure that all California communities are prepared for the future. Specifically, these important bills call for bold but achievable new climate goals:

  • Increase from one-third to 50 percent our electricity derived from renewable sources
  • Reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent
  • Double the energy efficiency of existing buildings
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050

With help from thousands of CLCV supporters like you, these important bills have already passed the State Senate. Now both bills are facing critical votes in the Assembly. Make sure your Assemblymember hears from you: Speak out now!

We need to keep making progress to address the challenges presented by climate change, especially in our hardest-hit communities. Senate pro Tem Kevin de León put it best: “For too long, poor and working class families in California’s most polluted communities do not have the opportunity to invest in clean, efficient transportation … We need to move the state away from fossil fuels, away from the grip of oil … This is common sense climate policy.”

Since 1972, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) has protected our land, air, water, and public health as the non-partisan political arm of the environmental movement. CLCV’s mission is to protect and enhance the environment and the health of all California communities by electing environmental champions, advancing critical priorities, and holding policymakers accountable. You can unsubscribe at any time, but we hope you’ll stay. You make a big difference with CLCV, because our political strength comes from members like you. Thanks for reading, and thank you for everything you do to make California a cleaner, safer, and healthier place to call home.